By Terence Dooley
Retired British boxer Billy Isaac, 45, died tragically on Tuesday after falling through a window at his mansion in Durris, Ireland; the former 2-0 (1) heavyweight boxer locked himself out and fell from a ground floor window while trying to climb into his home. His death is not being treated as suspicious.
Isaac moved to Ireland in 2007, where he looked after his ill father for 18 months prior to his death, but he would often return home to Manchester to help local trainer Bob Shannon. Isaac was a regular face in Shannon’s corner and the trainer today paid tribute to the 6’ 4’’ former fighter as he tried to come to terms with the news of his friend’s untimely death.
“Billy used to give the fighters advice as well as working the corner with me,” said Shannon when speaking to BoxingScene. “Billy loved boxing. It was his life and he hoped to build a gym on the grounds for local and British fighters. I'd get a call after every fight from him — he was a proper man's man. He did everything he could to motivate the lads and always offered them support, be it in the corner, over the phone or from ringside. Billy was a big lad himself, but he was a genuine, caring person who will be sadly missed by me and the lads at the gym.”
Isaac was well regarded within the local boxing community. Tributes have been made about his contribution to Shannon’s Fighting Fit Gym; he earned the respect of the fighters who have come and gone during the years he spent training and working under Shannon.
Indeed, in 2010 Ricky Hatton told the Manchester Evening News that: “He was a great inspiration and used to help my training sessions. He helped local youngsters to get off the streets and into shape. He also taught them to be respectful to others. He is a credit to the sport.”
Please send news and views to [email protected] or Twitter.