The mayor of London has joked that he could “catch” Boris Johnson in a fight after he was invited to face off with the former prime minister during a visit to a boxing gym.
Sadiq Khan was asked to challenge the former mayor when he met young people at the community project Box Up Crime in Ilford, east London, on Thursday.
“I was able to get him,” Mr. Khan said, causing a room-filling laughter.
“He (Mr Johnson) had a future,” he added.
The mayor was visiting a box-up crime plot with London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley, who had been invited to organize “security” for the proposed match.
The commissioner and Mr. Khan attended the gym to learn how to help the youth of the area by providing training, support and guidance.
The project was founded by Stephen Addison BEM in 2013 as a way to provide alternatives to crime-vulnerable youth.
It was launched with the help of Jas Athwal, leader of the Redbridge Council. Addison describes the gym as “home” for many users because of its tight-knit community.
Khan described the project as “inspirational” and revealed how boxing helped “change” his and his younger brother’s lives when they were younger.
“When I was young and grew up on council housing in South London, a local boxing club changed my brother and my dreams,” he said.
“The coaches there guided us to do something constructive. Boxing, like many other sports, can change people’s lives and lifestyles.”