I really don’t like this, lol. It was a street fight and he won, lol.
An Irish fighter who became an online star after taking on an ‘armed Turkish gang’ could face up to nine years in jail for grievous bodily harm, it has emerged.
Mohammed Dobbous was dubbed the ‘Irish Boxer’ after he was caught on CCTV allegedly downing a series of men during a mass brawl in Istanbul.
Footage appeared to show him punching the mob of shopkeepers and ducking their blows as they attacked him with chairs and wooden poles.
But after the video went viral , Dobbous was arrested by police and charged with assault and GBH over the fight in the Aksaray neighbourhood.
This week, the Kuwaiti-born Irish citizen appeared at the Palace of Justice, where he denied the charges and insisted he was not a boxer at all, ‘just a Mike Tyson fan’.
He also told judges the whole brawl had been a misunderstanding.
Dobbous said he was attacked by a shopkeeper after he apparently broke a fridge while trying to open it to get a bottle of water.
He was then attacked by other men, one of whom tried to stab him in the back, he said.
“When the bottles fell, the man in the shop tried to hit me with a stick,” Dobbous told the court.
“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.”
However, shopkeeper Senol Palan told the court Dobbous had become aggressive after another tourist had been told the shop did not sell alcoholic drinks.
He claimed the accused threatened him and pulled off the fridge door deliberately.
Judges adjourned the case for expert examination of the CCTV footage.
Dobbous became an overnight sensation after the video of the brawl emerged last summer.
Social media users from both Ireland and Turkey hailed him a hero – with one woman even offering her hand in marriage.
He also received free holiday offers from Turkish tourism companies, while several shops started offering ‘free water for Irish tourists’.
And Turkish computer game developers even created a game called ‘Irish Boxer’, in which a character takes on a series of attackers armed with clubs and chairs.
Last year, it was reported that Dobbous had to undergo surgery after suffering a cracked skull, broken arm and broken shoulder blade during the melee.
Turkish news website T24 reporter Kubra Par said she found out that the Irishman had suffered a skull fracture when she called regarding a planned interview.
She said: “We scheduled an interview but we couldn’t meet because he had urgently been rushed to hospital.
“I called his lawyer Gokhan Cindemir to learn about his condition.
“Cindemir confirmed the information and said Dobbous’s skull fracture had only just been noticed.”
Prosecutors have also demanded jail sentences of up to seven years for three shopkeepers allegedly involved in the brawl.
The case continues.