Look out for Billy Joe in 2016 – he’s behind you!

posted on: 30/12/2015


The panto season is in full swing and I think there are a few characters around in boxing at the moment who might do a Frank Bruno and tread the boards for our amusement.

How about Tyson Fury, after failing the audition for Prince Charming, turning up in Jack and the Beanstalk? Only this time the Giant wins.

Kellie Maloney would make a smashing Mother Goose and no prizes for guessing who gets to play the Ugly Sisters in Matchroom’s production of Cinderella. Barry and Eddie Hearn seem ideally cast as the latter-day Mike and Bernie Winters, don’t you think?

There are those who now see ‘Big Al’ Haymon as the new Fairy Godfather of boxing, especially the Don’s days are past it as the Demon King.

Might Audley Harrison be tempted into a revival of his a traditional role as Sleeping Beauty?

But the one I can really see playing a panto part to perfection is Chris Eubank snr – sorry, ‘English’ – to use his new stage name.

Never mind Puss-in -Boots, it’s Puss- in- Jodhpurs. And he already has one well-rehearsed line about his prodigal son which has us rocking in the aisles.

Saunders V Eubank

“Negotiations have already started with Frank Warren for the Saunders fight in the summer,” he informs his audience of Sun readers.

He cups his ear awaiting the expected response of “Oh yes they have…” But instead he hears:


In plain English, we haven’t exchanged a word about it since Billy Joe acquired the WBO middleweight title from Andy Lee.

I am not saying this re-match won’t happen. It may well do, by public demand. But I am afraid Eubank snr is telling porkies when he says we have opened discussions.

He should also be aware that when – or if – we ever do – it will be on Billy Joe’s terms, and not his as to whether his lad goes to the brawl. The boy Eubank has to get a British title fight with Nick Blackwell out of the way first – and that may not be easy.

And before we start dealing with Team Eubank again I need to check my bank balance. At the moment I seem to be running a heavy overdraft through excessive purchases of Anadin. I also have to re-discover the will to live.

With or without Eubank jnr 2016 is going to b a momentous year for Billy Joe.

While there has been no conversation with Eubank snr we have been in communication with Gennady Golovkin’s people, who have approached us with a firm offer of a unification fight with Triple G.

I know Billy Joe has intimated he may not be quite ready for this but money talks louder than anything in boxing and such are the sums involved it is one certainly worth considering.

We will be sittting down to talk about the future with Billy Joe once he has enjoyed his break. He has some really tasty options out there and whatever happens we will come up with something really special.

Continuing the panto analogy he’s no Cinderella Man, has never fought for Buttons and like Dick Whittington, he now finds the streets are paved with gold.

Boom boom!

This is a guy who fights wholeheartedly, always at a fast and exciting pace and, by the end of next year I forecast his will be one of the most celebrated names in boxing.

Of all the dozen British world champions he is one of the hardest to beat (23 have tried, all have failed); he can box, he can punch (ask Andy Lee), he is tremendous value for both media and fans, and that suspect stamina seems to be been sorted (again, ask Andy Lee).

Saunders v Lee

So my New Year wish for him is that he gets the recognition his record and his latest achievement merit, not least in the seemingly agenda-ridden Boxing News.

And my advice for any middleweight who fancies sharing a stage with him – particularly Chris Eubank jnr – is ”Look out, you’re behind him!”

Oh yes you are!.

Tomorrow: Catch up with Alan Hubbard’s New Year Punchlines


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