Meghan Markle’s estranged half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. revealed he is forging a full-time career as a celebrity boxer and will fight baseball legend Jose Canseco next.
Markle, 53, who shares the same father, 74-year-old Thomas Markle Sr., with Duchess of Sussex Meghan, was crowned celebrity boxing champion on Saturday.
Calling himself Thomas ‘The Duke’ Markle Jr., he beat boxing radio host Tim Kudgis, 34 in front of a crowd of 400 people at the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City, NJ.
Markle had dedicated the fight to 37-year-old Meghan, married to Prince Harry, and also to Meghan’s first child Archie, born on May 6.
He told DailyMailTV after the fight that he desperately wants to reunite with his estranged half-sister and meet his nephew, hoping this will happen by Archie’s first birthday.
He said: ‘Meghan, remember you have a brother and a family in the United States. I’m looking forward to seeing you again someday.’
DailyMailTV can reveal plans are now underway for Markle to go into the ring to fight former Oakland A’s slugger Canseco, 54, a two-time World Series champion.
Markle hopes he will earn a living as a celebrity boxer while also helping to raise money for charity. His fight against Kadgis raised $1,000 for veterans group Wounded Warrior Project.
Thomas ‘The Duke’ Markle Jr. (pictured with baseball cap-wearing fight promoter Damon Feldman) is awarded the belt after his opponent was disqualified on Saturday in Atlantic City
Markle had dedicated the fight to his sister Meghan and nephew Archie (pictured with Prince Harry) and said he desperately wants to reunite with his sister
Celebrity boxing promoter Damon Feldman, who organized Markle’s fight with Kudgis, told DailyMailTV he is arranging the Canseco match for either August or October.
Feldman admitted to DailyMailTV he had not initially been confident of heavy-smoker Markle’s success against Kudgis but now believes Markle could have a great career if he adheres to a tough fitness regime.
Feldman said: ‘At first I wasn’t too happy about the shape he was in but with some training he could make a name for himself in this business. He has potential.’
Markle spoke with DailyMailTV after the fight and said he was ready to earn a living from boxing more celebrity fighters.
He said: ‘I now know what to expect when I get back into the ring. I think I did pretty good for my first time.’
And Feldman believes Canseco, who gained infamy when he admitted to using steroids during his baseball career, will be the perfect opponent for Markle.
He said: ‘I’m going to see if they can be on the card for my next Celebrity Boxing match on August 17th in Atlantic City or in October in Los Angeles.
‘Jose is in shape, if Thomas actually trains I think it would be a great match,’ continued Feldman.
Philadelphia-based boxing promoter Feldman is known as the ’16-minute man’ for giving headline-makers their 16th minute of fame in the boxing ring through his Celebrity Boxing events.
Retired Oakland A’s baseball star Jose Canseco, pictured at the height of his career in 1997, will be fighting Thomas Markle Jr. later this year in a celebrity boxing match
Former Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale, center, holds up Jose Canseco’s arm as they stand alongside Canseco’s competitor Danny Bonaduce at a January 2009 celebrity boxing match. Judges ruled the fight a draw
Canseco, who retired from baseball in 2002, fought former child star Danny Bonaduce in a boxing match organized by Feldman in 2009. It ended in a draw.
Markle won his debut on Saturday when Kudgis was disqualified for twice hitting him in the groin.
Markle was originally scheduled to fight Henry ‘Nacho’ Laun, a childhood friend of actor Mark Wahlberg, but the night before the fight he was replaced by Kudgis.
The 6’ 3” Markle weighed in at 261 lbs while Kudgis topped the scales at 222lbs.
The fight was scheduled for three one-minute rounds, but Markle was declared the winner midway through the second round after Kudgis was disqualified.
Kudgis had been given a warning the first time he hit Markle below the the belt but was disqualified when he hit Markle a second time in the groin, forcing markle to the ground.
Markle said ‘the first time he hit me in the groin I didn’t really feel it, but that second time he hit me I felt it, it took my breath away.’
Between the first and second round medical personnel had come over to Markel’s corner as he appeared to be fighting for breath. He told them he was still fit to fight.
Markle explained to DailyMail.com he was getting his ‘bearings in the first round. I’m new to the ring. I think I did pretty good for a 53-year old.
‘I was having problems with my head gear that restricted my breathing, but I’m new to this. I’ll be ready for the next one.’
Markle said he had considered dropping out of the fight earlier in the week because he was feeling unwell from joint pain but said the aches were lessened through Diamond CBD gummy bears which he was taking.
Radio host Tim Kudgis (left) filled in at the last minute, agreeing to fight Markle (right) in the charity benefit bout
Thomas Markle Jr (blue shorts) fights against Tim Kudgis in a celebrity boxing match held at the Showboat Casino
Markle (blue shorts) reacts as Kudgis throws a punch during their fight on Saturday at Atlantic City
Markle, 53, struggles to regain his footing during the bout, after calling for paramedics in between rounds
For his fight against Canseco, Markle will have to heed promoter Feldman’s advice and begin training hard.
When asked if he trained for the Kudgis fight, Markle told DailyMail.com: ‘I’ve been training 50 years for this’ as he held a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
After the Kudgis fight, Markle spoke proudly of Thomas Markle Sr. and said he had recently been in contact with the 74-year-old, saying ‘he’s doing great.’
Markle also denied reports he was homeless, explaining he had just spent several weeks in a hotel before he moved into his new home in Grants Pass, Oregon.
He said: “Where I live, it’s hard to find a place.’
The 6’ 3” Markle weighed in at 261 lbs while his opponent, Kudgis toped the scales at 222lbs.
The fight was scheduled for three one-minute rounds, but the 53-year old brother of the Duchess of Sussex was declared the winner midway through the second round after his opponent was disqualified for hitting him below the belt in the groin area on two occasions.
The first time Markle’s opponent hit him in the groin area he was given a warning then seconds later he was hit again below the belt, this time he went down on the canvas.
Happy Days! Baby Meghan Markle sits on father Thomas Markle Sr.’s lap as her half-sister Samantha Markle and half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. enjoy the family meal behind her
The referee immediately disqualified Kudgis and declared Markle the winner. Markle said ‘the first time he hit me in the groin I didn’t really feel it, but that second time he hit me I felt it, it took my breath away’.
During the first round Markle appeared winded. Medical personal came over to his corner after the round and asked him if he was OK. He told them he was.
Markle said he was getting his ‘bearings in the first round.’
‘I’m new to the ring. I think I did pretty good for a 53-year old. I was having problems with my head gear that restricted my breathing, but I’m new to this. I’ll be ready for the next one,’ he said.
He said he is ready to do it again and will give his opponent a rematch.
Markle said he was thinking about dropping out of the fight a few days earlier because he wasn’t feeling well, he had some joint pain and had been battling the flu for the past few months, but changed his mind after taking some CBD gummy bears.
Fight promoter Damon Feldman told DailyMailTV that Markle wanted to quit the boxing match after the first round because he was winded and felt like he couldn’t go on.
Feldman said that ‘Markle had to be coaxed to continue with the fight, he was gassed, he wasn’t in shape to fight.’
The night before the fight Markle jokingly told DailyMailTV, when he was asked if he trained hard for his fight, ‘I’ve been training 50 years for this’ as he held a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
Markle said he was happy with the win and couldn’t wait to celebrate at the after-party.