Scott “The Irish Spartan” O'Shaughnessy doesn’t just fight light-heavyweights in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship Squared Circle. O'Shaughnessy also fights crime in his native Slidell, LA. He spoke with Ed Kapp before taking on Zion Tomlinson at BKFC Fight Night Jackson II on June 11 in Jackson, MS, LIVE on BKTV.
BKFC fans know you for your handiwork in the Squared Circle, but can you please tell me about your career outside of bare knuckle boxing?
I’m a police detective with major crimes. I do homicides, or anything major on a person. I’m also a SWAT Operator. There’s not a ton of murders in Slidell, thank God, so my speciality outside of major crimes is juvenile crimes and juvenile sex crimes. Any time a kid is assaulted by somebody, whether it’s physical or sexual, that’s the kind of guys who I put in jail to keep kids safe in our area.
Is there anything in your day job that compliments your bare knuckle boxing, or vice versa?
Yeah, without question. The last thing that you ever want is for something to get physical, but the kind of person I am, through being a fighter, there’s a confidence that I’m able to handle situations a lot more successfully and quickly, with less force, because I have the ability to implement the skills that I know, and I’ll never get panicked. They both compliment each other. Bare knuckle boxing is a hard thing. It’s definitely a grind. But I’ve been in gunfights and have had people shoot at me to kill me. If I can be in a gunfight with somebody and return fire without fleeing, I know that I can go five, two-minute rounds in the Squared Circle without missing a beat. Both of them really compliment one another when it comes to mindset. I know who I am, no matter what realm that is, and I’ve developed that through training. I’ve used those skills to become a better police officer.
Switching gears, I just spoke with your opponent for June 11 in Jackson, Zion Tomlinson. He said he’s going to finish you in the first round. If he doesn’t stop you in the first, then he says it’ll be stopped very early in the second. What’s your reaction to that?
He’s delusional (laughs). I don’t think he’s seen his last couple fights. That’s not gonna happen.
Zion is one of the BKFC’s youngest fighters. At 22 years old, he’s almost 15 years your junior. What influence will that have on this matchup?
Yeah, I’ve got more mileage on me, but I know exactly who I am as a man and as a fighter, and he’s still figuring it out. He doesn’t know. In his last fight, he took a knee in the fourth round and actually quit. He doesn’t know that part of himself yet. He doesn’t know how to deal with the stress of being in the deep waters where you don’t belong. He felt it for the first time and took a knee, he didn’t want to feel that anymore. That’s not something I have to worry about. I know exactly who I am, I know what I’m representing when I walk to the ring, and I know what’s coming out with me. He’s still figuring some stuff out. He’s young. He’s good, but he’s young. He’s still learning about himself as a fighter as he goes, whereas I’ve already figured that out.
Do you see any shades of a younger version of yourself when you look at Zion?
A little bit. He’s a pressure fighter, and he’s not scared. I don’t see a lot of myself, but I do see a fighter. I see a guy who has what it takes. When I was his age, I wasn’t fighting at the level he is now, so he’s doing well for himself as far as that’s concerned. I just see him as another fighter. It would be nice if I was 6-foot-2 with long arms (laughs), but that’s not what I’m working with.
Have you thought about how much longer you see yourself competing?
I’m going to go until I don’t enjoy it anymore, or until I feel as if I’m not competitive. I’m not going to be one of those guys who hangs on for a paycheck, and takes too much damage. If I see myself as no longer competitive on the scale I’m at now, I’ll hang it up. But I don’t see that happening for a number of years. I’m not ready to hang them up just yet. I’ll be 37 this year, but I’ve got some time left.