Last week I interviewed Steve “Sandman” Dunn as he has been preparing to step in the cage for the 9th time as a pro. You might say that this fight camp isn’t the typical fight camp hat you’re used to hearing about since Steve’s fight camp actually started while he was serving his 30 month sentence for conspiring to sell OxyContin. Steve spent most his free time either reading or training on the rec. deck. His training regimen consisted of push-ups, crunches, pull-ups, and shadow boxing. For obvious reasons he wasn’t able to get any sparring in but he has now been out for 9 months and has been getting plenty of training in.
Not everything to do with Steve’s prison sentence was surrounded by negativity. He told me that the minute you can admit that you’re guilty is the minute you can start moving on. While inside Steve decided to also give back and volunteered as a part of the “Scared straight program” helping troubled youth Turn their ways around by showing them what it would be like to live in prison.
It may come as a surprise that in this day in age that Prisons are still racially segregated. Steve only got into one altercation while in prison. He explained that there was a white TV, black TV, and a Hispanic TV.
Steve only got into 1 altercation while inside and it came down to one of those TV’s. Not the racial aspect but one Sunday when one of the football games came on, the cell block bully announced that they were going to be watching a car show instead of the game. Steve stood up for all of the guys sitting there patiently waiting for the game to come on. So the bully told Steve to “lace up” (throw your shoes on to fight). He followed Steve back to his cell and waited for him to throw his shoes on. Steve was pretty much cornered and his only move was forward so that’s what he did. He saidn he threw the first punch and then about the next 30. All along the while with the bully begging “Steve stop Steve please.” He said it was well worth his time in the hole for throwing the first punch because he gained even more respect and he actually got on the guards good side too because the bully was such an asshole. The CO’s were watching Steve’s fights on YouTube and actually one of the COs was actually on the same fight cards as Steve early in his career. I asked Steve if his “Irish Power” tattoo had gotten him in any trouble. He said it had gotten some remarks but once explained that he is just very proud to be Irish the chatter ceased. I had to ask if he had gotten any new ink while inside and said he was too afraid of hepatitis which was smart with the blood tests that are performed now for your license.
One reason why you have to love this guy and the reason why I titled this article the way I did is because he is one of the realest dudes around. I asked him if there were any questions he wouldn’t answer. He said Hell NO. He also won’t make any excuses for what he did. In his words he was just trying to provide for family and wasn’t doing anything that CVS doesn’t do. I also asked if there was anything that he wanted to clear the air about. He said he didn’t care what people thought of him but also that he felt bad he was giving the sport a bad name and I truly could hear the concern of guilt in his voice. I could also tell how hungry he is for this next fight and wants a KO bad. He always used his wrestling and always puts on a show but this time he wants to let his hands fly and give his fans the KO that they would love to see. At the age of 50 Steve hopes to enter the cage 3 or 4 more times before retiring and if anyone has the heart to do it it’s certainly this guy.
Not that his life was a mess but he has certainly made a 180. Steve now has a full-time job at route 106 motors, He still reads and spends the rest of his free time with his daughter or at Capiello’s boxing gym. He is looking for that KO and wants to add boxing to his wrestling skills. He also told me that when he does retire he would like to begin the belt process in Gi Jui jitsu, possibly working with John Clarke at Broadway Jui Jitsu.
I asked Steve besides his daughter what did he miss the most while being locked up. He said his dog Bugsy and I am sorry to say that Bugsy has recently passed away. Steve said his girl knew where he was and his daughter knew where he was but he felt bad that his dog never knew the only thing she knew was her best friend was gone. He did say though that on his Facebook and YouTube page there is a video of Bugsy greeting him the day he came home from serving his time.
Steve’s fight for Blockbuster MMA has been moved to June 25th outside @ the Brockton Rox stadium. He also wanted to say thanks to Suckerpunch Athletics. one of his longtime sponsors. I gave him the opportunity to call out anyone he wants and he declined. He said he’s bigger than that and that it’s not his style.