Bare knuckle showdown

HARDMAN James Quinn McDonagh, a member of the Travelling community and originally from Dundalk, is to fight for the Bare Knuckle Boxing (BKB) Championship in the US.

HARDMAN James Quinn McDonagh, a member of the Travelling community and originally from Dundalk, is to fight for the Bare Knuckle Boxing (BKB) Championship in the US.

Quinn McDonagh, a favourite with tabloid newspapers, rose to main stream fame when he starred in an acclaimed documentary about the illegal combat sport of bare knuckle boxing in Ireland and the UK.

Quinn McDonagh, one the greats of the brawling sport, has beaten all comers in Ireland, but his fight for the World title in the US could be the fight of his life.

He will fight off against current title holder, Bobby Gunn, who was recently crowned World Champion in the US. Gunn, a former IBF cruiserweight title holder, says it’s an honour to fight his friend Quinn McDonagh.

Speaking about Quinn McDonagh, Gunn said: “He’s very famous in Europe. They offered me a fight in Ireland for a very huge purse. I’m going to be defending my title against him in a bare-knuckle championship fight.”

The fight could be hardest of Quinn McDonagh’s life, as Gunn is reputed as remaining undefeated in his estimated 60-70 underground bare-knuckle fights.

Quinn McDonagh was the star of Knuckle, which was filmed over the course of 12 years, giving an insight into the brutal world of bare knuckle boxing and indeed, into the world of Traveller feuds.

In the film McDonagh was portrayed as a brilliant, if reluctant fighter, who was forced to fight to protect his family name, with some of the bouts lasting over two hours.