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Fr Pierre swaps dog collar for gloves and is named king of the ring

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Fr Pierre Pepper warms up before his amateur boxing match in the town of Banagher, Co Offaly. Photo: Reuters

Fr Pierre Pepper warms up before his amateur boxing match in the town of Banagher, Co Offaly. Photo: Reuters

REUTERS

Fr Pierre Pepper is carried aloft after defeating Jared Madden during his amateur boxing match. Photo: PA

Fr Pierre Pepper is carried aloft after defeating Jared Madden during his amateur boxing match. Photo: PA

REUTERS

Fr Pierre Pepper prays in St Rynagh's church. Photo: PA

Fr Pierre Pepper prays in St Rynagh's church. Photo: PA

REUTERS

Fr Pierre Pepper turns over a tractor tyre during training. Photo: PA

Fr Pierre Pepper turns over a tractor tyre during training. Photo: PA

REUTERS

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Fr Pierre Pepper warms up before his amateur boxing match in the town of Banagher, Co Offaly. Photo: Reuters

He may be a man of the cloth, but Fr Pierre 'Jalapeno' Pepper became the king of the ring when he was victorious in a white-collar boxing match at the weekend.

The priest, who is based in Banagher, Co Offaly, easily defeated his opponent Jared 'Artful Dodger' Madden in the charity fundraising event 'St Patrick's Weekend Punch Up' on Saturday night.

Fr Pepper (47) captured the country's attention when he responded to a viral video from Jared Madden, who was "calling him out of the church" to meet him in the ring.

And, the Wexford-born priest responded through an equally hilarious video which received hundreds of hits online, as he promised his opponent there would "no place to hide" and that he would need make-up "to cover the mess that I am going to make of you".

Fr Pepper spent two months intensely training for the event and when he made his debut in the ring, he walked away as the champion.

Thirty men and women participated in the event, which was held at JJ Houghs pub on Saturday and the showdown between Fr Pepper and the 'Artful Dodger' was billed as the second main fight of the night.

However, Fr Pepper's boxing intentions were good natured as all funds raised from the event will go to local groups, St Vincent De Paul and the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association.

Irish Independent