A NORTH-EAST private security firm has expanded across the Atlantic and scored a high-profile client – nine-time world champion boxer Roger Mayweather.

Darlington-based Sparta Security started operating in California, in the US, before Christmas.

It recently provided bodyguard services for 52-year-old Mr Mayweather, the uncle of eight-time world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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Sparta boss Francis Jones, who is currently in the US, said: “We body-guarded and protected current trainer and nine-time world champion Roger Mayweather and his team.

“Sparta picked him up in Las Vegas and he had close protection officers securing him when we drove him to Santos Boxing in Lancaster, California, to a show at which he was a VIP.

“Protection officers followed him throughout the night to restaurants, bars and just made sure everything was safe and he was protected at all times.”

Mr Jones, himself a former boxer, described Roger Mayweather as "a gentleman, very polite, funny and he said our close protection officers did an excellent job".

He added: “We are hoping to secure him again in the month of February when he will be coming to California again.

“It's not every day you get to do this. He was a lovely guy, very courteous, friendly and very humble to children, freely giving his time to meet and greet and sign autographs.”