“He used to have a future."
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan joked that he could “have” Boris Johnson in a fight during his visit to an Ilford boxing gym.
Mr Khan was asked to have a face-off with the former Prime Minister when he met young people at community project Box Up Crime in Chapel Road.
Mr Khan replied: “I could have him.”
This led to the entire room bursting out in laughter.
Sadiq Khan added: “He (Mr Johnson) used to have a future.”
The mayor visited the scheme with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, who was invited to sort out “security” for the proposed bout.
The commissioner and Mr Khan were visiting the gym to learn how it helps young people from the area by providing training, support and guidance.
Stephen Addison BEM set up the project in 2013 as a way of providing an alternative for youngsters vulnerable to crime.
It was launched with the help of Redbridge council leader Jas Athwal.
Mr Addison described the gym as a “home” to many of its users due to its tight-knit community.
Sadiq Khan described the project as “inspirational” and recalled how boxing helped “transform” the lives of him and his brother when they were younger.
He said: “When I was young, growing up in a council estate in south London, our local boxing club transformed the aspirations of my brother and myself.
“The coaches there guided us towards constructive things to do, and boxing, like many other sports, can change people’s lives and lifestyles.”
During the visit, Sir Mark Rowley described London as a “fantastically safe” city as the force announced a drop in homicide rates in 2022.
He said: “London is a fantastically safe global city.
“Of course no city’s perfect, but if you look at crime rates… it’s a safe place to live and work and enjoy yourself.”
He was pressed on his plan to root out criminal behaviour within the Met after a string of high-profile convictions of officers for serious offences.
When asked about his plans to rebuild public trust in the force, he said:
“I have got tens of thousands of men and women who are fantastic people, who care and want to make a difference.
“Sadly I’ve got hundreds I need to sort out and who shouldn’t be in the organisation and as we do that you’ll hear more.
“But I’ve got many, many more people who care about Londoners than some of those awful individuals that should never have been police officers.”