Joe Fournier: millionaire nightclub owner who dated Paris Hilton and went to school with Mo Farah… now the 11th best light heavyweight in the world

MOVE over 'Money' Mayweather.

Nightclub boss Joe Fournier has dated heiress Paris Hilton, was school mates with Mo Farah and is a multi-millionaire.

And on Saturday night he will fight reggae musician Reykon on the undercard of YouTuber Jake Paul's scrap against ex-UFC brawler Ben Askren.

Fournier was once ranked 11th in the WBA rankings in the light heavyweight division after turning pro in 2015 – at the time he was the best British fighter on the list.

Not bad for a lad from Hammersmith, who runs superclubs around the world, including the prestigious and very private Bonbonniere in London's exclusive Mayfair area.

But he has spent more than four years out of the squared circle – until now.

Speaking to Sky Sports the British entrepreneur said: "I was slipping back into bad habits.

"Predominantly my businesses are bars, clubs and restaurants in all the fun places. It's easy for my mates to visit me in Mykonos – one beer becomes two, becomes three.

"That leads to negative behaviour. I can get depressed and not myself.

"Boxing is good for my mental health. Tyson Fury is a big advocate of this. It keeps me from drinking too much, keeps me healthy and gives me a goal."

Joe was born into a wealthy family, attending the prestigious Lycee Français Charles De Gaulle de Londres in Kensington.

He then studied at the American Community School.

However, when his parents divorced he moved to Hounslow and had to slum it.

He changed schools, going to Ashton House primary and then Isleworth & Syon School.

It was at the latter he met his pal Mo Farah and they've stayed close ever since.

Fournier once said he "went from having a chauffeur driven car to school every day, to taking the bus."

As good as he is in the ring, boasting eight knockouts from his eight professional fights, Joe could've been a professional basketball player.

He was so good on the court, and a natural leader, that he was chosen to captain the England basketball team 43 times.

However, a serious scaphoid injury curtailed his progress and his basketball days were soon over.

Being naturally fit, Joe decided to enter the world of personal training and set up his own gym.

He claimed he "acted as a trainer, PR and cleaner all-in-one" during this time as he grew his business.

Joe managed to bag some exclusive clients, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna.

He even trained stuntmen from the James Bond franchise as his star in the fitness world began to grow.

Joe wrote a book in 2008 called Red Carpet Workout, which he got an advance of £30k for and still receives royalties to this day.

In 2012, he then sold his business for an undisclosed sum to a FTSE 100 company.

At 29-years-old Joe decided he wanted to invest his money into nightclubs.

He took over Whisky Mist and changed their fortunes, helping them make a profit for the first time in years.

The Rose Club, Bonbonniere London and Streaky Gin soon followed, with the recent addition of Bonbonniere Mykonos adding to his business empire.

Joe has entertained the likes of Snoop Dog, Paris Hilton, 50 Cent, Jamie Foxx and Nicole Scherzinger in his private bars.

"It's really difficult to get people to do lunges and eat salad, but it was easy getting people pissed, drink gin and tonic, party, and eat pizza," Joe explained.

Joe's clubs earn him around "20-30 million a year" and he's said to be worth over £100m.

He regularly hires his own private jet and helicopter wherever he travels.

Knowing people in high places, including former British heavyweight David Haye, opens doors.

So, when the ex-world champ boxer allowed Joe to train in his now defunct Hayemaker gym in south London, it was the beginning of a new challenge in his life.

"My first bar was with former world champion Barry Jones, so I've been around boxing for years," Joe said on his new venture.

"Having grown up in a tough neighbourhood in Hounslow, you know if you can punch or not and you know if you can take a punch.

"A lot of strength and conditioning coaches make you box and I was always better than the other guys.

"But when life is good and you have a girlfriend, you have a curry that turns into a pizza that turns into a bottle of wine.

"And about five years ago I broke up with my long-term girlfriend; I was fat, weighed 230lb and was a disgrace.

"The nightclubs do a white collar boxing event but none of the other owners would fight me and if I was to fight a staff member from another club, I'd have everything to lose.

"But a friend of mine wrote on Facebook that they’d had a fight and I got in touch."

Joe made his debut in late 2015 in the Dominican Republic, defeating Jorge Burgos by way of knockout.

"I just wanted to win a fight as a professional so I could tell my grandkids, but now I'm building something," he said.

"My businesses have been phenomenal and I'm the sharpest I've ever been.

"I used to knock back the beers but I've stopped drinking and people send me emails saying they've lost 20lb since they started following me on Instagram.

"I sent guys I went to school with to do white collar boxing and it's kept their marriage together.

"I'm never going to win a world title but if I could win a belt of some sort it would be a dream come true."

Joe's crowning glory, which has propelled him up the boxing stratosphere, was a WBA International title shot against Wilmer Mejia a week before last Christmas.

He was drafted in as a late-replacement opponent for the Dominican, who was the favourite to win.

After losing the first 2 rounds, he rocked Mejia with an uppercut in the 6th. Joe then finished the brawler in the 8th with a stunning body blow.

The playboy famed for owning superclubs celebrated the only way he knew how…

"We had a bottle of beer then it was back to the hotel as I had to catch a flight at 5am," he said.

And now he will have the eyes of the world on him once again as he attempts to even upstage the talker Jake Paul.

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