Wayne Barker: Born to Fight
The Extraordinary Story of a Bare-Knuckle Boxer
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From Salford to St Louis, former professional boxer Wayne Barker fought every man who ever challenged him. In this brutally honest account of his eventful life, Wayne recounts how his parents left him in the care of the travelling community, where he learned to fight and journeyed throughout Britain and Ireland to take on opponents for cash.
After being charged with attempting to murder a child killer, Wayne fled to America, where he found work in the gymnasiums of New York sparring with the likes of world champion Wilfred Benítez. His ability in the ring was noticed by promoter Bobby Gleason, whose gym had been graced by legendary boxers such as Jake LaMotta. Gleason set up a fight in Caracas between Wayne and former super middleweight world champion Fulgencio Obelmejias ('Fully Obel').
Wayne’s past eventually caught up with him and he was deported to Britain, where he served time in prison. He returned to the streets to earn a living from bare-knuckle fighting, before becoming a trainer and running a gym. Cancer claimed his life in 2012.
- Mainstream Publishing, July 2013
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