Bobby Gunn is the self-proclaimed “Bare Knuckle Champion of the World.” This is a mostly mythical title. Bare knuckle is sanctioned nowhere outside of an Indian Reservation or two and lacks even the sketchy legitimacy of professional boxing, which is at least licensed by state Athletic Commissions.
What can be verified about Gunn’s legitimate fighting record is highly respectable. He amassed a professional record of 23-7-1 with 20 KOs. He has been in the ring with some of the best fighters of his generations–guys like Roy Jones Jr., Tomasz Adamek, James Toney, Enzo Maccarinelli and Glen Johnson. He lost to all of those guys, but give respect where it is due. He has been in the deep, deep waters of the sport. Even if he failed to swim like a dolphin, at least he didn’t drown.
Combine that with the outlaw mystique of his underground career and it makes Gunn one of the more colorful figures in the one of the world’s most colorful sports.
His son, Bobby Jr., looks like he might be something of a chip off the block. Now 21, the super middleweight sports a perfect 9-0 record with 7 KOs. Last September he knocked out Mike Miranda, a veteran of 50 professional bouts.
But Gunn has a major step up in competition this weekend, when he travels to Russia to face Fedor Chudinov.
Chudinov is a true contender–he’d be a tough night for almost any fighter in the world at 168 pounds. His only two losses in 18 professional fights came against George Groves and Felix Sturm–the fight with Sturm was an extremely close majority decision.
So young Gunn has his work cut out for him, to be sure. But if he can surprise the world and upset Chudinov, his background story is built to order for the boxing media.