Wolverhampton to become home of bare-knuckle boxing in Britain

A Wolverhampton venue will be hosting bare-knuckle boxing action after a deal was struck to stage several fights in the city next year.

Dean Smith shows off his battle scars from bare knuckle boxing
Dean Smith shows off his battle scars from bare knuckle boxing

The Bare Fist Boxing Association will hold four fight nights at The Hangar Events Venue which will be streamed across the world.

The association announced the controversial deal, the first of its kind for a UK city, on its Facebook page.

They said: "We are absolutely delighted to have signed an exclusive four date agreement for 2022 with The Hangar Events Venue in Wolverhampton.

"It is an absolutely brilliant venue, in an ideal location, the owners and management have been a pleasure to deal with getting this deal over the line."

The association has already organised the first Wolverhampton bare fist bout of next year.

It said: "Watch out for some amazing shows coming up next year, starting with an absolute banger on February 26, 2022."

bare-knuckle boxing is banned in many countries due to its brutal nature and the higher risk of injury compared to official boxing.

Boxing had unlimited rounds and no gloves until the Marquess of Queensberry formulated rules in 1867. Bare-knuckle boxing, which was wildly popular in the 17th century was then pushed underground.

Unlicensed and often illegal bare-knuckle fights often took place near fairgrounds and secret locations. In the late 20th century fighters like Lennie McLean and Roy Shaw became notorious and celebrities in their own right.

With the advent of the internet and new methods of charging for fights online bare-knuckle boxing is making a comeback, all the fights from The Hanger in Wolverhampton will be streamed online. Subscribers normally pay £20 to see the entire card of six or seven fights each event.

The British Boxing Board of Control remains a fierce critic of bare-knuckle boxing, repeatedly questioning its legality and safety.

However, the Bare Fist Boxing Association insist they are a legitimate sporting body. A spokesman said: "Safety, respect and sportsmanship are at the heart of our events."

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