Idris Virgo, the 5ft 10in powerhouse from Birmingham with the Colgate smile and marble-carved physique, first courted the nation’s attention when he crashed on to the ITV hit show Love Island in 2018. Installed as a ‘bombshell’, the 27-year-old bombed out of the idyllic Mallorca villa without meeting his match, after four episodes.
But the Handsworth-born hunk left quite an impression before he left the island and extensive coverage in the national ‘red tops’ saw his profile soar. He now intends to capitalise by knocking down contestants rather than ‘coupling up’ with them. Although I’m a Celebrity…, Celebs Go Dating and MTV’s The Challenge could be in the offing in the future.
Middleweight Virgo (5-0-1) will next feature on Hennessy Sports’ big show on Saturday 22nd August at a purpose built TV studio in Redditch, behind-closed-doors, headlined with the mouthwatering showdown between Shakan Pitters and Chad Sugden for the Vacant British Light-Heavyweight Championship, exclusively live on free-to-air Channel 5 in the UK.
‘I’m very handsome, a fittie, and I know I’m destined to be a superstar. Boxing will now be my platform,’ says Virgo, who already claims 171,000 Instagram followers.
‘Love Island opened doors and seriously changed my life. With regard to boxing, it’s helped massively with regard to increasing my profile and selling tickets.’
The middle of seven children, Idris’ fighting career, like so many, commenced on the school yard.
‘I was the hardest at my school, quite ‘The Chap’. I was actually a prefect and it does take a bit to get me going,’ he disclosed.
‘But I began boxing at 15,16, long before Love Island. This ain’t no gimmick. I had eight White Collar (bouts), losing just two, plus a dozen amateur which I mostly won. The reason I left the amateurs, aged 25, was the judges robbed me in the Midland Senior ABAs.’
Since sacrificing his vest, the Anthony Hull coached Virgo has conceded just two of the 22 rounds that constitute his unbeaten six fight pro career. While he is yet to register a stoppage win, the muscular middleweight warns us to expect an immediate change.
He says: ‘I’m known as ‘The Body Breaker’. In previous fights, I was content to take my time but now I intend putting opponents to sleep. I’ll set them up then chop ‘em down with body shots.’
Renowned Midlands fight figure Jon Pegg, who manages Virgo, concurs that he certainly has a future between the ropes, provided he can commit the gym hours.
‘Idris is a natural athlete who’d instantly be good at pretty much any sport he embraces. He’s got a very impressive build and puts his shots together well,’ says the likeable Brummie ‘fight face’ who also manages top-of-the-bill Shakan Pitters.
‘Because of that reality TV exposure, Iddy can shift tickets. Though he was cast as the bad guy in Love Island he’s actually a nice kid. He’s very busy doing his videos and stuff but, provided he hits the gym every day, there’s definitely belts in his future.’
Perhaps the only thing bigger than Virgo’s ego, is his ambition.
‘I’m not in this to mess about. I intend winning English, British, European and world middleweight titles,’ states Idris.
‘My appearance should certainly boost the ratings. The ladies love to lust over my sweaty body! Some jealous types will no doubt tune in, in the hope of seeing me get laid out but I guarantee I’ll disappoint them.
‘Because of my profile, every opponent has been desperate to make their name by taking me down but they never come through, Once I clout ‘em, their game plans disappear out the window.
‘When I come through in August, I’ll have another two six rounders before the end of this year against progressively better opponents. I’m targeting a British title shot by the end of next year.’