Legendary boxing promoter and businessman BJ Eastwood has died at the age of 87 after a short illness.
BJ’s love for boxing was formed in his childhood and having built up a highly successful bookmakers business he then started to manage and promote fighters. In the 1980s and 1990s he put together a Belfast gym that was the envy of Europe with a conveyor belt of champions, including Barry McGuigan, Dave McAuley and Paul Hodkinson.
Originally from Cookstown but for many years living in Cultra, he will be remembered in the boxing world for his passion and great knowledge of the sport, guiding former World featherweight champion McGuigan to fame and fortune before they endured an acrimonious parting of the ways. Then followed incredible success with McAuley, Hodkinson, Crisanto Espana and Victor Cordoba all becoming world champions.
Highly respected throughout the boxing fraternity he was awarded the World Boxing Manager of the Year award by the World Boxing Association at the peak of his success.
Away from boxing he was a family man at heart. Married to wife Frances for almost 70 years, BJ also leaves sons Adrian, Brian, Peter, Stephen and Fergal and daughter Fiona.