Anthony Small, a former British light middleweight boxing champion, is currently being charged with attempting to join the Islamic State. Small apparently had planned to travel to Syria to fight with ISIS, according to BBC.
With two other men, Michael Coe and Simon Keeler, Small reportedly tried to enter Syria with forged documents. He had accumulated enough money to make this trip by selling his boxing memorabilia, including his boxing gloves and boots.
The charges Small and the two other men face were detailed by Richard Whittam to BBC. “The prosecution’s case is they intended to travel to Syria to join and support what is called Islamic State of Iraq, known as ISIS or ISIL.”
According to Vice Sports, Small fully converted to Islam in 2004 and even changed his name to Abdul Haqq. In 2010, Small participated in a march with “Muslims Against Crusades” in protest of British aid to the war in Afghanistan.
The former boxer retired from his profession because it “no longer aligned with his Islamic faith.” He announced this in a video on YouTube. Boxing is against his Muslim beliefs since Muslims aren’t allowed anywhere that alcohol is served or allowed to gamble. Small claims that his old profession is an occupation that “all these evils take place collectively.”
This is not his only Youtube video in support of ISIS. Small is being charged with spreading hateful material online, publishing a paper called “Attacks By Muslims In Perspective” and “Why The Islamic State Is Rejected”. He posted another YouTube video defending the beheading of American journalist, James Foley.
The trial is still in progress, even though the men deny all their charges of disseminating terrorist publications, supporting a proscribed organisation, and conspiracy to possess false identity documents with improper intention.