Tyson Fury’s cousin was acting as a peacemaker when he was stabbed to death in a ‘senseless attack’ just hours after watching Anthony Joshua‘s bout with Oleksandr Usuk, a friend claims.
Rico Burton was killed in the early hours of Sunday morning after being ‘stabbed in the neck’ outside a bar in Goose Green, Altrincham.
He is understood to have been enjoying an evening out with friends when he was knifed in a ‘spontaneous’ and ‘unplanned’ attack outside the venue, Greater Manchester Police said yesterday.
Mr Burton had been watching the heavyweight fight at a pub before going to another in Altrincham, where violence suddenly broke out, after the junior boxer reportedly stepped outside for a ‘straightener’.
Shaun Egan, who previously coached Rico alongside his brother Steve at Jimmy Egan’s Boxing Academy in Manchester, said: ‘From what I’ve heard it was just a bit of a scuffle. Some other guys were trying to get into a club and they wouldn’t let them in. The argument wasn’t with Rico, he was trying to calm it down. It was settled, then suddenly the guy stabbed them. It is unbelievable, so senseless.’
A witness added: ‘A few men were arguing outside and then suddenly two men were on the ground. It all happened so fast but no one knows what caused the fight.’
A 17-year-old boy was also found with stab wounds, with both victims receiving first aid from members of the public prior to the arrival of emergency services.
They were both were taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary, where Mr Burton died of his injuries, while the teenage boy remains in a serious but non-life threatening condition.
Two men, 21 and 20, have been arrested in connection with the attack. They both remain in police custody.
Fury yesterday made an emotional plea for tougher sentences for knife crime, calling on the Government to deal with the ‘pandemic’, while also paying tribute to his cousin.
Fury wrote on Instagram: ‘My cousin was murdered last night, stabbed in the neck, this is becoming ridiculous idiots carry knives.
‘This needs to stop. ASAP, UK government needs to bring higher sentencing for knife crime, it’s a pandemic and you don’t know how bad it is until it’s one of your own!
‘Life is very precious and it can be taken away very quick enjoy every moment. RIP RICO BURTON. May the lord god grant you a good place in heaven. See you soon.’
In a police press conference on Sunday, Superintendent Ben Ewart said the attack was ‘senseless’, adding that the stabbing took place ‘spontaneously’ and was ‘unplanned’.
Meanwhile, tributes have flooded in for the once-promising boxer, who trained in Manchester throughout his teenage years.
Mr Egan added: ‘He was an absolute talent. He was such a nice lad, he was hard working and had a great sense of humour. What’s happened is just awful. He was just a great guy. To hear he has died like this is devastating.’
Tyson Fury’s cousin Rico Burton (pictured) died in the early hours of Sunday after being ‘stabbed in the neck’
An aerial shot shows Greater Manchester Police at the scene of the murder of World Champion boxer Tyson Fury’s cousin, Rico Burton
A blue tent has been erected inside a police cordon at the scene at Goose Green, Altrincham, where Mr Burton was killed
Tyson Fury (pictured) paid tribute to his cousin and called on the Government to deal with the knife ‘pandemic’
The two-time heavyweight champion (pictured) called for tougher punishments for people convicted of knife crimes
The 34-year-old revealed the tragic news in a post on Instagram earlier this morning
Police were called after a fight outside a bar in Goose Green, Altrincham, in the early hours of this morning
What are the sentences for knife crimes?
The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife or weapon illegally is either four years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
Any adult who is convicted of carrying a knife or weapon illegally more than once is sent to prison for a minimum of six months.
Youth offenders aged 16 or 17 face a minimum four-month Detention and Training Order for their second conviction of carrying a knife or illegal weapon.
Anyone aged 18 or older who takes a knife or any other weapon to commit murder faces a starting point of a minimum 25 years in prison.
Adults who use bladed weapons when threatening people face a maximum of four years in prison.
Prosecutors should seek the forfeiture of any knife or weapon seized by police after the commission of a criminal offence.
Mr Egan spoke of how Mr Burton previously trained and boxed at the gym until his late teens, during which time he won two national titles fighting as a junior.
He added: ‘Out of the people we had coming through our doors, he was probably one of the best we have ever seen.
‘As a young adult he used to come to our gym and was so talented with so much potential.
‘I have watched him win a national title after going through a windscreen in the same week. He was always smiling and a real positive force.
‘What people don’t realise when they stab someone is what that does to families and how it can ruin them.’
Also paying tribute, Shaun’s brother Steve wrote on Facebook: ‘Rico Burton. Fantastic Boxer, very skilled, lovely lad and always smiling. RIP.’
Heavyweight champion Tyson, who is originally from Wythenshawe, took to Instagram on Sunday morning to confirm the death of his cousin. He added that he had been stabbed alongside a picture that read ‘Stop Knife Crime’.
At a press conference at the scene on Sunday, Supt Ewen praised people who had given first aid at the scene and confirmed a 17-year-old boy remains in a ‘serious but not life-threatening condition’.
He continued: ‘Both victims should have returned home this morning after enjoying a night out with friends.
