hit tracker I’d never go back in the ring like Tyson to fight YouTuber… but I’d still beat them all on chin-ups, says Barry McGuigan – Newsmix.pics

I’d never go back in the ring like Tyson to fight YouTuber… but I’d still beat them all on chin-ups, says Barry McGuigan

WE had At Home With The Furys and now it is the turn of another boxing dynasty – the McGuigans.

World champion Tyson Fury’s hit Netflix show brought him a legion of new fans after he let cameras into the £1.7million mansion he shares with wife Paris and their seven children.

Legendary boxer Barry McGuigan and his son Shane now train the next boxing superstars
Dan Charity
Barry fought Panamanian Eusebio Pedroza at Loftus Road Stadium in 1985
Getty Images – Getty
Barry is unimpressed with a planned fight between Jake Paul and 57-year-old Mike Tyson

Former featherweight world champ Barry McGuigan and his brood — which includes his trainer son Shane — are to star in their own fly-on-the-wall documentary.

The four-part series, Stable: The Boxing Game, starting tonight on BBC One, follows their highs and lows inside and outside the ring.

And it shines a light on the family’s boxing business, plus their stable of world champion fighters.

It is almost four decades since 19million people tuned in to watch Barry beat Panamanian Eusebio Pedroza at Loftus Road in 1985.

But the brutal sport has changed a lot since then. In fact, in a surprise twist, ring legend Mike Tyson is preparing to pull his gloves back on at the age of 57.

The ex-world heavyweight champ, who once bit off part of rival Evander Holyfield’s ear, is to face YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul, 27, in Texas on July 20, streamed live on Netflix.

But Barry, 63, does not approve.

He tells The Sun: “You can be sure money’s got something to do with it.

“The governing body should be seriously badly reprimanded for that — getting a 57-year-old guy in to box.

“That’s just really stupid and irresponsible.

“He shouldn’t be near a boxing ring at 57 years old.”

Asked if he would ever get back into the ring himself, Boxing Hall of Fame icon Barry replies: “You must be joking, never.

“It’s just irresponsible.

“It’s very dangerous.”

‘Floppy-haired posh boy’

However, he adds with a laugh: “I can still beat most of them on chin-ups and press-ups.”

We meet at the McGuigan Gym in Leyton, East London — an old-school spit-and-sawdust joint that is a million miles from the “glitz and glamour” of influencer boxing, which has created serious safety concerns.

Irishman Barry says: “The problem with so many of these influencers boxing is that the general public think anybody can do it. They can’t.

“That’s what annoys the professional fighters about these influencers.”

Son Shane, 35, adds: “They’re trying to steal headlines in the sense, ‘OK, let’s bring in Mike Tyson’.”

He says of Iron Mike, who we revealed is flogging cannabis sweets in the shape of a nibbled ear: “Because he’s done it all, it just discredits what he’s done in his career.

“He’s the face of boxing.”

Shane says boxing YouTubers such as American Jake Paul, whose home gym in his LA mansion includes two rings, plus Brit KSIreal name Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji, or “JJ” for short — can give the wrong impression of the sport to youngsters.

He explains: “Jake Paul’s not going to put on his YouTube channel when he spars bad or when he feels crap and he’s upset and he’s crying or he’s frustrated.

“He’s only putting on the good days.

“Kids just wanna see glitz and glamour and gossip.”

He continues: “This sport’s a real hard sport and you can’t fake it, you can’t just suddenly get to a world title.

“You can’t just turn up one day without no training.

“You’ve got to put the hours and work in and it’s brutal.”

Shane is currently working with four-time European youth champ Caroline Dubois, 23
Dan Charity
The McGuigans are a boxing mad family and aim to train up another world champion
PA:Press Association
The family had a bitter fallout with former star Carl Frampton, but say they have moved on

Barry grew up in Clones in the Republic of Ireland, on the border of Northern Ireland, and became a unifying symbol of peace during The Troubles.

At 17, he took the gold medal for Northern Ireland at the 1978 Commonwealth Games and, two years later, boxed for Ireland at the Moscow Olympics in 1980.

Five years on from that, aged 24, he won the World Boxing Association featherweight title, which he defended twice before losing to Steve Cruz in 1986 in Las Vegas.

He retired from professional boxing in 1989 at the young age of 28.

Barry, a dad of four, admits he initially banned his kids from sparring, insisting: “I didn’t want them to go through how much pain I had to suffer over the years.”

But Shane reveals how he started secretly sneaking out of his Somerset boarding school to go to a local boxing gym.

The teen, who initially used his middle name as his surname so people did not know who he was, endured bullying for being a “floppy-haired posh boy”.

