Bare knuckle boxing

What do you think if we went back to the 1800s during the days of John L Sullivan where championship fights were bare knuckle?

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  • Although bare knuckle boxing does seem more brutal and dangerous, it's actually safer than regular boxing. The dangerous part of boxing isn't really the hardness of the object you're being hit with (ie. padded gloves or bare knuckles), it's just the fact that your head is being constantly hit. This causes your brain inside your skull to get knocked around a lot. It's the same reason why helmets in American football don't really help, because the player is still being hit in the head a lot. It's all these repeated head hits that causes all the brain injuries that boxers often suffer from. With regular boxing, because you're wearing gloves which protect your hands, the boxers can hit as hard as they want and for as long as they want, leading to more brain injury. But with BKB, where you're not wearing gloves, you can't hit as hard, or for as long, for fear of injuring your hand, therefore leading to less brain injury.

    One thing about BKB however is that because the boxers don't wear gloves, there's often a lot more blood shed. This gives the illusion of it being more dangerous and brutal, therefore harming its reputation. Plus because BKB is illegal, it's nowadays only practiced underground, by seedy criminal thugs, again causing it to harm its reputation. So because BKB has such a bad reputation, I'd say all the boxing associations would be slow to bring it back, even if they all agreed that it would be safer. They'd probably choose to keep the gloves, even if it means more boxers suffering from debilitating brain damage, just because BKB would be far less marketable.

    However there are at least two major bare knuckle boxing competitions that I know of. The first one is just called 'Bare Knuckle Boxing (BKB)' and the second one is 'Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship':
    http://bkbworld.co.uk/
    https://www.bareknuckle.tv/

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    • I watch the new BKB sometimes but for me a hardcore boxing fan the skill level just isnt on par yet. They seem more or less to mostly be MMA guys past their prime looking for paydays. Id like to see someone like James Toney or even a Tyson Fury in BKB. I agree with you its safer for brain damage but it causes alot more cuts and I say its more painful from my experience.

      In a perfect universe Tyson Fury calls out Anthony Joshua to do their title fight bare knuckle and the commission and the sanctioning bodies get behind it. And this sets a trend when there's bad blood they can sometimes fight bareknuckle. Doesnt have to be all title fights. Maybe even only unification fights.

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      • Interesting, I'm not much into BKB myself tbh, I just learned about it's supposed to be safer than boxing and found that really interesting. Hopefully it will gain more traction in the years to come though, I was surprised to find there were any modern BKB competitions at all.

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  • You do know they brought bare knuckle boxing back in 2018 right, the company's called BKB & to everyone saying it's more dangerous there's only been one death in 4 years compared to traditional boxings 13 per year on average. Plus there's less knockouts (not counting tkos and cuts) mainly because you can't hit as hard bare-knuckled as you can with the gloves on without breaking your hand like so many people have done in BKB in the beginning because they thought it was like a regular boxing match and started swinging for the fences.

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  • My grandma used to always say “that could fit John L Sullivan”.

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  • There will be a lot of deaths and career ending damage. That's why boxing gloves were invented. To keep your bones in both your hands and face in place.

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  • Ya I guess so, depending on how quick the injuries piled up and ended your career.

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  • Bare knuckle is pretty good; it's a shame that it's not big any more, but we have mma now which is better, so that's good.

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    • I cant wait to see the Mike Perry vs Let Me Bang Bro in BKB

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  • I don't think you would find any serious boxer of fighter who would be interested in that.

    There are too many permanent injuries and deaths with all the modern protective gear and rules. No amount of $ is worth being crippled for life or being dead.

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