Inside The Ropes With Bare-Knuckle Boxing Champion Bobby “The Celtic Warrior” Gunn


It’s been nearly two weeks since seven-time cruiserweight boxing champion Bobby Gunn defeated Rich Stewart via a third round KO in the first bare-knuckle boxing match since 1889.

With the victory Gunn claimed the vacant heavyweight bare-knuckle boxing title, last held by John L. Sullivan. Gunn sat down with us this week to talk about the fight, all of the buzz surrounding it, and what he has planned going forward.


Cella: What does it mean to you to have won the vacant heavyweight bare-knuckle boxing championship of the world?

Gunn:  It means the world to me, to be connected to an all-time great like that.  It was an extraordinary night and an extraordinary event.

Cella: Leading up to the fight, there were mixed reactions by fans and critics.  Many claimed it was too barbaric and unsafe.  What were your thoughts about that going into the fight?

Gunn:  I ask the critics to watch the fight and see for themselves.  Nobody was sent to the hospital, nobody got injured; there was nothing barbaric about it.  You see people getting injured in boxing and MMA every year.  All of the proper precautions were taken prior to the fight.   There were two referees and medical personnel ringside.  People don’t realize is that it wasn’t a street fight between two people who didn’t know what they were doing.  It was a strategic and thought-out fight between two professionals, and it showed.

Cella: Following the fight there has been a lot of buzz circulating around the fight sport world.  After the knockout do you think you won boxing and MMA fans over?

Gunn:  If fans watch the fight, they will see how clean and respectful it was.  If they look at it in that point of view, I think they will be intrigued to see more of it in the future.  Fans like to watch boxing and MMA because they want to see two warriors stand there and throw hands.  Bare-knuckle boxing is the ultimate test of one’s skill, and I know I will put on a show for fans every time out.

Cella: There has been some talk about the fight not being legal or sanctioned.  What are your thoughts on this?

Gunn: There is always going to be someone looking to bring down an organization or a fighter.  It’s the nature of the beast.  The tribal council and promoters did everything they needed to ensure this was sanctioned.  If this was such an issue prior to the fight it would’ve never happened.  People like to stir up conversations after the fact just to hear themselves speak.  At the end of the day it was a great event; families came out and had a great time, and I did what I was supposed to do—fight and win.  I just hope people want to see more of it in the future.

Cella: After this first fight, do you think bare-knuckle boxing is going to take off?

Gunn:  It all comes down to how it is received by the fans.  People are going to pass their opinion. There will always be critics, no matter what you do.  Regardless of what people say, I don’t pay much attention to that.  In the end, the fans will always overwhelm the critics.

Cella: Going forward, are boxing fans going to see you back in the square circle?

Gunn:  I am always looking for an opportunity.  The problem is that after the Tomasz Adamek fight, I never got a decent offer.  That has kept me from the square circle, but my first love has always been boxing.

Cella:  What is next for Bobby Gunn?

Gunn: I am currently working on a big fight, possibly in Ireland or Dubai.  It will be for the heavyweight bare-knuckle championship; I’ll be defending my title.  It will probably be in October, though we haven’t finalized anything yet.

Cella: Lastly champ, any shot outs?

Gunn:  I want to thank all my fans and everyone who supported me.  And my attorney George Kokkalenios and team for pushing me into this fight.  They were with me the whole way, and because of them I am really glad I did take it.

Many thanks to Bobby “The Celtic Warrior”, a true champion inside and out of the ring.  Stay tuned with everything that happens with Team Gunn by visiting