Comedian Ricky Gervais goes to battle in bloody boxing match
As unlikely as it may seem, famous comedian Ricky Gervais once fought in a boxing match watched by five million viewers on national TV in the UK.
Gervais, who was 41-years-old at the time, was starring on a BBC show called ‘The Fight,’ which saw him being trained to fight in a boxing match for charity against minor UK celebrity, Grant Bovey.
At the time, Gervais had become a sensation in the UK after writing and starring in the hugely successful TV show, ‘The Office’, which was hailed as one of best comedy shows of all-time and would later be successfully remade for the U.S market with Steve Carell in the lead role.
Given all the opportunities that came his way as a result of that, becoming a boxer might seem like a strange path to have chosen next.
However, as a self-confessed boxing fanatic, it was a dream come true for Gervais.
For his boxing debut, Gervais trained out of the famous ‘Fight Factory’ gym in London under the supervision of Frank Maloney, the UK boxing promoter who had managed former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis’ career.
Gervais admitted he was “the most unfit I’ve ever been in my life” prior to accepting the fight, coming into the contest at a portly 187lbs, while Bovey weighed a lean, athletic 163lbs and also had a height and reach advantage.
What Gervais lacked in technique he made up for with gritty determination and a willingness to trade blows at close range during the three-round brawl, which left both fighters bloodied and exhausted.
It was then down the judges to declare a winner, and it was Gervais who would earn the split decision victory.
Nowadays Gervais is an international star, but he’s continued to work with a boxing coach on a regular basis, and over a decade later UK heavyweight boxing star David Haye praised the comedian’s developing skills after training with him, stating that, “He is good enough to a have a boxing match. I’m 100% serious.
”Don’t ever mess with that guy!”