Trainer Tibbs is number one choice for Olympian

EXPERIENCED Newham trainer Jimmy Tibbs has been called up by Olympian Billy Joe Saunders, who is preparing for his professional debut under promoter Frank Warren s banner on February 28. The pair have already been working for two weeks at Canning Town s P

EXPERIENCED Newham trainer Jimmy Tibbs has been called up by Olympian Billy Joe Saunders, who is preparing for his professional debut under promoter Frank Warren's banner on February 28.

The pair have already been working for two weeks at Canning Town's Peacock Gymnasium with Tibbs happy to report: "In just a short time working with me, Billy Joe has already picked up so much.

"He is as good as any of the young fighters I have trained, he really is one hot prospect."

The 19-year-old was initially working with amateur trainer Danny Hoy, who stepped aside because of personal commitments, and the fighter, who many insist was the outstanding talent of Britain's 2008 Olympic boxing squad, switched to Tibbs, a successful light-heavyweight fighter himself back in the 1960's.


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Tibbs is respected in the fight game as an outstanding coach. Over the past 30 years he has played a key role in the success of several world champions, including Nigel Benn, Chris Pyatt, Charlie Magri, Lloyd Honeyghan and Frank Bruno.

The respect is mutual between the pair and Tibbs admitted: "I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with Billy Joe and he has got as good a chance to make it to the top as anyone I've worked with."

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Saunders, who will make his professional debut at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham at the end of the month will now be based at the Peacock Gym, and will also spend time at the neighbouring Ultrachem TKO Gym in Canning Town with some top class sparring available at both.

"Jimmy is a fantastic trainer and he's taught me a lot already," said Saunders. "Danny Hoy did a great job for me and I'm sorry to see him go, but I've got the ideal replacement in Jimmy.

"He's worked with the biggest names in British boxing over the last 30 years and if anyone can get me to the top it's Jimmy."

Saunders will be joined at the midlands arena by fellow 2008 Olympians James DeGale and Frankie Gavin, who have also signed pro contacts with top promoter Warren.

Feature fight on the Birmingham bill will be Matt Skelton's Commonwealth Heavyweight Title showdown against Belfast puncher Martin Rogan.

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