Untold story of ‘Britain’s most dangerous man’: how Mark ‘The Ripper’ Ripley took on 20 men in one afternoon and gave legendary boxer Bartley Gorman his ‘toughest fight’
A boxer dubbed “Britain’s most dangerous man” is said to have beaten 20 men in one afternoon and also to have given Bartley Gorman the “toughest fight” of his career.
Mark ‘The Ripper’ Ripley, from Kent, became one of the UK’s ‘most respected and feared fighters’ before his death at the age of 34 in 1982.
In his 2002 biography King of the Gypsies, undefeated bareknuckle champion Bartley Gorman described how Mark would easily “fight 100 men” and “never back down.”
The Irish traveler described his first interaction with ‘The Ripper’ and said he was also part of the ‘new generation’ of fighters in the late 1960s.
Bartley explained, “I fought Mark Ripley in Kent in the late 1960s. He was a few years younger than me, but completely fearless and by the 1970s he was known as a man to avoid.’
Mark ‘The Ripper’ Ripley (pictured) died in 1982 at the age of 34 after an alleged domestic dispute
The pair first fought each other in a car park in Kent. Although Bartley was victorious, he later described Mark as “the toughest man he ever saw.”
He added, “I do know that in a street fight, Ripley would have eaten most men alive.”
In his 2011 memoir On The Cobbles, Gypsy boxer Jimmy Stockin explained how feared Mark was in his community.
He explained, “He was equally respected and feared by gypsies and gorges.”
In addition, Mark’s niece Rosie Smith described Mark as a “Gypsy man known for being very, very wary.”
She added, “He would never back down.”
Before his untimely death, Mark reportedly faced 20 men in his area after his beloved dog went missing.
In his latest YouTube video, British boxer Matt Legg shared Mark’s story with his 24,900 subscribers.
Mark Ripley pictured with his niece Rosie Smith. The boxer’s relationship says her uncle was a ‘gypsy man who was known to be very wary’
Undated photo of Mark Ripley before his death. He allegedly fought 20 men in one day because of his missing dog
Undefeated bareknuckle boxing champion Bartley Gorman recalled his interactions with Mark Ripley in his 2002 biography
Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (pictured in October 2022) is a distant relative of Mark’s colleague Bartley Gorman
Matt explained the alleged incident in detail: “(Mark) said, ‘If I don’t get my dog back by the time I get back from the store with my wife, then there’s going to be trouble.’
“Apparently he went to the store and by the time he got back the dog was back.”
However, Mark’s boxing career was cut short when he was reportedly killed in a domestic dispute.
Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is a distant relative of Mark’s colleague Bartley Gorman.
Tyson’s traveler heritage is something he’s proud of (his Twitter name is Gipsy King).
“I’m proud of what I am,” said Fury in 2015. “I’ll tell you what makes a traveler: you are born, as you are born black. It doesn’t matter to me whether I live in a house, a caravan or a tent.’