Bobby “The Celtic Warrior” Gunn – The Modern Day King Of A Timeless Form Of Combat
Birth Name: Robert James Williamson
Also Known As: Bobby Gunn
Nickname: The Celtic Warrior
Date of birth: December 25, 1973
Originated from: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Professional Gloved Boxing Stats
Weight Classes: Cruiserweight and Heavyweight
Record: 23 wins, 7 losses, 1 draw, 1 no contest
Win Breakdown: 20 wins via KO/TKO, 3 wins via decision
Last Fight: Canadian Professional Boxing Council International Heavyweight Title
Last Fight Result: Bobby Gunn defeats Gilberto Matheus Domingos via TKO in Round 2
WBC U SNBC/WBA NABA Cruiserweight Title
WBS U SNBC/IBC Intercontinental Cruiserweight Title
IBC Intercontinental Cruiserweight Title
IBA World Cruiserweight Title
Canadian Professional Boxing Council International Heavyweight Title
Bare Knuckle Boxing Stats
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Record: 73 wins, 0 losses
Win Breakdown: 73 wins via KO/TKO
Last Fight: Bare-knuckle fighting championship 1: The New Beginning
Last Fight Result: Gunn defeats Costa Jr. via KO, 0:41 of round 1
Heavyweight Bare-knuckle Boxing World Champion
Gunn was born on December 25, 1973, in Ontario, Canada into an Scottish traveler family from the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. (For more information in Irish traveler’s please refer to the link here.)
Notable Career Facts And Milestones
John L. Sullivan was a bare-knuckle champion and was grandfathered into being a gloved boxing champion during the time he fought James “Gentleman Jim” Corbett.
Is the only boxer to be a former boxing champion and become a world bare-knuckle boxing champion.
Is also the only two division boxing champion, one division world boxing champion, and world bare-knuckle boxing champion.
Is the first Gypsy to become a legal and sanctioned world bare-knuckle boxing champion recognized by the bare-knuckle boxing hall of fame.
Is in possession of the same belt that was held by John L. Sullivan (The National Police Gazette World Bare-Knuckle Boxing Heavyweight Title) which is the holy grail of bare-knuckle boxing.
Gloved Boxing Career
Gunn would make a name for himself on the boxing scene as an amateur in Canada finding great success over a seven-year span.
He went on to make his professional debut on April 28, 1989, in Tucson, Arizona securing a unanimous decision win over Richard Palmer. In his third pro bout, Gunn stopped future titlist Quirino Garcia in the third round. He would go on to win eight of his next ten fights, before an 11-year hiatus from professional boxing. He did compete in well over 60 bare-knuckle fights during that time.
In November of 2004, he resurfaced onto the scene and knocked out four straight opponents before taking part in one of the most notorious matches of the last decade. In March of 2006, he would face Shelby Gross. Gunn was ruled the loser via TKO at the closing second’s of round number 2 after being knocked down and Gross continued to punch a downed opponent. The referee for this match was made to award Gross a win via TKO, but not due to his decision. He had said that he would have absolutely allowed Gunn to continue but was overruled by the ringside physician that evening. The decision would later be overturned into a no contest not due to the obvious poor choice of the ringside doctor, but due to Gross failing a post-fight drug test.
This would be a classic case of karma coming around full circle. November 20, 2008, Gunn would have a second go with Shelby Gross. This fight had a very different ending. Gunn would lay down a beating on Gross forcing the referee to stop the contest 3:02 of the third round.
November of 2009 would mark another break from boxing for Gunn, but it was short-lived. Three years later he was back on the scene facing some of the highest level opponents. James Tony in 2012, Glen Johnson in 2013, and a final fight against one of the all-time greatest in Roy Jones Jr. in 2017.
Bare-Knuckle Boxing Career And The Progress Of The Art
In the world of Bare-knuckle boxing, Bobby Gunn is the king. He is 73-0 in a world of fighting that the average man could not withstand. The short description of bare-knuckle boxing is just that. Stand-up boxing without gloves. Bare-knuckle boxing was hugely popular in the 1800s until it was replaced by the modern-day version you see today. The U.S. adopted the Marquess of Queensberry rules which required athletes to wear gloves. Even with those rules in place, bare-knuckle boxing did not vanish. It continued to thrive in the illegal underground. Professional boxers, MMA fighters, and the hardest of street brawlers would continue to partake in such events in venues such as parking garages, warehouses, basements, repair shops, and various other secret locations. The purest form of combat on the planet was his passion. Gunn is no stranger to this lifestyle though. He was raised into it. It is and will forever be part of his background. You won’t be able to find these kinds of records anywhere on the internet, but rest assured that through much research and finding the right people the accounts of these fights are one hundred percent accurate.
Keeping true to the sport Gunn was able to amass a record that sounds impossible. Opponent after opponent would seek The Celtic Warrior out for a shot at taking out the best of all time. Everyone that took the plunge was at a loss at that end time after time. The only thing missing from the sport was the legality of it and the chance to share it with the world.
In 2011 the quest for an audience was at a close. A sanctioned bare-knuckle fight was scheduled on an Indian reservation in Arizona. A place that was not bounded by state and federal law. Gunn would defeat Richard Stewart on that night for the heavyweight title. Gunn and his team would expect a pay-per-view live stream of around 50,000 people for the event. What happened next could have been the turning point in the world of bare-knuckle boxing as we know it. More than 1,000,000 viewers tuned in that night to see something historic, fresh, and out of the ordinary. Although some will not admit to it they watch fights for the big knockouts and the blood. It’s part of human nature.
Now with some success behind them and the President of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship David Feldman behind the wheel they thrived to have this sport of out hiding for all to enjoy. Since the night that they broke the internet Gunn and an army of believers have been working tirelessly to overcome the harsh reputation of bare-knuckle fighting.
One of the greatest hurdles was the notion that the lack of gloves makes the sport dangerous. There is plenty of scientific research now to debunk this claim. A good article on the topic can be found here.
So let’s recap what this man has done so far. He has had an excellent amateur and professional boxing career. He is the official king of bare-knuckle boxing and the current undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champion. He has seen the sport grow from illegal to pseudo-legal (with the use of an Indian reservation), to the current time where it is governed by an athletic commission. It is one hundred percent legal and sanctioned with a new state taking part every time there is an event. Would any of this have ever happened without this man? While I am not able to see the future or change the past my best guess would be absolutely not.
I would like to thank Bobby Gunn for his dedication and efforts in this sport. Without him, it would still only be found in the dim lit corners of unnamed locations with two dozen or less spectators. The world now has a chance to enjoy. I wish him all the best of luck in whatever he chooses to do moving forward in his career and his life. It will always be an honor to know you.
I was fortunate enough to speak with Mr. Gunn recently. I can say that he has some big things in the making. Once they become more clear and have timelines I will be sure to update. Make sure to follow Bobby Gunn on Twitter. Also give me a follow at Nick Portella MMA on all social media outlets.
Special thanks to David Feldman, George Kokkalenios, Joe Curcio, Drew Watson, Ed Simpson, Scott Burt, Matt Yano, Al Roth, Mike Hopper, Lloyd Cups, Brian Evans, Bobby Rizzo, and all the members of Team Bobby Gunn.
Please use the links below for further reference into the life of Bobby Gunn and the sport that has made him who he is today.