One-time reality TV star Idris Virgo might have lost out to Jack Fincham in the 2018 series of ITV’s Love Island but the boastful Brummie warns wannabe pro Jack to expect a bashing should their association ever change from love to glove.
Show winner Fincham claims 26 amateur starts at the Eltham and District ABC in south London – alma mater to a certain Sir Henry Cooper - and is now seeking to join Virgo punching for pay.
Coached by ex-Tyson Fury trainer Ben Davison, the Kent man presently enjoys a significant weight advantage over middleweight Idris but ‘The Bodybreaker’ promises a pummelling should their paths cross inside the prize ring.
Virgo fights first this Friday in Redditch on the undercard of Sam Eggington-Ashley Theophane in a four-round contest against Stourbridge's Kevin McCauley, live on free-to-air in the UK on Channel 5.
‘With our personalities we could really build it up. Look at what those YouTubers made. That KSI and Logan Paul aren’t proper fighters. Proper pretenders, more like. I’d love to put them in their place. Can. Not. Box.’ Acknowledges the body beautiful Brummie who is presently undefeated in eight paid starts.
‘When we were in the (Love Island) villa together, Jack told me he’d boxed amateur and I used to pad him. He actually had a mean left hook. I’ve since tried to arrange some sparring but he knows the score. We got on ok and still speak - we’re cool - and we both know it’d just be business but he’ll get no respect if the match is made. He can expect to get more than water thrown in his face (chuckles)!
He sort of ‘called me out’, mentioned me in an interview, so whenever. If he wants it now, he can have it. If he needs another year, that’s okay. All the Love Island fans would want to see it. But he has to realise that the longer he leaves it, the better I’m going to get.
‘Unlike me, I’m not sure that Jack’s got it in his locker to bite down on the gumshield and dig in. He’s too nice a guy. He’s all tan, teeth and hair. He’s not been in the deep waters I have. Professional boxing’s not a sport that you can joke about. I’m far tougher than him…… and far more handsome!’
While Fincham’s debut has been deferred due to a nose injury incurred in a car crash last October, the Handsworth-born hunk-in-trunks profits from back-to-back starts on promoter Mick Hennessy’s Channel 5 screened shows this month, knowing a brace of victories will extend his unbeaten streak into double figures.
And despite losing out in the love stakes, his exposure on network TV has provided extrovert Virgo with a profile rival prospects could only fantasise about.
‘As a boxer, entering Love Island was the best move I’ve ever made. It took me from zero to a thousand overnight. If it wasn’t for Love Island, we’d not be doing this interview,’ states Virgo who stresses that he engaged in a score of amateur and White Collar bouts and was already a pro fighter prior to gate crashing the idyllic Mallorca villa in 2018.
‘And, you know what, I’d love to go back on…I’m still single. The wimmin’ are proving harder to get!
‘All around the town people know who I am so I’m asked to show my face, do club appearances, Instagram polls. Everyone likes to see me fight, the nans and aunts as much as the boxing diehards. I don’t just bring the skills, I bring the ladies. 85% of my TikTok following are female.
‘Last year, I spent five weeks on ‘The Challenge’, a huge reality show in America with a prize of $1million, competing twice a week before getting eliminated. So I’ve already got a fan base in the US too. I’ve 165,000 Instagram followers and fast rising.’
Loved and loathed in equal measure, foghorn Virgo courts attention wherever he visits.
‘I’m handsome, I’m confident, cocky, a bit arrogant, the full package,’ he quips.
‘I’m either loved or hated but never ignored. Face-to-face, people are quite nice but it’s the keyboard warriors on social media. Some even call me an ugly bastard. Serious! I do find that quite amusing.
‘But people calling me names, haters, simply fuel my fire. Never count me out. I’ve disproved people before in all aspects of my life, not just boxing.
‘I intend to carry on being the cocky boxer. If you don’t jump on board now, you can ‘Do one’ when I become a megastar! I crave the money and drive off the fame.
‘I’m a different character and boxing desperately needs me it the middleweight division. ‘The Bodybreaker’, The One and Only!’
Sam Eggington versus Ashley Theophane headlines the Hennessy Sports card in an International Super-Welterweight Contest. Chief-support features the Vacant Midlands Area Welterweight Title between Birmingham derby between Kaisee Benjamin and Ben Fields. The undercard includes: undefeated super-lightweight and red-hot talent Stephen McKenna from Monaghan, Ireland against Brierley Hill's MJ Hall, in a six-round contest; his equally talented brother Aaron McKenna (appearing courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions) takes on Islington's Jordan Grannum over six rounds at light-middleweight; Sevenoaks middleweight prospect Michael Hennessy Jr. meets Hyde's Dale Arrowsmith; the flash, brash and exciting unbeaten Birmingham star Idris Virgo faces Stourbridge's Kevin McCauley in a four-round middleweight contest; Brighton heavyweight Tommy Welch makes his pro debut against West Bromwich's Matt Gordon.