Bare Knuckle: Bobby Gunn, 73-0 Undefeated. A Dad. A Dream. A Fight Like You’ve Never Seen

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Stayton Bonner, a former editor and writer for Rolling Stone, channels his razor-sharp reporting to tell the story of Bobby Gunn, the most celebrated fighter in the history of bare-knuckle boxing, in his book Bare Knuckle.

Bonner starts with a portrait of Gunn as a family man who was raised by a father who believed his son was born to fight. Legend has it that Bobby left school in second grade and his father arranged a fight for him in a parking lot that set Bobby’s fate on course. The Gunn family is part of a group of Travelers, nomadic people with roots in gypsy culture, and everywhere the elder Gunn took his son, Bobby fought. The road was hard, but eventually, Bobby became the most known bare-knuckle fighter and the most brutal. And, he continued the family tradition by training his son, Bobby Jr., to follow in his footsteps. Bobby Jr., though, wants a life in professional boxing, hoping to leave the underground world of bare-knuckle fighting to his father.

Bobby Gunn wants to preserve his legacy and provide for his family; the birth of his daughter shifted his priorities so now he works laying asphalt and fighting to pay her private school tuition and ensure her future is brighter than his past. The book details fights from all over the country, and Bonner’s writing style is as sharp as I imagine Gunn’s left hook to be. Some moments feel a bit repetitive, but that is to be expected in a book about a life with a great deal of overlap.

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Author Stayton Bonner
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 370 pages
Publisher Blackstone Publishing
Publish Date 23-Apr-2024
ISBN 9781982650711 Buy this Book
Issue June 2024
Category Biographies & Memoirs