Bernard O'Mahoney

Wayne Barker: Born to Fight
  • Wayne Barker: Born to Fight

  • 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.

Bernard O'Mahoney served in the army for three years and saw a tour of duty in Northern Ireland (described in his book Soldier of the Queen). He then travelled extensively and worked in the building and security industries. Renouncing a criminal past, he wrote about his experiences of the dark side of the nightclub world in the bestselling Essex Boys: A Terrifying Expos of the British Drugs Scene and has written numerous true-crime titles.


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