MORE than 700 people flocked to Worcester Racecourse to watch bouts of bare-knuckle boxing.

An open-air bare-knuckle boxing event, The Gloves Are Off (TGAO), returned to Pitchcroft Racecourse for the first time since 1824.

Back then, more than 40,000 people gathered to watch the fights in the city - although there were reports of numerous injuries to spectators.

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Organiser, Shaun Seery said: “It was the first-time open-air boxing and bare-knuckle boxing came back to Worcester Pitchcroft Racecourse since 1824. The attendance was amazing considering the bad weather and it was still our best and biggest show to date. The crowd didn’t let it dampen their spirits.

“Our fight promotion is forever growing and we’re always looking to make our shows bigger in every way possible.”

Worcester’s Robbie Patrick fought Lewis McIver, also from Worcester, and won TGAO heavyweight area title after medics stopped the fight in the fifth round.

Robbie Patrick said: “I got given the opportunity to fight for the heavyweight belt by beating a tough opponent last year on TGAO5. It was amazing knowing all the hard work, the training with 109 Boxing Club and the sacrifices have paid off. The best feeling was knowing I have made my family and especially my three kids proud. The atmosphere on the day was amazing. Despite the rain everyone was going crazy and really getting into it and enjoying themselves. Once again the organisers of the event pulled off an amazing show that I am proud to be a part of.”

Luke Langham, from Worcester, won with a knockout in the first round against Peter Mulvey.

Mr Seery added: “Unfortunately Worcester’s Daniel Davies lost his bare-knuckle boxing bout against Australian fighter, Ash Byrne. However, it was fight of the night and Daniel showed true lion heart, he wanted to carry on fighting, but doctors and medics deemed it unsafe to carry on.”

Women took part in the bouts for the first time, as Bethany Trueman, from Worcester took on a Swedish fighter, called Mathilda Laqundavist,

There were five bare knuckle boxing bouts, a kickboxing fight and eight boxing bouts at the racecourse in Grand Stand Road on Saturday, July 27. Another TGAO event will be held at Perdiswell Leisure Centre on November 16.