Bare-knuckle boxer and ‘King of the Travellers’ pocketed up to £200k for fights

"King of the Travellers" and undefeated bare-knuckle fighter James Quinn McDonagh has spoken about underground bouts – admitting that he pocketed £200K a contest. McDonagh claimed that Traveller kids learn to fight when they learn to walk.

Bare-knuckle boxing bouts between travellers are ­being contested for up to £200,000.

"King of the Travellers" James Quinn McDonagh raked in thousands from fights like Brad Pitt’s character Mickey O’Neil in the movie Snatch.

And McDonagh, 53, said: "Fights can range from a thousand pounds up to a couple of hundred grand.

"You’re not just fighting for yourself or your family – you’re going out there representing your clan."

It comes after MirrorOnline reported James is setting up a "multi-million reality-style fighting series" he hopes will be "the next UFC".

James claims he is in talks to receive big money backing from a US investor and has been in negotiation with Sky Sports about a lucrative deal.

The fighter, from Coolock in North Dublin, was the subject of a documentary which unravelled the secretive world of Irish Traveller bare-knuckle boxing.

He said: "I was followed around for 12 years behind the scenes, before, during and after these big bouts.

"I was happy with the documentary, some people weren’t. As a result of its success, I set up a bare-knuckle fighting company."

His hopes were to create bare-knuckle tournaments across the UK.

James added: "I won my battle in the courts to have the fights go ahead and in April 2014, the first bare-knuckle boxing tournament took place with police and local council on side.

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"I can proudly say I was the first person to ever put on a bare-knuckle boxing match."

This started his quest for world domination for what he describes as a "talented sport that’s just like boxing".

He added: "We hope to have three seasons a year. It will be streamed live on BKWars.TV but we’ve been in negotiations with Sky Sports about it also.

"The first season will be UK and Ireland fighters versus the US. Basically, 12 fighters from each group go into a Big Brother-style house where they will be subject to in-house training and fights against each other."

James said: "There will be 12 fighters in each house with a captain, so the UK-based team is a mixture of Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh fighters.

"They will be followed for six weeks in the camp by cameras. The team captain is exempt from fighting and at the end of the camp the Britain and Irish team faces off against the US-based team.

"But the best part is, it’s all a secret. So nobody knows who they are fighting from the opposition camp until they step into the ring."

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