Express & Star

A bareknuckle boxing legend coming to Wolverhampton

A legend of the ring of the ring is coming to Wolverhampton.


BKB TM have confirmed they are bringing a bareknuckle boxing show to The Hangar on Saturday, March 30.

Local fighters Luke ‘Scrap King’ Smith (Walsall) and Tom Stokes (West Bromwich) are sure to feature and the top of the bill is set to be Jimmy Sweeney looking to become a world champion at a fifth weight.

The Irishman, considered one of the best of the modern era of bareknuckle boxing, is pencilled in to challenge James Connelly, from Birmingham, for his world welterweight championship.

Sweeney and Connelly both served their apprenticeships in the amateur boxing ring.

Sweeney represented Ireland and had a win over Andy Lee, the future world middleweight champion, before drifting away from the sport.

He returned to the gym after an ex-girlfriend told him: “You’re fat – I don’t fancy you anymore” and has gone on to play a huge part in the growth of bareknuckle boxing.

The first legalised bareknuckle boxing show ever held in England went ahead in front of a few hundred fans in Kettering in 2015.

Sweeney won by knockout – and has kept winning.

He has lost only four of 30 fights, avenging three of them. Jim Freeman, co founder of the BKB TM company, says Sweeney reaching 30 fights is proof that “you can have a long career in this sport – if you fight the right way.”

Sweeney uses footwork and feints to draw punches from his opponents and then counters.