Martyn Ford missed out on seven-figure purse from doomed Iranian Hulk fight

Martyn Ford has claimed he missed out on at least £1million after his fight with Iranian Hulk was cancelled.

The British star was set to finally settle his rivalry with Iranian Hulk – real name Sajad Gharibi – in April this year but the fight was shelved after concerns for his opponent’s ” mental wellbeing”. Ford was left frustrated that he had committed to six months of rigorous training without any end goal but still intends to compete in the ring.

Despite his frustration, Ford did not want to be responsible for the death of his rival if he opted to take his own life following the clash. “I lost a fortune from that fight. A hell of a lot of money,” Ford said during an interview with Rob Moore. Moore quickly asked if it was in the region of seven figures, to which Ford replied: “Yes, it was a lot of money but for me it wasn’t worth the gamble if he had taken his own life but that would have been 100 per cent down to me.

“I am sure he is very depressed at the moment and I wouldn’t want to be someone who adds to it. It was money that I had been promised but never had so I don’t miss it. Once that face-off happened for me it was embarrassing, he was absolutely sh****** himself and he was shaking. I don’t want to fight someone who can’t fight that is not going to be fair. But there has to be an element of fairness and it just wasn’t there.”

Gharibi had shown a series of concerning behaviour patterns during the build-up to the fight which began at the face-off where he was sent flying by Ford. Shortly after in unreleased footage of a press conference, Gharibi attempted to start confrontation by turning over a table and spilling popcorn all over the floor.

After these images were broadcast on Iranian soil, Gharibi went on national TV and burst into tears after confirming his parents had disowned him. The Iranian star had also posted a series of disquieting social media messages in which he admitted to having no coach and made a “wish” for death.

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Martyn Ford and Iranian Hulk came face to face


Martyn Ford and Iranian Hulk came face to face
(
JULES ANNAN / Avalon)

During the build-up there was clearly a significant size difference which made fans suggest the contest would be a huge mismatch. However Ford has claimed he was told Gharibi was a “six-foot four” monster which saw him sign a contract on false pretences.

“We were told from guys on the ground in Iran that this guy was huge,” Ford said. “Not as big as in his photos maybe but that he was massive. Six foot three or four monster is what we were told. This is where we came to Dubai and had the confrontation. From someone who was there who saw him and the way he crumbled. I looked in his eyes and then turned around and said to the guys ‘there is no fight’.”

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