Friday, August 15, 2014

A Look At BKB 3

In 2013 the unique concept known simply as BKB made it’s inception.  The concept of BKB introduced a modernized version of Boxing in it’s original form Bare-Knuckle Boxing with the use of specially designed Boxing gloves with the knuckles being exposed inside the glove.  What also made the BKB concept truly unique was the area where all fights in BKB are fought. The fighting area known simply as the “BKB Pit.”

The BKB Pit unlike a traditional 20x20 Boxing ring has no ropes measuring seventeen feet in diameter and 227 square feet. In it’s brief history the BKB Pit has ensured for entertaining bouts. In addition to the fighting area where all fights in BKB are fought, also implemented was the use of two minute rounds.  The format of BKB from the pit, to shorter rounds than a traditional three minute round has made the concept of BKB fan friendly. In addition to rounds lasting two minutes in duration, BKB also features an open scoring format in that official scores are announced at the end of each round to the fighters and the crowd in attendance. All fights in BKB are scored using the traditional 10-point must system. In covering the first two BKB cards I expressed my opinion that the concept of BKB has the potential to grow, discussed similarities between where BKB is currently, and where the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) was when it debuted in the United States in the early 1990s.

Much as the sport of MMA evolved over a period of time from essentially no holds barred fighting to it’s current form, so too is the concept of BKB.  How is it evolving?  Beginning with the third BKB card, which will take place at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night August 16th, BKB will no longer be using the knuckle exposed gloves that were used in the first two BKB cards. Traditional Boxing gloves will be used weighing between eight and ten ounces depending on the weight class in which a fight takes place.  The change to the use of regular Boxing gloves has also resulted in a name change for this concept. Although the initials will remain the same BKB will now be known as Big Knockout Boxing.

Although some may be critical of the decision of BKB to use traditional Boxing gloves, this observer applauds those behind BKB.  Whenever there is a new concept or a would be new sport put into practice there are two major things that those behind the concept/new sport will have to contend with. Beginning with the initial reaction of the public who you want to support the concept/sport and as well the necessity of regulation by state athletic commissions. 

Although BKB originally used knuckle exposed gloves and even though there were no major injuries in the first two cards with use of those gloves, the concept needed to evolve.  An obvious benefit of using traditional Boxing gloves going forward will likely be that BKB will be able to be licensed in more states by athletic commissions.  This would open the door for BKB to be able to stage more cards per year. As was the case with the sport of MMA, once changes in the format of the sport were made and state athletic commissions gradually began regulating the sport, it allowed MMA to grow into a global powerhouse.  There is no denying that MMA has not only become one of the most popular combat sports, but also throughout all of sports.

An argument can be made that by adapting the use of traditional Boxing gloves into the BKB concept that it will allow BKB to grow and not face the struggle that MMA has faced in regard to licensing and regulation in many states. Another benefit could be the potential to attract more boxers due to using the same Boxing gloves that are used in traditional Boxing rings.  The main event of BKB 3 is a good example.  Top Middleweight contender Bryan Vera will face former two-time world title challenger Gabriel Rosado in a bout for the BKB Middleweight championship. 

Both Vera and Rosado have garnered significant attention in recent times due to each of their efforts against top level opposition. Many will remember Vera for his losses against former WBC Middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Many observers, this one included felt that Vera won the first fight, but did not get the decision. Despite losing to Chavez a second time earlier this year, Vera’s aggressive style has won him the respect of both Boxing fans and experts.  

Much like Bryan Vera, Gabriel Rosado has a similar style in that he is aggressive and throws punches at a high volume. Recently while discussing the upcoming BKB card on Twitter I stated that this fight has action written all over it. When you take into account that this fight will not be held in a traditional Boxing ring, but will instead take place under the BKB format in the Pit, which is tailor-made for fighters who like to fight on the inside and due to the narrow space, the Pit does not favor fighters who like to use lateral movement.  There is no doubt in my mind given both fighters style and willingness to let their hands go that this could be the fight of the night.

Vera vs. Rosado headlines a seven bout card.  Also featured on this card is a rematch from BKB 2 for the BKB Jr. Middleweight championship between Eddie Caminero and longtime Welterweight and Jr. Middleweight contender David Estrada in what is the first rematch in BKB history.  In the first fight Caminero and Estrada engaged in a toe to toe battle where each fighter had their moments.  Caminero earned a hard fought unanimous decision.  It will be interesting to see if Estrada can reverse roles with Caminero in the rematch. 

Other fights on this card include:

Anthony Johnson vs. Dimar Ortuz for the BKB Cruiserweight championship

Javier Garcia vs. Darnell Jiles for the BKB Welterweight championship

Ricardo Pinell vs. Khurshid Abduliaev

Carson Jones vs. Said El Harrak

Kendo Castaneda vs. Gabe Duluc

An encouraging sign of the growth of BKB along with the adaptation of traditional Boxing gloves is that BKB 3 will be the first BKB card to be carried on pay-per-view in the United States by both cable and satellite providers for a price of $29.95. Previously BKB was only televised via pay-per-view exclusively to subscribers of United States television provider DirecTV.  Although BKB has done a slight revamp in adapting traditional Boxing gloves and undergoing a name change, the concept/sport has in it’s brief history thus far in it’s first two cards delivered on what it has promised. To provide entertaining, action-packed bouts. 

For those of us who have witnessed the birth of a new concept/sport we have been thoroughly entertained. It is not often that a writer and historian such as myself is given the opportunity to cover a sport from the beginning concept. This sport has great potential to grow and now will be presented to wider audience as more Boxing media outlets will be covering this event. I welcome you all with enthusiasm.  BKB 1 and 2 provided tremendous action and excitement.

I have no reason to expect anything different for BKB 3.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

For more information about BKB: Big Knockout Boxing and a list of cable and satellite providers carrying BKB 3: Vera vs. Rosado please visit: 
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