Welcome To Hell: The Brutal Underground World Of Bareknuckle Boxing

A bareknuckle boxer rests between training rounds. Image source: Getty Images…

The 300-year-old art of bareknuckle boxing is back. Although it’s again legal in the United States, the situation with bareknuckle boxing in the UK is vastly different…

Bareknuckle boxing is the original form of boxing. Before rules and regulations were imposed, BKB was the primary form of pugilism. Classic bareknuckle boxing actually included throws, head butts, kicks and chokes.

When the Marquess of Queensbury rules were introduced in the late 1800’s, the sport of BKB essentially died a death. Organized bareknuckle boxing events ground to a halt as gloved combat took over.

The United States of America saw a tribal land sanctioned bout in 2011, aside from that everything was an underground event. Although Bareknuckle Fighting Championships has again revived BKB in America recently, elsewhere in the world the form of fighting remains either illegal or a grey area.

bareknuckle-boxing rules
Two tattooed warriors trade punches in the ring. The backdrop is a dark, dimly lit arena where fans cheer their fighters on. Image credits: Getty images

Bareknuckle Boxing Video Footage Below

Certainly, in the UK and Ireland, bareknuckle boxing remains illegal or possible through loopholes in the law. Similar to a scene from the movie ‘Snatch,’ competitors spray each other’s blood onto spectators as they trade punches with thinly wrapped hands.

Although the old techniques like headbutts and kicks are long in the past, the noble art of pounding the opponent into unconsciousness or calling mercy still exists. Needless to say, few men in this testosterone-fueled sport will give up.

Watch this video of a double knockdown followed by a savage KO at a recent bareknuckle event:

The Story

According to one of the leading promotions in the UK, ‘Ultimate Bareknuckle Boxing,’ thy focus both on value for money for fans and the safety of fighters. As reported by The Sun:

Manchester with Ultimate Bare Knuckle Boxing, which is hoping to shed the sport’s murky image. The Warrington-based promotions company says it operates to “stringent guidelines” and that it cares for fighters and fans.

It adds on its Facebook page: “We have a moral obligation not only to give value for money but in ensuring the safety of the men willing to spill their blood for a night of glory.”

Bloodied and swollen after a bareknuckle fight. Image credit: Getty Images

Police in Manchester Says It’s Illegal

The promoters of UBKB say they are hoping to shed the brawler/illegal image of bareknuckle boxing. According to the police, they still have to shut down the events as and when they can:

“The board’s general secretary, Rob Smith, told the Mirror two years ago: “It is a cloudy area, but I do believe it is illegal. Police deal with it as a public order matter and stop it.

“It is crazy, there is an inherent risk in licensed boxing and we work very hard to ensure it is as safe as possible.”

Bareknuckle boxing is alive and well around the UK, whether it’s legal or not. A far cry from the Irish families trading blows in the carpark, but perhaps equally as far from the media accepted world of professional boxing.

Watch this space.



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