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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Richard Dunn, the last Brit boxer to fight Ali, opens Cumbrian pub

The last British boxer to fight Muhammad Ali proved a right knock-out as he opened his cousin’s new pub.

Greyhound pub opening photo
Barry Shaw, left, with his cousin Richard Dunn

Richard Dunn paid a visit to Cumbria this weekend when he attended the re-opening of The Greyhound at Bothel.

His cousin, Barry Shaw, has taken it over.

Mr Dunn, 67, who is originally from Halifax but now lives in Scarborough, was in the bar on Friday and Saturday nights to meet the hundreds of people who turned out. He was impressed with what he saw.

He said: “It was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. The pub is well placed and the people were really lovely.”

Mr Dunn fought Ali in Munich in 1977.

He was knocked out in the fifth round.

This was the last time Ali knocked out another fighter in his professional career.

He retired from boxing the following year after two more defeats and worked as a scaffolder until he retired.

In honour of the guest, the Ali-Dunn fight was shown in a continuous loop in the pub.

More than 300 people came to see him and talk about the bout.

Mr Dunn said the most common question is if he thought he could have won the fight.

“Of course I did, I wouldn’t have got in the ring otherwise,” he said.

He also said it was hard for him to watch the fight, joking: “I know what happened next.”

People from Bothel and the surrounding area all headed to the pub reopening.

Mr Shaw held a collection for the Maryport Amateur Boxing Club, and the Animal Concern West Cumbria branch.

Around £7,000 was raised.

Mr Shaw, 64, said: “It went brilliantly, people were coming from everywhere.”

He has hired a new chef and hopes to start new pub teams.

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