From Boxing for England several times at an international level, to signing sponsorship deals with Everlast, Sports Direct and MTK Global and winning his first professional fight earlier this year, Bilal Fawaz is still battling to legalise his status with the UK Home Office.
Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, and becoming the ABA Champion in 2012, it has been agreed by both the Home Office and the Nigerian High Commission that he cannot be deported, but still will not be granted a UK passport or residency papers.
Following his thundering victory against Vladimir Fleischhauer at Bethnal Green’s York Hall, broadcasted on Sky Sports on February 11th, Fawaz has avoided homelessness due to the generosity of individuals who have helped pay his rent. He is currently unable to secure his own property for himself and his partner (an NHS worker) due to his ongoing case that also includes his wrongful imprisonment by the Home Office in 2019.
Bilal says: “So many immigrants are accepted into the country with a minimal vetting. It seems insane that the Home Office accept that I can’t be deported and can fight for the UK, without actually granting me the right to be here. I just want to keep working hard and provide for my family.”
The date of Bilal’s next fight is TBC.