WORLD heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has paid tribute to the late Sherif Lawal, who died after sustaining injuries on his professional debut on Sunday night. Lawal’s fight against Malam Varela was stopped in the fourth round after he was hit with a right hand to the head. Referee Lee Every waved it off and Lawal received immediate attention from the ringside medics. 

The 29-year-old was rushed to Northwick Park hospital but was tragically pronounced dead.

The news has reached Riyadh, where Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are preparing for the biggest fight of their lives and the former reiterated that he knows the danger he will be in at the Kingdom Arena on Saturday night.

Fury said: “God rest his soul, poor old fella. Unfortunately, things like this happen now and again. We all know what we’re getting in for.

“I’ve known the risks my whole life, it is what it is. If it’s my time and it’s God’s will then I’ll die, if not I’ll live. I can’t tempt fate. I can’t decide what happens in the future or worry about it either,” added Fury, who has been boxing across two decades as an amateur and professional.