It's no secret that boxing is in Tyson Fury's blood. The Manchester-born heavyweight comes from a line of bareknuckle fighters and can count several professional boxers among his cousins.

However, his family ties to the sport go deeper still and even the Gypsy King, who shocked fans by outpointing Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, would struggle to match the fighting prowess of one of his most notorious relatives.

Following his Klitschko victory in Dusseldorf, Fury revealed that he owes his famous moniker to a distant family member - the late bare-knuckle boxer, Bartley Gorman, self-proclaimed 'King of the Gypsies'.

The battle-scarred fighter sadly passed away in 2002, but in his prime he was unstoppable, fighting at camp sites, horse fairs and once even down a mineshaft. He is still generally regarded as the greatest modern bare-knuckle boxer.

The fifth in a line of Bartley Gormans, he started fighting at the age of 10, going on to claim the King of the Gypsies title in 1972. He remained unbeaten for 25 years straight.

In a short documentary directed by Shane Meadows, the Staffordshire scrapper described himself as the 'the most dangerous unarmed man on the planet', adding that he would never fight a normal man, as he would be liable to kill him with just a single punch.

Gorman's crown brought its fair share of trouble, as the holder is duty bound to fight every boxer that challenges him. Gorman reportedly stayed true to this and never turned down a brawl.

Traditionally, a challenger was supposed to knock on the door of the King's trailer before dawn for a fight, but in reality, many tried to take Gorman by surprise in pubs and at the races.

The champion of Yorkshire ambushed him at Doncaster with a gang, all carrying iron bars and tried to kill him. He was badly beaten and some claim he was in a coma for a year, but he later returned and challenged all comers again.

Gorman's most ferocious opponent was known as the Staffordshire Wolf Man, who allegedly bit the champ's face and wouldn't let go. However, Gorman bit back and eventually won the fight.

Separating fact from fiction can be a tricky task when it comes to the shadowy world of illegal fighting, but It has even been alleged that the King of the Gypsies secretly sparred with Muhammad Ali when The Greatest visited Birmingham in the mid-eighties.

Standing at 6' 1" tall and weighing in at 15 stone, Gorman wasn't the biggest man at a lot of fights, but that didn't stop him from putting much larger blokes on the floor.

Among the many who lost to him were stars of the underground fight scene including, Lenny McLean and Roy 'Pretty Boy' Shaw.

As he grew older, Gorman mellowed out but still managed to cause trouble with animal rights campaigners when he invited Tony Blair and the Prince of Wales to a hedgehog barbecue. They declined the offer.

Peter Walsh, who helped Gorman compile his book shortly before he died of liver cancer, said: "He was a unique man, a one-off. He was a lovely man with a wicked sense of humour but a streak of melancholy that never left him."

Featured Image Credit: PA

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