$1 Million BKB Training Facility Planned for Belfast, New York

-BKB Champ Bobby Gunn Will Run Facility.
-BKBHOF President Scott Burt Donates the Land.
-Fund-raising Campaign to be Launched.

Brand new, state-of-the-art as well as old-school training facilities for boxers will be built in Belfast, New York, according to a joint statement issued yesterday by bare-knuckle boxing world champion Bobby Gunn, Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame president Scott Burt, and Hall of Fame vice president in charge of training facility Joe Curcio. John L. Sullivan trained in Belfast for the last bare-knuckle championship fight before the modern era. Scott Burt converted the barns where he trained into the Hall of Fame, and Burt, Gunn, and Curcio decided the same benefits Belfast had as a training site then still hold true today.

Bobby Gunn had a dream for a training facility for bare-knuckle boxers and fell in love with Belfast while he trained there for his gloved bout versus Roy Jones Jr on February 17th. Scott Burt said yesterday he decided to help make that dream come true and is donating two pieces of land, one next to the two existing Hall of Fame barns and a larger tract just outside town. Joe Curcio will be in charge of supervising the development and construction. “I can’t thank Joe Curcio and Scott Burt enough,” Gunn said. “Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to build a state-of-the-art facility, not just for bare-knuckle boxing but for boxing and mixed martial arts fighters all over the world. There’s no better place for a proper training camp.”

Privacy was a big selling point in Sullivan’s time and still is today. Belfast is a tiny village; the closest large city is Buffalo, which is 66 miles away. Gunn said fighters need a place where they can get away from it all and not be disturbed. Plus, Burt added, “The people of Belfast respect privacy.” In addition, fighters who come to the area will have the opportunity to use either current, modern training methods or the same methods that got Sullivan in shape to win his epic battle against Jake Kilrain in 1889. Old-school training will include swinging indian clubs, blacksmithing, beating tires, chopping wood, and running the trails that Sullivan ran. But a large, brand new building will also house everything a fighter would want in a 21st-century gym.

There were originally three barns in Sullivan’s training compound. So the third will be rebuilt on the plot of land next to the others and blend in with their styles. It will, however, have modern amenities. “What Scott is proposing is really in keeping with the spirit of the existing barns,” said Curcio. This is where the “old-school, harsh and rigorous training” will take place. “But we also want to offer fighters everything you would want in a modern up-to-date facility.” This would be the new building at the larger site. “The absolute best of both worlds,” added Burt.

As if all this weren’t enough, also housed in the rebuilt barn will be the boxing ring that was used by the Apollo Creed character in the film Rocky II. This item is already owned by the Hall of Fame. For the rest, including the new construction, Curcio announced a fund-raising effort will be launched that they hope will raise $1 million.

From left, Scott Burt, Bobby Gunn, and Joe Curcio.

Bobby Gunn and Roy Jones Jr Top Great Night of Boxing and More

Police Gazette and BKBHOF bare-knuckle world champion Bobby Gunn faced the great Roy Jones Jr for the WBF cruiserweight world championship on Friday and fans were treated to a clinic by the two old pros. After the fight, Bobby told us his strategy was to bring the 48-year-old Jones deep into the 12-round schedule and then unleash a torrent once the former four-time champ began to tire. It was not to be, however, as Jones spent the first seven rounds measuring Gunn and getting to him a little bit more with each round. Then, near the end of round 7, Jones landed a solid combination that opened a twin Yosemite of blood from the nose of the former cruiserweight champ. Between rounds his corner was unable to stem the flow and the fight was called, officially seven seconds into round 8.

Bobby now turns his attention back to bare knuckle boxing. He is the face of the sport, and he’s determined to bring fans some official action soon—though some unofficial action happened as quickly as a couple hours after his match with Jones had concluded. Having resented an insult by a hotel bar patron, Bobby demonstrated free of charge some of the technique that has made him the BKB world champ. As for news about upcoming official bouts, stay tuned.

Here are some images from the evening:

In the co-headliner, junior middleweight Kanat Islam, right, watches opponent Robson Assis get counted out in the 1st-round.

Video of Bobby Gunn’s entrance to the ring.

Gunn, near corner, and Jones get instruction prior to the 4th round.

Gunn and Jones 7th-round action.

After the decision, the fiercely loyal and protective Bobby Gunn Jr, right, is told by his dad that Jones deserves the highest respect.

After winning his championship match, Roy Jones Jr acts as trainer for German lightweight Ikram Kerwat during her victory over Britain Hart.

Police Gazette publisher Steven Westlake, right, and number-1 contender for the American BKB Championship belt Shannon Ritch.

Publisher Westlake with Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame president Scott Burt.

Bobby Gunn and publisher Westlake the morning after. Bobby fought two bouts the night before, one official the other impromptu. But some here still think he looks better than our publisher!

2017 Inductees Announced for Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame

Ceremony Will Be July 8th in Belfast, New York.

Must have fought completely bare fisted sometime in their career; no wraps:

Uriah “Hughie” Burton, Boxer (King of the Gypsies late 1950s-early 1970s; known as ‘Big Just’); Undefeated Bare Knuckle Boxing Champion of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Ted Daley, Boxer; Living Inductee, Undefeated Bare Knuckle Boxing Champion.

Billy Edwards, Boxer; 1868-1872, Lightweight Bare Knuckle Boxing Champion of the World.

Bartley Gorman V, Boxer (King of the Gypsies 1972-1992); English born traveller of Welsh and Irish descent; Undefeated Bare Knuckle Boxing Champion of the UK and Ireland.

Daniel Mendoza, Boxer; Heavyweight Champion of England from 1792-1795 (34-3 w/30 KOs).

Shannon Ritch, Boxer; Living Inductee, bare knuckle record of 25-2 (25 KOs). Known as the “Most active fighter on the planet.” #1 Ranked Contender for America’s Police Gazette belt.

Must have brought positive spotlight to upstate New York:

Ed Atherton, Wrestler; 1902 World Champion from Belfast, New York, pupil of Wm. Muldoon.

Barry Broughton, Local Grand Master from Olean, New York; known worldwide.

Chris Guzman, World-renowned boxing artist; his work fills our Hall of Fame Room of Honor.

Roy Harding, Boxer; Local legend, fought 1929-1945, Soldier at Pearl Harbor during the attack.

Jimmy Holmes, Boxer; Indiana State Champion who trained in the Muldoon-Sullivan barns.

Tim Witherspoon, Boxer; 2-Time World Heavyweight Champion (WBC 1984, WBA 1986).

Gino Arilotta, Rochester Boxing Hall of Fame President.

Scott R. Burt, President
5 West Hughes Street; Belfast, New York 14711
(correspondence mailed to 3876 State Route 19; Scio, New York 14880)
For tickets: 585-610-3326 (cell/text) or srburt@aol.com