‘Everything suggests at this stage that [Mr Burton] was enjoying an evening out with friends, and this has taken place spontaneously and unplanned – it’s a very tragic ending to what should have been a good night out with friends.’
Superintendent Ben Ewart said: ‘At around 3am this morning on Sunday August 21, emergency services received multiple calls about a disturbance in Goose Green in Altrincham.
‘On arrival, we found a 17-year-old male and a 31-year-old man with stab wounds receiving first aid from members of the public before officers and paramedics took over.
‘Both males were taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary, where sadly the 31-year-old man succumbed to his injuries and died. I can confirm that male is Rico Burton. The 17-year-old remains in hospital with serious injuries.
‘Can I take this opportunity first to pass on my sincere condolences to Rico’s family and friends, and also praise the members of the public who stepped in and provided first aid.’
Supt Ewart added: ‘Greater Manchester Police has launched a murder investigation and specialist officers are supporting both families.
‘A 21-year-old man was arrested at the scene, and a short while later, a 20-year-old male was further arrested in connection with this incident, and both remain in custody.
‘This is without doubt a senseless attack and both victims should have returned home this morning after enjoying a night out with friends.
‘Goose Green is a popular nightspot and would have been busy at the time and I appeal for anyone who was there overnight on Saturday August 20 or anyone with information about this incident including phone photograph footage or videos to come forward, in particular any friends of any of the victims or suspects who may have been out with them that night who has not yet come forward.
‘We have increased police controls in the area and knife crime remains a priority for Greater Manchester Police, the devastating effects of which have been demonstrated this morning.’
And asked what police had been told about there being an argument, he said police are continuing a ‘very live’ investigation and it is a factor they are looking into.
On what police could say about the man who was killed, he said: ‘At this stage I don’t know any further information. We are in contact with his family.
He added: ‘Everything suggests, at this stage, he was out enjoying an evening with friends and this has taken place spontaneously and unplanned.
‘So it’s a very, very tragic ending to what should have been a good night out with friends.’
It is believed Mr Burton in a fight outside a bar in Altrincham that saw two people stabbed, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Police say the incident took place just after 3am this morning in Goose Green, Altrincham.
Greater Manchester Police says one man has died and another has been seriously injured after being stabbed
Police say they have arrested one person in relation to the incident, which took place just before 3am
Greater Manchester Police says two men were rushed to hospital with serious and life-changing injuries.
The force said: ‘A 31-year-old male has sadly passed away a short time later in hospital. A 17-year-old male also remains in hospital with serious injuries.
‘A 21-year-old male was arrested at the scene on suspicion of section 18 assault and remains in custody.
‘A murder investigation has been launched and would like to appeal to members of the public who have any further information regarding this incident.’
It added that anyone with information, CCTV, photos or videos can should get in touch.
Fury’s post has triggered an outpouring of grief, with well wishers sending their condolences.
Steve Egan used to coach Rico and Fury and said he was ‘devastated’ to hear of the tragedy.
The 60-year-old told The Sun: ‘I taught Rico, he’s a lovely lad. I’m devastated.
‘I feel like crying. I’ve known him and his brother since he was 13. What a talent, he was fantastic.
‘He was always a grafter, he worked hard and he worked so hard in the ring too.’
He said there ‘wasn’t a bad bone’ in Rico and that he could never see him ‘getting in trouble with anyone’.
He added: ‘His mam is going to be devastated, it’s going to finish her off.’
Family friend Eddie Nevins said: ‘Funny guy and a decent boxer, one we looked up to as kids.’
Michael Edwards, who lives close to the pub where the tragedy happened, told The Sun: ‘It’s really shocking when something like this happens.
‘It’s terrible so many people carry knives these days.’
One person wrote: ‘Tyson so sorry to hear of this tragic loss of life. All my thoughts and prayers go out his complete family circle at this horrendous time. May the lad be at peace and rest easy. R.I.P Rico.’
Another wrote: ‘So sorry for your loss Tyson. Thinking of you and your family.’
Someone else added: ‘Sorry to hear that Tyson. 100% agree with you that only cowards carry.’
News of Mr Burton’s death prompted an outpouring of well wishes and support on social media for the boxing legend
The tragic development came hours after Fury shared his thoughts on last night’s world heavyweight boxing match between Joshua and Usyk.
Speaking after the fight, which saw Usyk defend his unified WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles in a second bout against the Brit, Fury bragged he could beat both men.
Posting on Instagram, the 34-year-old said: ‘To be honest with you lads, both of them were s***e.
The tragic development came hours after Fury posted an Instagram story giving his thoughts on last night’s world heavyweight title bout between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk
‘It was one of the worst heavyweight title fights I’ve ever seen. It was bulls**t.
‘I would annihilate both of them on the same night. F*****g s***e.
‘Get your f*****g cheque book out, because the Gypsy King is here to stay forever.’
Fury, who is known as the Gypsy King, is currently on holiday in Menorca with his family.
Last night he posted videos on Instagram showing him and his family partying into the night before the tragic news came through.