Though I choose to comment primarily on professional boxing, I am a fan of the majority of combat sports. I have a curiosity for bareknuckle fighting as it is the original format of modern boxing going back to the legend John L. Sullivan and further. I enjoyed BBad out of the UK and the Irish bareknuckle fights on YouTube for their brutality and the raw nature of the fighting. These were done in open fields and farmhouses much the way boxing used to take place prior to it being legalized and sanctioned as a sport. The Irish bareknuckle fighting takes it closest to the roots of pre and early Marquis of Queensbury boxing with no rounds and fight to the finish rules. BKBFC is a professional fighting organization that is perfectly legal and buttoned up with the professionalism of most MMA and boxing presentation. I understand that as a fight to the finish sport it would likely not be sanctioned and the timed rounds and judge scoring changed the tactics and style of bareknuckle fighting to make it more like “regular boxing”.
BKFC is bareknuckle boxing but it is sort of an offshoot of MMA as much as it is an offshoot of boxing. Both Taylor Starling and Charisa Sigala have more of MMA and kickboxing backgrounds as opposed to boxing pedigrees. You can see the difference in fundamentals as both they and most BKFC fighters appear to fight more like MMA fighters participating in boxing rather than boxers trying bareknuckle. Sigala now 4-2 in professional fighting fell to Starling 2-3 in professional fighting with both making their BKFC debut with Starling entering 0-1 in professional boxing. This fight was very brutal with Sigala hitting the canvas twice and both being covered in blood by the final bell of the fifth round. Taylor was cut badly over the left eye in the first round and both sported horrible swelling around both eyes by the end of the fight. The bout devolved after the high action opening round into exhausted trading and survival. Though neither showed world class boxing skill the two fighters showed extreme levels of heart. I watched this fight and thoroughly enjoyed it for the raw brutality on display and am recommending it to my readers in this post.
I will say that the comment section seemed to be filled with a lot of people bringing up boxing but without much grasp of it. Here are some of the gems:
“This is like Hagler Hearns” No its not, maybe the shortness of the fight and the intensity but not the skill, high stakes or dramatic KO.
“This is the Gatti Ward of women’s boxing” Again no, it is a brutal fight but did not get down to the same level of consistent violence. Both were fairly gassed after the first round and despite a high action opener it did not maintain the pace or ebb and flow action of that fight
“This is the most exciting women’s boxing match of 2021” “This is the most exciting women’s boxing match in years” Definitely no, with Ebanie Bridges vs Shannon Courtnay, Jessica McCaskill vs Cecilia Braekhus, and Katie Taylor vs Natasha Jonas taking place in 2021. In recent years Natasha Jonas and Terri Harper went to war and Katie Taylor had two wars with Delfine Persoon in 2019 and 2020. The Taylor and Persoon fights are two of the best female boxing fights I have ever seen.
All in all, I think the decline in boxing’s popularity has led to a lot of lazy comparisons and conclusions because the people making them don’t actually watch boxing or have not watched it in years. YouTube recommends a lot of shorts and highlight videos for those that watch a few boxing related videos and it creates superficial expertise on boxing to make out of depth comments. Rant over.
A good Vice special on BKFC and its origin: