Billy 'Shiner' Simpson (Michael Caine) is a frustrated boxing promoter nearing the end of his time at the edge of the ring. Billy's has been an inglorious career, tarred with the usual brushes with the underworld, yet no great trophies on the mantlepiece. But with his son Eddie (Matthew Marsden) shaping up as a bit of a contender Shiner thinks he has a shot at getting into the big league at last and bets all by putting up the money for a fight with an American champ. The day of the big fight comes and goes with Eddie sadly trounced by Frank Spedding's (Martin Landau) boy, and, in a dark twist, Eddie winds up murdered. Shiner must now search for the killer, and seek vengeance East-end style.