News

Sons of bare-knuckle legends prepare for bruising showdown

NewsBy Eamon Dillon
Joe Joyce junior
Joe Joyce junior

THE sons of two infamous bare-knuckle fighters are set to clash after a series of trash-talk videos posted on social media.

Joe Joyce junior and Simon McGinley, whose fathers have fought three times in the past, are now due to face each other in early October.

Simon McGinley

The pair have swapped a series of video clips online, each accusing the other of cowardice and trying to avoid the fight.

The McGinley clan has said the fight is due to take place in the south Armagh town of Crossmaglen, where Simon’s father Aney famously fought Dan Rooney 26 years ago.

However, Joe Joyce claims that Simon McGinley and his brother Trevor have refused to live up to promises to fight him.

In one clip Joyce stands in Dublin Airport to let the McGinleys know he is on the way to London.

He then posts another clip in front of a road sign near Redburn and says: “Don’t be hiding or else go and get your nappy changed.”

“You’re not man enough to go out the road,” he taunts.

McGinley answers in his own video that the agreement is to fight in Crossmaglen and to stop wasting his time travelling to the U.K.

“Whatever’s going on in your brain, it’s f**ked up,” he adds.

The two fighters are following in the footsteps of their fathers, who have swapped punches as well as angry words.

Joyce’s father ‘Big Joe’ also fought Dan Rooney, who is widely regarded as one the top bare-knuckle fighters of his generation.

Rooney and Aney McGinley’s fight in 1990 was one of the first to be widely circulated on video tape.

Joe Joyce

The practice of posting trash-talking videos online has sprung up in recent years as a way of goading rival fighters into action.

However, the videos have got a number of people in trouble, with one group prosecuted for making threats online that went too far. When travellers based in Longford and Athlone went too far with insults posted on YouTube they ended up in court.

Sixteen travellers were warned by a judge that they had to stop organising and training for bare-knuckle fights if they wanted to stay out of jail.

The Sunday World later revealed how the planned fights went ahead anyway.

Joe 'The Hulk' Joyce

The videos have also attracted a wider audience, clocking up a huge number of views, as well as inspiring parody versions.

One mercilessly mocks a man’s accent with spoof subtitles.

And Irish boxing’s best-known joker Paddy Barnes was at the centre of a ‘Belfast Boys’ clip in which they urged the Joyces to take them on.

The videos of the brutal fights have also made minor celebrities out of bare-knuckle boxers such as James Quinn-McDonagh and Paddy Doherty.

Jo Joyce and Michael Nevin

The British public fell in love with Doherty’s charm and disarming honesty about his violent past when they voted him winner of Celebrity Big Brother in 2011.

James Quinn-McDonagh, like Paddy, enjoyed some appearances on mainstream TV and appeared on RTE’s Saturday Night show.

That came ahead of the TV premiere of Knuckle, a feature-length documentary following James and his brother Mikey over a decade of bare-knuckle fights.