This sport’s a real hard sport and you can’t fake it, you can’t just suddenly get to a world title. You can’t just turn up one day without no training

Shane McGuigan

When his dad found out, instead of putting a stop to it, he offered to train the youngster.

There is no denying the McGuigan name has opened doors for Shane, but it has not been easy growing up in his dad’s shadow.

Recalling his amateur boxing days, he says they would be met with “tumbleweed” every time father and son turned up for sparring sessions.

And opponents wanted to “take his head off” because he was Barry McGuigan’s son.

Smiling at the memory, Shane says: “I enjoyed that.

“That’s why I started boxing. And it’s genuinely serious character-building.”

Shane has won the National Senior Novice Championship, Irish Under 21 Championship and the Ulster Senior Championship.

But he chose not to turn pro like his dad because he did not want to become “a victim to boxing”.

He fell into training 13 years ago after Barry left him in charge of the pads one weekend.

His dad says with a laugh: “I came back and lost me job.”

Asked if people thought he was some sort of nepo baby, Shane says: “Maybe at the start.”

But he insists he only got his professional licence to train because Northern Irish boxer Carl Frampton, who was being coached by Barry, asked him to.

Under Shane, Carl, now retired, became a world champion.

However, he and the McGuigans later became locked in a bitter dispute.

The former two-weight world champion sued ex-manager Barry and Cyclone Promotions for alleged withheld earnings.

A counter claim against Belfast boxer Carl was also launched for alleged breach of contract after their partnership came to an end in 2017.

The case was settled out of court in November 2020.

Carl has since said he has “a deep hatred for them now”.

But Barry tells The Sun: “We’re past all that.”

And Shane says matter-of-factly: “It’s just one of many fighters that’s come through this gym.

“That’s literally it.”

Barry’s daughter Danika McGuigan tragically died from cancer in 2019
PA:Press Association
Cruierweight champ Chris Billam-Smith is one of the stars currently working with the McGuigans

Shane, who was named Trainer of the Year for the second time by the British Boxing Board of Control earlier this month, has more than proved his worth.

Barry says: “I’m very proud of what he does.

“He’s one of the best in the business, anywhere in the world.”

These days, Barry — who lives near Whitstable in Kent with his wife Sandra, also 63 — acts more as a mentor at the gym.

‘Huge divide’

During our visit, he happily chats as he folds bandages while Shane puts four-time European youth champ Caroline Dubois, 23, through her paces.

World cruiserweight champ Chris Billam-Smith, 33, and Ellie Scotney, 26, who holds the International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight world title, are also in their stable.

Barry’s other sons Jake, 36, and Blain, 40, are involved in the family business.

His daughter Danika died from cancer in July 2019, at the age of 33.

Barry says: “My daughter could tell you the four cruiserweight champions of the world when she was around, God bless her.

“We’re boxing crazy.”

Shane adds: “It’s one of those sports where you can’t switch off.”

Tommy has been doing it a long time — before Love Island. He comes from good stock.

Shane McGuigan

And Barry responds with a laugh: “Sandra says, ‘Right, no boxing talk, we’re having our lunch’.”

Meanwhile, there might be more future fighters among the McGuigans.

Shane’s partner Taylor, 29, a singer, is due to give birth to their second son in May.

The couple, who live in Essex, are already parents to 18-month-old Finley.

Shane says: “I now realise, being a father, why he didn’t want me to box.

“But if Finley chooses to box, I’ll have to let him do it.”

However, Barry says: “I’ll do my best to stop him.”

Celebrities are helping to raise the profile of boxing.

Even Harry Styles has joined a boxing gym.

And Tommy Fury — younger brother of Gypsy King Tyson, who shot to fame on Love Island in 2019 — is fast becoming one of the sport’s savviest businessmen.

The 24-year-old, who featured in last year’s At Home With The Furys alongside his influencer fiancée Molly-Mae Hague, also 24, has 5.4million followers on Instagram.

But Shane says: “Tommy has been doing it a long time — before Love Island.

“He comes from good stock.”

He adds: “Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury — they’re on phenomenal money.

“But the general guys who are world champions, they’re not on crazy money.

“There’s a huge divide there.”

Boxing is a cut-throat business.

Lawrence Okolie left the McGuigans to join new coach SugarHill Steward during the 18 months of filming.

Shane says: “At one stage of the documentary, he was in the gym training with Chris Billam-Smith.

“At the end they’re boxing.

“It shows what boxing’s all about.”

Watched by 15,000 fans in his home town of Bournemouth, underdog Billam-Smith floored Okolie last May.

Barry says proudly: “Shane’s now trained nine world champions.”

No doubt, with his track record, it won’t be long until he hits an even ten.

  • Double bills of Stable: The Boxing Game air on BBC One after Match of the Day tonight and Sunday. They will also be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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