John L. Sullivan is regarded as the last great heavyweight bare-knuckle boxer.
Hey, combat sports fans! Are you ready for the return of bare-knuckle boxing?
Well, it's going to happen anyway, according to Lorne Scoggins of the Examiner. Cruiserweight journeyman Bobby Gunn is spearheading the effort. Gunn, who is 21-4-1 (18 KO) as a pro boxer, will be bringing back bare-knuckle boxing under London Prize Ring rules on August 5 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Gunn's opponent will be "MMA fighter" Chris "The Butcher" Thompson, whose Sherdog record reads 0-1, and in his lone fight, he was disqualified for an illegal knee. That fight took place in January in Fargo, N.D., so we're not exactly talking about a seasoned veteran here. Gunn says Thompson is 6'4", 255, and Sherdog lists him at 6'2", 250. Gunn is currently about 210 pounds, he says.
The fight will be held at Fort McDowell Casino, which is on Native American land and thus not under the jurisdiction of the Arizona commission. Gunn and promoter Dave Feldman are trying to make sure everyone knows this is legit:
"If you’re a striking fan, if you’re a boxing fan, if you’re someone who just likes to see two men fighting fist to fist, this is a wonderful sport," Gunn said. "This is not a barroom brawl. It ain’t no back alley, unorganized event. This is a properly organized event with ringside physicians, referees, judges and timekeepers."
... "I think the way that we’re doing this, making sure everybody’s medically cleared and having everybody train the right way, I just think that we have something that’s going to eventually take off a little bit. I think it’s going to be a nice sport. People are always looking for the most extreme thing and how do you get more raw and more pure than bare knuckle boxing? I think it’s something that people will want to see," Feldman said.
Feldman also says that names like Ken Shamrock from MMA are interested. Shamrock is currently supposedly going to fight James Toney in some sort of hybrid kinda-MMA fight that I still assume won't actually happen, but I guess might actually happen, why not? Shamrock has trouble taking punches with gloves anymore, so I don't see bare knuckle as something that would be good for him, but, well, he needs the money.
Is this something you have any interest in seeing? Is this something you dismiss as a barbaric relic that went away for a good reason?