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Ex-Anthony Joshua foe scores bare-knuckle heavyweight debut KO

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  • 2 min read

Dorian Darch’s road to redemption in the bareknuckle boxing ring started with an explosive win. The Welshman admits he is “ashamed” of the way his gloved professional heavyweight boxing career ended.

He had been game enough to take Anthony Joshua’s best punches and stay on his feet, but by the end of his 12-12-1 career, the fire had left his belly.

Darch says he’s been remotivated by working with former WBA super-lightweight champion Gavin Rees and making the switch to bareknuckle boxing.

He made his BKB debut against Mason Shaw – and walloped him in two rounds.

Darch said afterward: “At the end of my pro gloved career, I was ashamed of myself. There were some poor performances through a lack of training. 

“I went to see Gavin Rees and felt that when I went there, I had to train, and I felt great in there. 

“He was game – but I can take a shot.”

Mostly, it was Shaw on the receiving end.


Darch was straight onto the front foot, unloading sledgehammer blows with both fists. 

Shaw felt a right-hand blast, tried to slug his way out of trouble, and shipped another right that dropped him heavily.

Shaw beat the count, but he never really recovered. Darch had him over three more times before his corner pulled him out at the end of the second round.

Barrie Jones, another Welshman who’s made the switch from pro gloved boxing, captured the British title with a 58-second knockout of Paul Hilz, and Dan Chapman completed a winning treble for Welsh fighters.

The former Great Britain amateur captured the vacant world bantamweight championship, taking less than two rounds to see off late sub-John Spencer.

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