Idris Virgo: "I've jumped the queue!"
In an age that has seen professional boxers come from different sports, celebrity backgrounds and even YouTube, one fighter is determined to prove that he is a fighter before all else.
Ultimate Boxxer Super Middleweight challenger Idris Virgo catapulted his name to fame in 2018 when he appeared on hit ITV show Love Island, and whereas many have questioned his commitment to the sport, the man dubbed ‘Body Breaker’ points out he was in the ring before he was in the villa.
Speaking with Steve Bunce, Idris says he “jumped the queue”, by appearing on the show.
“I could have done what the rest of these guys did, stay around, building up my record, but now everyone knows who I am. I’d had two fights and all of a sudden everyone wanted to come and see me”
The news Idris Virgo is a boxer above all else will come as little surprise to fans of the Island, while he was in there padwork with Ultimate Boxxer’s Jack Fincham was part of a routine, as the two trained together. Fincham, also a respected boxer with 27 amateur fights to date went on to win the show in it’s 4th series, and will be a fight night host as Idris bids to claim gold in the seventh instalment of Ultimate Boxxer in Manchester.
Joining Idris in his highly anticipated Ultimate Boxxer venture is Seb Eubank, son of boxing royalty, former world champion Chris Eubank. Since the two were announced, both have taken to social media to question each other’s real legacy and impact on the sport.
With 7 short, explosive fights in one night it’s possible the two will have the chance to settle their differences in the ring come fight night,
Rewind Review: Danny Whitaker - Dave Allen told me about Nick Webb
With the now famous words still ringing round the Planet Ice Arena in Manchester last December, heavyweight Danny Whitaker was preparing himself for the next biggest test of his career, a semi final against experienced boxer Nick Webb.
Whitaker had already exceeded his wildest dreams, a points decision over early tournament favourite Jonathan Palata wasn’t just an underdog’s dream, but a personal settler – with Palata refusing publically to shake hands with the Yorkshireman back on Draw Day.
Whitaker now has sights on a rematch with Webb, and although that’s a fight that may have to come further down the line, Whitaker is ready to wait, stating a lack of opportunity to prepare for Nick ‘Wild’ Webb hindered his chances last time round.
Rewind Review: Jay McFarlane - Behind The Mexican Style
Heavyweight fight Jay McFarlane won the crowd over at Ultimate Boxxer, has gone onto link up with Dave Allen and has revealed he wants to avenge defeats to fellow heavyweights Josh Sandland and Mark Bennett.
As fun a character as Jay can be, he’s earned the nickname ‘Ghost’ within the squared circle, allowing for the fact he’s elusive and powerful. Here he revisits his night at Ultimate Boxxer.
Glaswegian McFarlane, who was popular, charismatic and unpredictable both in and out of the ring, says he messaged his fellow Ultimate Boxxer competitors before fight day to wish them luck, and while some reciprocated, others were wary sensing an element of mind games.
The games continued into Draw Day, as Jay showed up with a small pink teddy bear he credits as his good luck toy.
The revelation to come from Jay’s watch back, was that Jack Fincham still has his lucky bear!
“I don’t know what Jack’s done with the bear, hopefully not thrown it away!” said Jay.
Jack Fincham has since been approached for comment.
Rewind Review: Rhasian Earlington - I Won That Fight!
As the curtain closed on Ultimate Boxxer 4, and the plaudits swirled around Mikael Lawal’s crunching finish of Damian Chambers, Rhasian Earlington was left to wonder whether that should have been him.
Clearly weary from his brutal match up with Earlington, Chambers provided little test for the eventual winner Lawal, but the eyebrows raised had come in the previous bout, as Team Earlington felt they had done enough to surpass being knocked down and progress to the final.
To say it was close was an understatement. Surviving a barrage of punches from Earlington, who flowed seamlessly from body to head and back again, Damian Chambers deserved immense credit for not going to ground when visibly shaken.
Still Earlington came forward, relentlessly putting the beat down on the Dukinfield man, however ultimately falling short.
Despite failure in the cruiserweight 3 round war, Earlington had already done enough to win the sold out crowd over in Manchester. Retiring the legend Tony Conquest, in the (then) fastest ever time recorded for an Ultimate Boxxer stoppage, Earlington had gripped the TV audiences as well as those in the arena.
Whereas as some may strut after the destruction of an early favourite, his claim he was “still scared of being punched in the face” alongside a charismatic fighting style, won fans of opposition fighters over, those fans who are now keen to see where his career goes from here.
Cruiserweight Rhasian Earlington looks back over his career high at Ultimate Boxxer, relives the moments that defined the night and in one sentence both wishes Damian Chambers luck in his upcoming Central Area title fight, and calls him out!
Commitment Is Key For Allen
Dave Allen is enjoying life working with Jay McFarlane, but is leaving the Scottish heavyweight under no illusion about the hard work involved as they get their venture off to a winning start.
Speaking in Glasgow following McFarlane’s victorious return to the ring, a unanimous decision against Shaun Duffy, Allen stated Jay was as “good as he can be four weeks in [to training with Dave]” adding that he was “a tough kid with great character”.
Admitting he sees glimpses of himself in the Ultimate Boxxer fan favourite, Allen continued on how the work ethic has to be as high “for the next ten years as it has been for the last four weeks”.
Allen said “I’ve been in hospital beds and ambulances too many times, to know how seriously you’ve got take this sport. I saw him at Ultimate Boxxer, he had great character and had a bit about him, but the life he’s been living for the last 18 months is not how you should be living. This is not a game and not something we take lightly.”
Split Decision defeat to Mark Bennett at Ultimate Boxxer 6 put an end to McFarlane’s hopes of being crowned King of the Heavyweights, the title eventually being scooped by Allen’s former foe Nick Webb, but that didn’t prevent Jay from creating headlines and grabbing the attention of the sold out crowd in December.
Described by former world champion Paulie Malignaggi as “a heavyweight who moves like a middleweight”, McFarlane has earned himself the nickname ‘Ghost’ owing to his elusive skillset. Such a style can be eye catching as well as successful in the sport of boxing, particularly in the Heavyweight division, but also requires core stamina and strong fitness levels.
Allen continued “The moment Jay slips up in the gym is the moment he goes home. It doesn’t matter that he’s a funny likeable guy, if he wants to achieve what he believes he can he has to work for it.”