BOXERS faced off in bloody showdowns when the Ultimate Bare-Knuckle Boxing (UBKB) event returned to Manchester at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Trafford, on Saturday night.
There were 15 contests on the card, containing fighters who would be fighting in their first fight, and ones who had fought hundreds of times.
Fights consisted of three two-minute rounds with a 20 second count on any knockdown.
Some 30 took to the ring with returning fighters Joe Clarke, John Spencer and Will Cairns all walking away with belts after winning their respective title battles.
Will Cairns’ title fight with Duane ‘The Wrecking Machine’ Keen was touted as the main event of the night, but Cairns, from Stockport, saw off his opposition and told fans as he took his prize: “These are no Micky Mouse Belts.”
Earlier in the night, Lucas Marshall won his dance with Tadas Ruzga in what became the tightest match of the evening.
UBKB is owned and run by Shaun and Amanda Smith, with Shaun sometimes better known as the ‘UK’s Scariest Debt Collector’.
Enthusiasts are hoping to shake off the sport’s brawler image by moving to established, mainstream venues.
Fans of the sport – for which top fighters can earn up to £50k a bout – insist it’s legal provided permission is given by the local authority and safety measures are in place.
But the British Boxing Board of Control, which regulates licensed boxing, believes it’s a grey area.
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The no-holds-barred sport gained popularity in Britain near the end of the 17th century.
However it was pushed underground with the introduction of the so-called Queensberry rules in 1867.
The code provided the basis for modern boxing and mandates that fighters have to wear gloves.
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