BOXER Jim Braithwaite fulfilled the dreams of many a heavyweight hopeful when he sparred with former world champion Tyson Fury.

The Barrow ABC amateur went in the ring with Fury for ten rounds at a training session held at Lancaster.

Describing the experience, Braithwaite said: “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in boxing. I got to spar with Tyson Fury. It was absolutely unreal. He was such a great bloke to be around, an extremely positive guy and a good laugh too.”

Barrow ABC have made good connections with Team Fury over the years. The close ties have come about thanks in part to South Cumbria-based international referee Alvin Finch being a friend of both Peter Fury, Hughie’s dad and Tyson’s uncle, and Barrow ABC Head Coach Jeff Moses.

Moses said: “We arranged for Jim to do some sparring ahead of his last bout because they’ve got some super heavyweights there.

“Tyson was there at the same time training and we started to talk to him and he offered Jim a chance to spar with him. We were never going to turn that down, so we went down and Jim spent ten rounds body sparring with him.”

Indeed, it is not the first time Braithwaite has traded blows with a member of the Fury boxing family.

He was one of three Barrow ABC amateurs who took part in a sparring session with Tyson’s cousin Hughie two-and-half-years ago at Brook Street as part of his preparations for his WBO World Heavyweight showdown with Joseph Parker in Manchester.

Meanwhile, Braithwaite was in winning form in the ring at a Layton Boxing Club show last week, while youngster Ryan Jones performed well in a short-notice skills bout against Jac Caelum, and Ethan Holt was beaten on points in a close bout against Alfie Middlemiss of Astley VIP.