JIMMY TIBBS is a highly respected trainer. His life in the sport is chronicled in his recently published autobiography. He’s worked with some of British boxing’s biggest names, including Frank Bruno, Michael Watson, Nigel Benn and Barry McGuigan. But, speaking at the launch of his book Sparring with Life, Tibbs insisted Billy Joe Saunders was up there with the best of them.

“Billy Joe is one of the smartest fighters, thinkers that I’ve ever worked with. I took him on when he was 19, he’s 25 now. He’s just won the European title and he didn’t box his 100 per cent best when he won that, but he knocked the guy out in the eighth round. He knows how to work a fight out, he’s smart that way,” Tibbs said.

Saunders is expected to follow the WBO route to their champion Billy Joe Saunders and, although Tibbs doesn’t want to rush him, he clearly expects Saunders to win world honours eventually. “He’s got plenty of time to fight for a world title,” Jimmy said. “He’s as good as any talent that I’ve taken on and he’s just turned 25.”

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