When I first heard of BKB (Bare Knuckle Boxing), I must admit I thought it was a gimmick. I thought to myself, “Some sport slapped together to create a knockout reel one step above bum fights.”

One thing that made it appear gimmicky was the gloves. They are essentially five-ounce boxing gloves with an opening that leaves the knuckles visible, but virtually harmless. The ring or “pit,” as they like to call it, looks like it came straight from the television show American Gladiators. An additional feature that aims to be different from boxing is the BKB scoring system. Let me tell you, it is not at all like traditional boxing. Judges only reward aggression and you can even get a standing eight count If you retreat onto the ramp portion of the pit.

There is no doubt that BKB has derived from boxing as we know it, but, nonetheless, aims to be different and a sport of its own.

As I watched BKB’s first event, I couldn’t help but get a rush from the brute violence of it all. Sure, it was sloppy and horrible boxing, yet it kept your eyes glued to the screen because you knew if you blinked, you might miss a ridiculous knockout. As I watched, all I could think of was, “Thank god for DVRs!” BKB1 had several devastating knockouts worth watching over and over, again. My review on the first BKB card can be read at this link on The Heavy Bag.

Once the pay-per-view event was over, I thought this new sport has potential and if they could get more talented fighters involved, then they could really have something here. Prophetically, BKB 2 delivered just that.

From the moment I heard that the amazing boxing trainer Robert Garcia would be involved in BKB 2, I realized it would be much better than the first event. Garcia infused more talented bangers into the mix and even added to the event by becoming a announcer. Also fighting on the BKB 2 card was “King” David Estrada, who has fought the likes of Andre Berto, Jesus Soto-Karass and even Shane Mosley.

Estrada came on our radio show, Tough Talk Tuesday, and had choice words for those who believe BKB is a gimmick.

“If it’s a gimmick, then why don’t they get in there and try it? It’s a fight in which you are going toe to toe with the same type of fighter. Every fighter in BKB has been chosen because they have the same style. They are good inside fighters who go toe to toe and have a lot of heart. There are a lot of boxers who are too scared to go toe to toe and don’t have that same heart as a BKB fighter,” Estrada said. “I met [Robert] Garcia before, and there’s one thing I know about him is that he won’t put his name into something if he didn’t feel it was legit. He had a few fighters on the card that did well, so it’s going to be good for the sport.”

Guys like Estrada and Garcia really helped the young sport. In the end, BKB 2 was much better than the first event. You can read more about it in my review of the event over at The Heavy Bag.

This new sport of Bare Knuckle Boxing isn’t going away anytime soon. It caters to fans of both mixed martial arts and traditional boxing. BKB has all the excitement of the standing game in MMA and some sprinkles of the “sweet science” to make one hell of an exciting show. If you’re expecting world-class boxing, you might be let down, but it is definitely drawing better fighters and is continuing to improve. If you like toe-to-toe wars, big punches and even bigger knockouts, look no further than BKB.

Boxing won’t get replaced—not in this world, ever. However, BKB is a new sport of its own, and if you give it a shot, you might like it.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the fights.

Photo: Bare Knuckle Boxing (DirecTV)

About The Author

Lucas A. Biggers

Lucas A Biggers is the creator and lead writer of The Heavy Bag, a website that covers the world of boxing. He also writes for Tha Boxing Voice. He has covered the BKB (Bare Knuckle Boxing) events for The Heavy Bag. Biggers wanted to be a boxer when he was growing up, but there were no gyms nearby where he could train. Now a fan turned writer, he strives to make his name synonymous with boxing and bring back the golden era of the sport for his son to enjoy.