TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Video went viral on social media last night showing an individual taking on French riot police with his fists as violence flared during the yellow vest protests in Paris.

– World news –

The video shows a man who launched punches at French riot police during skirmishes on a bridge in central Paris on Saturday.

As riot police struggled to prevent yellow vest protesters from crossing the Leopold-Sédar-Senghor bridge several protesters can be seen forcing officers back.

After officers lash out with batons and tear gas spray the individual is seen jumping over a barrier and throwing numerous punches at a riot police officer who along with his colleagues is forced to retreat.

According to the Local, the man, identified online as Christophe Dettinger, is wearing a black hat, gloves and coat rather than a yellow vest, then tells police they should be "ashamed".

In another video of the scuffles on the bridge he can be seen kicking a policeman in the head while he lies on the ground.

After the videos were widely exchanged on social media police tweeted out that they had identified the man and he was in fact a professional boxer.

"Sir, you who punch a colleague on the ground, you have been identified. For a boxer, you do not respect a lot of rules. We will teach you those of the penal code," tweeted a police union.

French interior minister Christophe Castaner later described the attack as “cowardly and intolerable" and tweeted that he contacted the public prosecutor to open an investigation into the incident.

Many on social media took different view of the incident. While some were labelling the boxer as a hero of the movement and pointed to the man incidents of alleged police violence during recent weeks, there were others who called him a thug.