Bare Knuckle

Stayton Bonner

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21 March 2019
0 pages

"There’s only one champion of bare-knuckle boxing and that’s Bobby Gunn" Tyson Fury

“My people, traveling people, are pit bulls. It’s in the bloodline. We fight to survive.”

Undefeated in seventy-one fights, Bobby Gunn, forty-two, is the undisputed world champion of bare knuckle boxing. He rules the circuit, an underground nationwide network of pro boxers, mixed martial arts fighters and accomplished street brawlers who enter the ring without gloves in matches held in empty warehouses and mobster McMansions for as much as $50,000 a night. It's dangerous and bloody and illegal almost everywhere - a secret world run by organized crime. And for Gunn, a devout Christian journeyman boxer using the prize money to put his seven-year-old daughter through private school, it's his only shot at a better life. "Everybody wants to take me down, brother, and make a name for himself," he says. "I've gotta watch my back."

Bare Knuckle by Stayton Bonner is a fast-paced portrait of today's illegal underground bare-knuckle world - a Rocky story, only more bizarre, populated by street brawlers, mobsters, and a modern-day gladiator bent on dragging himself to glory.

Stayton Bonner’s Bare Knuckle is a remarkable debut. It’s Rocky only with an outlaw street fighter and mobsters — and, even better, it’s all true.

Don Winslow