By: Ken Hissner
Hackensack NJ’s Bobby “the Celtic Warrior” Gunn is the current holder of the National Police Gazette – Authorized World Heavyweight Championship belt! This writer on March 23rd attended a press conference at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA, pertaining to Bare Knuckle Boxing. When one hears the name John L. Sullivan we think of the first heavyweight champion saying “I can lick any man in the house!” Do you think he entered that pub with gloves on?”
Sullivan’s victory over Paddy Ryan in 1882 produced the first world champion in bare knuckle boxing. It’s a fact that with this sport there are more punches to the body than the head due to the hardness of the head compared to the hardness of bare hands. In gloved boxing there are more punches thrown at the head than the body.
Among those in attendance at this press conference were boxing and MMA promoter David Feldman. Representing The National Police Gazette was Steve Westlake owner and CEO. NPG is the America’s original tabloid and sponsoring the BKB Hall of Fame event on July 9th at Belfast, NY. For tickets BKBHOF c/o Scott Burt, 3876 State Route 19, Scio, NY 14880. He is also taking “Congratulations” ads in the program and those sponsoring an entire page.
American heavyweight champion Danny Batchelder a former boxing contender originally from Saratoga, NY, now out of Phoenix, AZ, was in attendance at the head table. As a boxer he was 31-11-1 with 15 knockouts. He was 20-0-1 fighting at both super middleweight and light heavyweight before his first loss. That was in March of 2003. In his very next fight he won the WBA Fedelatin light heavyweight title defeating Brazil’s Landelino Jose Barros, 17-0. He is 41-0 (41) with all knockouts in BKB.
Unlike MMA there have been no reported deaths in BKB events going back to 1882. Feldman demonstrated by slapping his hands together the impact of a BKB punch compared to say a knee in the face or elbow to top of the head. MMA started in 1992 and has caused many injuries.
BKBHOF President Scott R. Burt discussed the safety of bare knuckle compared to professional boxing and the first rankings in America and World rankings. He is out of Belfast, NY, and will be doing inductions Saturday July 9th that includes current holder of National Police Gazette-Authorized world championship belt owned by Gunn who is unbeaten in scoring 71 straight knockouts. Gunn is a former world boxing challenger losing in title fight with IBF cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek, of Poland. Gunn gave a good performance in a fight this writer covered. He retired with a 21-6-1 (18) record in 2013. In watching Gunn on www.youtube.com you could see it was a natural fit for Gunn who stalks his opponents while never backing down.
Both Batchelder and Gunn will be inducted into the HOF. Another is Internet Fighting Legend Kimbo Slice. “I have challenged Kimbo Slice for 10 years fighting with no wraps,” said Gunn. At the head table was the original belt of Sullivan’s which was massive and an impressive original statue of Sullivan. An attorney present was George Cataloni. “Dave had a vision for the potential in the US and international community,” said Cataloni. Also in attendance was the No. 8 American contender Mike Liberto out of Bethlehem, PA.
Feldman announced they were to have 2 minute rounds and a fight to the finish. They have approached many state legislators and boxing commissions. The next major event is to be in the state of Florida. The group found a home and doors open on June of 2016 in that state.
Gunn last fought in Arizona stopping Delaware’s Richie Stewart, a former boxer in 2011. IBHOF promoter Don King said “you don’t have to sell this stuff it sells itself!” Recent passed away boxing icon Burt Sugar known for his hat, cigar and flamboyant scarf was a leading authority on boxing, publications, books and a Ring Magazine writer and a supporter of BKB.
Let it be seen and given the same chance MMA was given back in 1992 to see if the general public will accept BKB.