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I ended John Fury’s boxing career with savage KO – he's a good guy but wasn’t a puncher

The man who ended John Fury’s boxing career has recalled what it was like facing the Gypsy King's father in the ring.

John has been front and centre of the build-up to his son’s heavyweight unification fight against Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night. Fury Snr left himself bloodied earlier this week after launching a headbutt at a member of Usyk’s entourage, Stanislav Stepchuk, inside a hotel where a media session was being held.

After being widely condemned for his shocking actions, 59-year-old John has since issued a public apology and has received support from one of his former in-ring opponents. “John’s a good man,” says Steve Garber, who fought him twice – losing their first meeting in 1987 but winning the second with a savage fourth-round knockout in 1995.

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“I know him outside of boxing. That [his antics] is all bravado. He’s always been polite and respectful to me. He’s a totally different person in public when the media’s present.

“People change and say things they don’t really mean. Then, afterwards, they look back and regret it. I can’t say anything bad about him.”

Garber was, in his words, a novice when he first met Fury Snr, losing on points. The Yorkshireman recalls: “I never fought as an amateur so I learnt on the job. I had 46 professional fights and I got better the more I fought.”

He was indeed more battle-hardened for the second fight with John, who had been inactive for four years but was in good shape having trained under Billy Graham.

“We both went to Champs Camp in Manchester so we knew each other,” adds Barber, now 61. “He assumed