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Fergus Wilson offers £10,000 purse to fight journalist Ed McConnell

By Kent Messenger reporter

Millionaire landlord Fergus Wilson has offered to fight a Kent Messenger journalist for a £10,000 purse.

The 69-year-old former professional boxer suggested the bout after becoming enraged by an error in a report about one of his race horses.

The 22-stone tycoon said if senior reporter Ed McConnell, who weighs in at a measly 15 stone, can last one bare-knuckle round he will receive the prize money.

Landlord Fergus Wilson

The dispute arose after Mr McConnell, who has never boxed, said Mr Wilson's three-year-old colt Maidstone Mixture had been described as the worst race horse in history.

In fact the 1,000-1 rank outsider had only been called the worst in Derby history.

Mr Wilson, of Boughton Monchelsea, has also clashed with Mr McConnell over what he sees as the 24-year-old's left wing views.

He said: "The long and the short of it is I look upon Ed as being a bit left wing and I think I have left wing tendencies myself but I mellow it with a bit of common sense which he doesn't.

Ed McConnell has an orthodox stance (he thinks)

"Maidstone Mixture came first twice and netted £40,000, that would generally be seen as a good horse but Ed pooh-poohed it. He doesn't know much about horse racing, not many reporters do. I give him stories but all he does is belittle them."

Mr Wilson, who has built up a £100 million fortune through property in Maidstone and Ashford, added: "I made an offer to fight him and I'm quite happy to get in the ring with him. It should be bare-knuckles I think.

"I don't think it's a fair fight. I think it would be very unkind of me to do it as I'd hurt him very badly which I really would not want to do.

"If I set about his face in a fight I would really make a mess of it."

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