Allegations of thuggery have marred an otherwise peaceful corporate event in Sydney last week when former world boxing champ Jeff Fenech was assaulted under a marquee.
Fenech was attending a promotional event hosted by distribution company Anixter and cable manufacturer Allied Telesyn when an altercation arose after a simple handshaking incident which turned nasty.
A wild-eyed Andrew McElroy, sales representative for Anixter Australia, reportedly flew into a rage, according to some witnesses, over a simple miscommunication.
"Fenech was saying something no one could quite understand," said one witness who preferred not to be named. "And then [McElroy] took offence to Fenech's dress sense and it was on."
Fenech, pictured here seconds before the attack, took less than three-hundredths of a second to retaliate with a barrage of "I luv youse alls", which eventually overpowered a younger McElroy.
"I don't know what it is these days," asked a shaken Fenech. "Every time I meet someone, they want to take a shot at me. It's f*#'in . . . ridiculous."
Police arrived at the scene well after the incident had been settled, but just prior to a catered lunch. A full inspection of two kilos of profiteroles, 18 club sandwiches and four bottles of sparkling wine revealed nothing suspicious. However, one policeman suffered indigestion and was taken to Westmead Hospital where he remains in a bloated but satisfied condition.
"It's not unusual for this type of thing to happen," said Sgt. William B. Blackwood. "You get a room full of sales guys, keep filling their glasses, throw in a couple of cute secretaries and a former world boxing champion and tempers are always bound to flare."
Sgt. Blackwood refused to comment further when questioned as to why three squad cars and up to 10 police were required for a simple disturbance of the peace. Tabloid reports confirmed there were no secretaries in attendance at the no-alcohol event.
Photograph: Jeff Fenech with Anixter's Andrew McElroy.