Quantity surveyor Connor Tierney eyes bare knuckle boxing award


By day, Connor Tierney is outfitted and started as a quantity surveyor, with hundreds of Birmingham Council properties under his wing.

At night, the businessman is immersed in the brutal and bloody world of bare-knuckle boxing.

Connor, lively and articulate, realizes his full-time profession doesn’t lend itself to a ringside nickname. Opponents won’t be shaking in their boots as the MC yells, “And in the red corner, Connor ‘The Quantity Surveyor’ Tierney.”

On Thursday, Connor told me, “I believe I’m the only quantity meter in bare-knuckle boxing – there’s an exclusive for you guys.”

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In fact, I suspected it. I don’t believe it, I’m absolutely sure.

Still, he is one of the best in this growing sport.

And on March 12, the Weoley Castle father-of-three makes his Big Apple combat debut.



Connor Tierney fighting for the world title in bare knuckle boxing in New York

Connor will take on battle-hardened Jim Alers — a pug who was once set to face bare-knuckle legend Conor McGregor — at the Seneca Allegany Casino in a world welterweight title eliminator.

For Brummie, 27, winner of four out of five gloveless fights, the dream continues.

He recently signed a four-fight $30,000 deal with top American Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. Jim “The Beast” Alers is the first hurdle on Connor’s path to stardom.

“When I’m at work, people look at my crooked nose and ask me if I box,” Connor said. “When I tell them I’m a bare-knuckle fighter, they can’t catch their breath. My parents think I’m crazy, but I’ve been crazy since I was young.

Besides the broken beak, Connor suffered broken hands on his way to the top.



Connor Tierney
Connor Tierney

If he comes up well against Alers – a slab of muscle with characteristics that suggest he’s been repeatedly hit with a shovel – the gain will outweigh the pain.

“As far as the UK fans who have seen me, I’ll be the favourite, but I’ll be the underdog in America,” Connor said.

“He’s the toughest guy I’ve ever fought in my life. He has a reputation for starting fast and blowing people up.

“In America, there’s a lot of interest and media coverage.”

Connor, like so many British bare-knuckle warriors, is a convert to the glove game.

Coached by Pete Williams, he had 25 amateur fights for Birmingham City ABC before taking off. He was prompted to take the plunge by an announcement three years ago.

“It was an eight-man bare-knuckle tournament at the O2,” he recalls. “I had nothing going for me at the time and I needed motivation. I applied for this.

“It was kind of a scary situation. It was very different from what I had done and I was up against a man 10 years my senior.

Connor used footwork and boxing brains to drop his opponent in the first and make the decision. “I stayed true to my pedigree as an amateur boxer,” he explained.

To date, Connor’s career has been intertwined with that of fellow Birmingham fighter James Connolly. There is bad blood – often spilled on the canvas – between the two.



Connor Tierney
Connor Tierney

When they first met, Connor knocked Connolly out of his senses in the premiere with a punch so powerful it shook the ringposts. This short right hand would have pierced the walls of Jericho.

The comeback, with part of the world title on the line, saw Connolly fight valiantly but lose a grueling seven-round decision.
This victory was the stepping stone to much greater things. New York beckons.

Connor is smart enough to realize the risks of being unarmed, but thinks those who wear gloves are chasing a more dangerous dream.

“A gauntlet blow spreads the blow through the brain, causing more concussion,” he claimed.

Additionally, traditional boxers can throw a stream of punches at maximum speed. Bare-handed exponents need to be more frugal as a potential knockout hit can cause serious damage to the hand.

It’s something Connor found out the hard way.

There are no regrets.

“I was asked, many times, to turn pro (in glove boxing) because I have very good boxing skills. But once I found my bare-knuckle feet, I stuck to it. .

“I started on the main stage and I’m on my sixth fight and I’m fighting in New York. I realize my dream. The sport is sanctioned, organizations are growing, promotions are huge.

Nevertheless, Connor envisions a short but lucrative career.

“I want the next two years to be the last two years that I dedicate to the sport,” he added. “A lot of sacrifices have to be made. I’m in camp now, I’m in a bad mood, I’m miserable, I’m losing a lot of weight.

After that, Connor will return to a more ordinary life as a quantity surveyor, someone described by the online encyclopedia Wikipedia as “responsible for managing all contractual and financial aspects of construction projects”.

Connor is currently focused on a destruction project. And he is sure that the wrecking ball will find its target in New York.

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