herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

HBO come calling as Knuckle star retires from prizefighting

THE bareknuckle boxer who was the subject of a documentary has revealed he does not take part in the violent Traveller sport anymore.

But James Quinn McDonagh -- who appeared in Knuckle along with his younger brother Michael -- contended the brutal activity is actually safer than glove boxing.

Top US network HBO, makers of The Wire and The Sopranos, has acquired the rights to turn the documentary into a TV series.

Mr Quinn McDonagh said he stopped taking part in bareknuckle boxing when opponents wanted to fight him simply because he "beat someone belonging to them".

He also cited the injuries he has seen over the years and the loneliness of training.

A report by the British Boxing Board of Control showed bareknuckle fighting is safer than glove boxing, he claimed.

He said he has had broken knuckles on both hands and bruised ribs but nothing more serious. But he has seen "major" wounds, saying: "I've seen people ending up in a coma people with deep cuts and deep bruising ..."

He added that it is a dangerous sport "if it is not looked after", which is why only referees who "can handle the fighting" should be used.

Traditionally, the practice is used within the Travelling community to settle feuds.

The documentary has been a hit at a number of film festivals, including the world-renowned Sundance event in Park City in Utah.

comurphy@herald.ie

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