Nigeria-born Kelvin Bilal Fawaz, 31 was a former England amateur light-middleweight champion, born to a mother from Benin and a Lebanese father, migrated to UK at age 14. Fawaz, who has criminal convictions, said he would “100%” have complied if given a time or place for the interview, rather than be detained.
He told the BBC he spent his teenage years in the care system and lost his leave to remain in 2006, at the age of 18, and has since been seeking asylum.
Mr Fawaz has 15 convictions for crimes including drug and driving offences, but he said he was “misguided”, has not been to prison and has not offended in seven years.
“They deem me a threat to the public, they say I’m not conducive to the society, but they allow me to represent England in fighting,” he said.
“While I was doing all this I changed my life around because I realise those people that I was hanging around with as a kid, they’re not going anywhere.”
The Home Office said the Nigerian High Commission asked for a face-to-face interview with Fawaz, who said he does not “understand how they can lock me up as a criminal”.
“I told them if they had given me a time or place I would 100% comply,” he said.