The “Irish Boxer” viral sensation, the man who took on a mob of Turkish shopkeepers in Istanbul in 2015, could face a nine year prison sentence for grievous bodily harm.
Clearly a skilled fighter the accused told the Judge at the Palace of Justice in Istanbul, earlier this week, that he was not a boxer “just a Mike Tyson fan.”
CCTV footage, which raked up well over 2 million views online, showed Mohammed Fadel Dobbous (nicknamed ‘the Irish Boxer’) knocking out the shopkeepers one by one in a street brawl.
The August 2015 video shows, the Irish national Kuwaiti-born, Dobbous attempting to take a bottle of water from the fridge at a corner store in Aksaray. He accidentally knocks over all the bottles. The store owner can be seen confronting Dobbous with a stick. He is then joined by other men holding poles and plastic stools. “The Irish Boxer” evades their attacks while delivering a series of blows.
The skilled fighter was arrested by police and charged with assault and grievous bodily harm but Dobbous claims that the fight had been a misunderstanding. He told a local website hurriyetdailynews.com the shopkeeper had attacked him after he apparently broke the fridge.
Dobbous said “When the bottles fell, the man in the shop tried to hit me with a stick. I grabbed it and threw it away.
“I was confused. Then, others came at me. I don’t remember their faces. One man tried to stab me in the back.
“I knew I would be done if I fell while they were attacking me.”
The shopkeeper Senol Palan said Dobbous started the fight when he became aggressive after hearing that the shop did not sell alcoholic drinks. Speaking to the Daily Sabah Palan said Dobbous had threatened him and deliberately pulled the door off the fridge.
Prosecutors have demanded a prison sentence, from five to seven years, for the three shopkeepers allegedly involved in the brawl.
The case has been adjourned while experts examine the CCTV footage.
When the video was first released online Dobbous was praised, in Ireland and Turkey, as a hero. He was offered free holidays from Turkish tourism companies and even received a marriage proposal. He was even honored with a Turkish video game called “The Irish Boxer.” Some stores in Turkey even hung signs offering “free water for Irish tourists.”