The sport of boxing has been criticized by many for a variety of reasons, whether it be for controversial judging, behind-the-scenes politics and overall corruption. Count longtime boxer and current bare knuckle boxing legend Bobby Gunn as one of the sport's critics.
Gunn competed as a pro boxer from 1989 to 2017 and has fought a number of big names during his career, including the likes of James Toney, Roy Jones Jr., Enzo Maccarinelli, Tomasz Adamek and more, so if anyone has first-hand experience in the sport, it is Gunn.
In the past few months, Gunn has spearheaded a rebirth of the ancient and previously illegal sport of bare knuckle boxing. Gunn, alongside promoter David Feldman, were the key figures in creating Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship in an attempt to get bare knuckle boxing out into the mainstream world.
Gunn, a legend in bare knuckle boxing, spoke to Fightful and gave his take on the current state of boxing itself. While he would state that he loves boxing, he was not afraid to take a negative approach towards the sport's governing bodies, coupled with his first-hand experiences.
"The fight in boxing isn’t against your opponent. It is against the politics involved in fights and all the controversy. The worst you could possibly happen [in boxing], anything you can imagine, it’s happened to me. I’ve been in fights where I know there was going to be no way, shape or form that I was going to win that night. The sport is corrupted. The judges, on any given night, they forget to bring their glasses and can’t judge a fight properly. Referees don’t see low blows or rabid punches," Gunn said.
In regards as to how boxing compares to its purest incarnation, bare knuckle boxing, Gunn would tout boxing's numerous governing bodies and its multiple titles as a major issue, an issue many pundits also share. With bare knuckle boxing, there is technically one title: the title given by the National Police Gazette Magazine.
"What I love about bare knuckle boxing is that the National Police Gazette Magazine title was the original title that started everything that we see here today. It started the Ring Magazine title. What I like about that is that I represent that in bare knuckle boxing. There’s only one title. There’s only one champion in each division in bare knuckle boxing. There’s a lot of Mickey Mouse organizations that claim this, but none of them can hold a candle to the Police Gazette Magazine title holds. That was the original title and that’s what I represent," Gunn said.
Calling the sport of boxing "a circus act," Gunn also took issue with boxing promoters who had their own agenda and sympathized with boxers who were taken advantage of.
"Everyone wants to say about Don King this, Don King that. Listen, [all these promoters] are Don Kings. At least Don King pays his guys. These promoters out there take care of the sanctioning bodies and they have them in their pockets. They would sanction a ham sandwich if there was enough money involved," Gunn said.
Now dedicating his time to BKFC and looking to bring bare knuckle boxing back to prominence, Gunn's goal is to help make sure it doesn't have boxing's numerous issues. So far, a number of states have given BKFC the green light to do events and now BKFC is set to do their third event, titled "BKFC 3: The Takeover" on October 20 in Biloxi, Mississippi.