Cork’s viral Muay Thai sensation Robby Drought to fight bare knuckle boxing
When Robby Drought was a teenager his teachers in Cork laughed when he said he wanted to become a professional fighter.
Coincidentally, he went to the same school as Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, someone who remains a close friend after the pair grew up in boxing gyms together.
Robby is now 34 and is dreaming of bringing home a belt to his six-year-old son, Killian, who is the same age as his dad was when he started boxing.
However, in February of last year, Robby, a quietly spoken bricklayer, made headlines for his outrageous Muay Thai skills.
The dramatic TKO of Mark Frazer at the Neptune Stadium (February 3, 2018) was so unexpected it inspired reaction from all over the world.
You can relive the moment here.
“Everyone said it would never work,” Robby, who had practiced the move in training, told Fightstore Media.
“It happened out of nowhere and it was instinct. I saw a couple of clips before Fightstore Media released it but I didn’t think it would get so much publicity.”
The TKO, which came from being swept, was soon broadcast on Fox Sports, ESPN and Sports Center.
“My Facebook was blowing up constantly,” Robby said. “I was very proud and amazed. To me it was never anything extraordinary.
“I felt like a celebrity.”
Robby could soon enter the news cycle again after agreeing a Bare Knuckle Boxing debut in London’s 02 Arena on September 14.
He said the sport has given him a “new lease of life” and believes he will feel comfortable returning to his boxing roots.
Robby boxed from the age of six to 17 and had 10 amateur fights before he went on to have 12 Muay Thai bouts and one K1 scrap.
“I know it’s bare knuckle and people say you can get hurt,” Robby said. “But Thai is just as bad. You can get kneed and elbowed but boxing is just boxing, and the rounds are shorter.
“People think I’m crazy but I’m not.”
However, Robby admits he hasn’t told the whole truth to one person in particular.
“I don’t think my mam knows it’s bare knuckle yet,” he laughed. “I didn’t say it was bare knuckle but mam and dad are always behind me 100 per cent.”
The same goes for his fiancé Lisa, who Robby described as his rock and someone who keeps pushing him.
Robby, who works full-time, leads a busy life and has a six-year-old boy and two-year-old girl.
“I told Killian I want to be a champion and he’s waiting on me to come home with a belt,” Robby said.
“After my last fight he was asking where the belt was.”
Robby praised his Muay Thai club, Siam Warriors Cork, for its continued support.
“Siam Warriors are behind me all the way and Martin Horgan is too. They are all wishing me luck.”
In order to guarantee a place on the show, Robby is in need of backing.
Owner of Bare Knuckle Boxing, Jim Freeman, has told Robby he needs to sell 40 tickets priced at £40.
“If it was in Cork it would be a lot easier,” the fighter said. “People don’t have the money to travel over.
“If I am able to get some sponsorship it would be much appreciated. It has all happened so fast, it was only last week I sent Jim the message and now I’m on the show and selling tickets.”
Robby is not ruling out to a return to Muay Thai and said he just wants to give his children a belt, whatever the sport.
“The ultimate goal is to now become a champion,” he said. “And I would obviously take the money too.”
He added: “Something has drawn me to bare knuckle and I can’t explain it. I love the art of fighting in a ring.
“I am very quiet outside it but inside I have a competitiveness in me. I’m the only person doing this from Cork, so I should have a huge following.”
Fightstore Media wishes Robby every success in his new journey.