Rapidly becoming a more widely accepted pursuit, bare knuckle boxing is gaining popularity. As combat sports in general become more mainstream, ‘BKB’ is experiencing a resurgence. Before the introduction of Queensbury rules, BKB is basically what boxing was.
Pugilism is never going to be a pretty sport, gloves or not, but there are levels that re more socially accepted. Adding commissions and stringent rules, and to some level the marketing of combat sports helps make it acceptable.
Arguably one of the biggest lures to bareknuckle boxing is the raw and unhindered nature of the sport.
The World Of BKB
Although BKB is far from being as popular as boxing or MMA, the underground pursuit has surfaced in recent years. Thanks to guys like world BKB champion Bobby Gunn and many others, popularity has risen in America.
Over in the UK, there are many well known BKB faces. During the 60’s and 70’s, the London underworld made celebrities of bareknuckle fighters. Roy Shaw and Lenny McLean are among the most well known. Looking at today’s crop, a few poignant British bruisers helping establish a UK BKB base.
Madonna’s former bodyguard, a towering man by the name of Stevan “Killer” Miller is among these fighters.
Stevan Miller, Former Bodyguard To Madonna (Picture Left)
Much like Jay Z’s bodyguard, former minder to pop icon Madonna, Stevan Miller has been fighting in BKB. Miller’s opponent in his first ‘big name’ fight was none other than hard-as-nails champion Decca Heggie.
Here’s ‘The Machine’ Heggie taking on ‘The Bulldog’ at B-Bad Promotions ‘London Calling’ held at Dave Courtney’s house ‘Camelot.’
Taking on a man with the skill of Heggie is not going to be easy, but Miller held his own. Although it was declared a draw, he certainly put in a respectable performance. Watch the fight video on the Youtube player below.
After this fight, we’ll take a look at how a UFC veteran did in the BKB ring.
How Would UFC Fighters Do?
Interestingly enough, this past weekend two UFC veterans fought in bareknuckle fights. Joe Riggs won in dominant fashion, but Cody McKenzie got absolutely destroyed in his BKB debut.
Watch both fight videos below:
Interview with James Quinn McDonagh (bareknuckle boxing champion) from complex:
I was born in 1967 and going back to ’76, ’77, I witnessed a street fight. I remember standing outside a courthouse where at least 15 of the guys from all sides all got very small prison sentences, like between six and 12 months. From then on I knew the feuding was going on. And then it was just like tit for tat, bits and pieces, and it got more serious after the incident in London in 1992.
At the beginning of my career, when I would fight for the family, again I was hoping it wouldn’t happen but I would put a price on the fight, to say, “I’m gonna fight for 10, 15 grand, and at least in that way I’ll win something.” We lost a lot of money as well. But I was hoping that the challenger wouldn’t set the fight and would back off when money was involved. Secondly, I would train for 12-18 weeks and in that period I would have to go a long period without earning money, so I thought it would help compensate for the losses of earnings.