Jeff Houston’s booming voice sets the stage. He fills his lungs with air before belting out his famous catch phrase for all to hear, “IT’S TIME TO KNUCKLE UP!” and the crowd goes wild. If you’re hearing “Mr. Live Worldwide” on your tv it can only mean one thing – you’re about to watch some bare knuckle boxing on Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship!
Bare knuckle boxing is quickly becoming the hottest ticket for fight fans. While many fighters are choosing to leave MMA and traditional boxing behind, they’re heading back into the “squared circle” for some bare-knuckle excitement! This (not new) and improved version of the sport is reviving hand-to hand-combat with exciting live and televised events, fun merchandise, hot sponsors, and plenty of blood! Are YOU ready to knuckle up?
What Is Bare Knuckle Boxing?
As we mentioned, this popular style of fighting is not new. In fact, it’s one of the original forms of fighting that dates back centuries. The first bare-knuckle champion, James Figg, won the title back in 1719.
This isn’t just a popular U.S. sport. The American promotion is Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, or BKFC. In Russia, it’s Top Dog Fighting Championship, and in the U.K. it’s Ultimate Bare-Knuckle Boxing.
While traditional boxing with gloves on and bare-knuckle boxing have similarities, there are some differences. Fighters don’t wear any gloves, but they do use hand wraps to give them a little bit of protection against breaking a wrist, because where’s the fun in that experience?
Meet The BKFC
The BKFC is the “first promotion allowed to hold a legal, sanctioned, and regulated bare knuckle event in the United States since 1889,” according to their website.
Based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the BKFC is dedicated to preserving the historical legacy of bare-knuckle fighting, while also following a specific rule set to keep fighters safe.
Only established professional fighters in boxing, kickboxing, MMA or Muay Thai are allowed to compete. Referees and judges are also required to have an extensive history in combat sports. While many bare-knuckle fight organizations require wraps, tape and gauze, BKFC fighters are not allowed to wrap their hands to within one inch of the knuckle. “This makes BKFC unquestionably the truest form of bare knuckle fighting,” the website explained.
Of course, as with any sport, there are some rules fighters need to follow. There’s not many for bare knuckle boxing, but there are some important ones. The rules for the sport are listed on the BKFC website.
“Punches are the only strike allowed and must be a closed fist. (No kicks, elbows, knees, or grappling). In a clinch, the fighter may punch his way out with the open hand. If there is a three-second lull in action while clinching, the referee will break the fighters,” the website reads.
“If a fighter gets knocked down, he will have 10 seconds to return to his feet, or the referee will stop the fight. You are NOT permitted to hit a downed fighter. If you do you will be disqualified, and your purse may be withheld. While a fighter is downed, the other fighter will be instructed to report to a neutral area.”
The rules continue to explain that if a fighter is cut and the blood is impairing the fighter’s vision, the referee may call a timeout that gives the cut man 30 seconds to stop the bleeding. “If the cut cannot be controlled and the blood inhibits the fighter’s vision, the referee will stop the fight and award victory to the other fighter.”
Fights are two minutes per round, with each bout being five rounds in length. While there are no gloves, there are some safety other requirements. Fighters must wear a groin protector, boxing trunks, mouthpiece and boxing or wrestling shoes.
The Next Championship Fight Is Scheduled For September 22
The BKFC 50 Cruiserweight Championship takes place on September 22 in Denver, Colorado. The match is between Chris Camozzi and Lorenzo Hunt, also known as the Juggernaut. More information about each fighter can be found on the website, as well as their Instagram pages.
Hunt’s Instagram bio reads, “Most wins in BKFC history most dominant bareknuckle fighter in the world.” Camozzi’s reads, “Prize Fighter, BJJ Blackbelt, UFC Vet.”
Fight fans are excited about this matchup. At quick glance of the comment section, it appears it’s a mixed bag of Camozzi fans and Hunt fans.
“Hunt is now the hunted,” one fan wrote. Another said, “Gonna be a banger Jugg should have a easy night though 💪🏽 better not go the distance. 😂”
The BKFC has an app that fight fans can subscribe to for $7.99 a month to watch live events on TV and mobile devices.