Gorman had his first bare-knuckle fight at the age of 12.
Gorman came to the attention, in the past, of Muhammed Ali, with whom he once sparred. In fact, Ali was one of his heroes, and Bartley based much of his fighting traits on the boxing skills of 'The Greatest'.
At the age of 28, by which time he was based in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, Gorman won the title of Bareknuckle Champion of Great Britain and Ireland, having beaten rival Jack Fletcher in a fight at a quarry. On St. Leger day in 1976 Gorman, then 32, was ambushed by an armed mob and almost killed. He had turned up expecting to fight a challenger but was set upon by the group, who had reportedly been paid £25,000 to carry out the attack.
Retirement and death
Gorman remained unbeaten until his retirement from boxing in 1992. A documentary about Gorman was made by Shane Meadows in 1995, and Gorman lived in a caravan on grounds that had featured in the documentary. Gorman was building a house in Uttoxeter but died of liver cancer before it was finished. He was 57 years old.
In popular culture
- "Bartley Gorman". The Daily Telegraph. 23 January 2002. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- Anselmi, Eduardo (September 2009). "Bartley Gorman King of the Gypsies". Maxim. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- Moreton, Cole (27 January 2002). "Eyewitness: Last great bare-knuckle champion is laid to rest". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2009-03-02. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- "Bartley Gorman King of the Gypsies". BBC. 5 April 2006. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- Barry, Paul (18 April 2002). "Barenuckle boxer laid bare". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- "The best boxing bouts of all time". Men's Fitness. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- "Gypsy curse on caravan thieves". Sunday Mercury. 2 August 2008. Archived from the original on 2012-08-02. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- "Caravan of 'King of Gipsies' stolen". thisisstaffordshire.co.uk. 4 August 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- Vineyard, Jennifer (17 July 2012). "Tom Hardy explains the inspiration for his Bane voice". Vulture.com. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "This Week's Cover: 'The Dark Knight Rises' headlines our 2012 Summer Movie Preview issue". 11 April 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013.