Over the last two years since the concept known as BKB debuted in July 2013 readers have become accustomed to this observer’s coverage of the sport’s new venue. From its initial inception as a modernized form of Bare-Knuckle Boxing, which saw the introduction of specifically designed Boxing gloves where the knuckles were exposed inside of the glove to the introduction of the fighting area in which all fights under the BKB format take place known as the “BKB Pit” it has not taken long for the concept of BKB to evolve.
Following the first two BKB cards where fights were fought with the knuckle exposed Boxing gloves, BKB underwent a slight revamp and name change. The knuckle exposed gloves were replaced by traditional Boxing gloves that weighed between eight and ten ounces depending on the weight class in which a fight takes place. Along with the change in gloves, BKB was renamed Big-Knockout Boxing.
One thing that did not change when the third BKB card took place last August was the “BKB Pit.” Unlike a traditional 20x20 Boxing ring, the BKB Pit has no ropes measuring seventeen feet in diameter and 227 square feet. The BKB pit along with the use of two minute rounds has certainly produced entertaining fights in the brief history of BKB. Although the fighting area where all fights under the BKB format has remained the same, there was also one significant change in addition to the adaptation of traditional Boxing gloves. The third BKB card unlike the previous two cards was the first that did not feature an open scoring format.
As I stated following the third BKB card last August the change to a non-open scoring format was not surprising in my opinion and did not have an impact on the concept or the intention behind BKB, which is to provide entertaining action-packed bouts. The third BKB card, which implemented a slightly tweaked version of the original concept provided much action and excitement with a good mix of competitive fights and knockouts. The third BKB card was also the first to be carried in the United States by both cable and satellite providers after previously being broadcast on pay-per-view exclusively to subscribers of the United States television provider DirecTV. Clearly the concept of BKB has shown an ability to grow and evolve with each card.
Now BKB looks to build off of the success of it’s third event last August when it presents a card titled BKB 2 on Saturday, April 4th at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although this is in actuality the fourth BKB card this observer believes the titling of “BKB 2” is an attempt to embrace the revamped concept now known as Big-Knockout Boxing.
While there may be some who may not have had the opportunity to see the first two BKB cards, this observer believes that not only for historical purposes, but also and perhaps more importantly to show the evolution of the concept known as BKB that this card should be titled simply “BKB 4.” In my previous coverage of the first three BKB cards, readers may remember how I have regularly referenced the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and its evolution in comparison to the concept of BKB. Even though the sport of MMA eventually evolved from essentially no holds barred fighting to it’s current form of implementing the use of gloves and weight classes, the era where MMA fights were fought under essentially no holds barred rules is still very much a part of the sport’s history.
Even though it is understandable that those behind BKB want to embrace the revamped concept, which was put into practice with the third BKB card, I believe that by not referencing the previous cards which took place prior to BKB’s slight revamp, it is a mistake and that much as MMA promotions like the UFC have over time adapted and evolved, they have not at the same time rewritten history and that the chronological evolution of the sport is still part of it’s history. There is no reason in this observer’s eyes why the concept/sport of BKB should not adapt a similar approach.
This observer’s slight criticism of the titling of this card notwithstanding, the fourth BKB card much as the previous three should provide entertainment and excitement. In the main event of this card BKB Middleweight world champion Gabriel Rosado will make the first defense of his title against top Middleweight contender Curtis Stevens.
On the third BKB card last August Rosado scored a sixth round knockout of longtime contender Bryan Vera to win the BKB Middleweight world championship. Rosado however, is coming off a tenth round knockout loss against top Middleweight contender David Lemieux in December of last year in a fight fought under traditional Boxing rules. Although fights fought under the BKB format remain unofficial in the eyes of official Boxing record keepers as of this writing and even though Rosado’s BKB world championship was not at stake one might wonder whether the beating he suffered at the hands of Lemieux will have any effect on him in this fight against Curtis Stevens.
Stevens will be fighting for the first time in BKB and it will be interesting to see how he will adapt to the format. In addition to the BKB Pit, one should also remember that fights in BKB are also fought under different round and time limits as compared to traditional Boxing rules. Fights under the BKB format are scheduled for five, seven, and ten rounds respectively and round limits are two minutes in duration. Although one could logically assume that since this is a championship fight that the bout will be scheduled for ten rounds, it will be interesting to see how Stevens adapts to fighting two minute rounds.
Stevens however, is a fighter who much like Rosado lets his hands go and has knockout power having scored knockouts in twenty of his twenty-seven career wins in fights fought under traditional Boxing rules. As is the case with Gabriel Rosado, Stevens also comes into this fight off of a loss in October of last year when he dropped a twelve round unanimous decision to former WBO Middleweight world champion Hassan N’Dam. As has been the case in previous BKB cards, I have no doubt that the two minute rounds as well as the BKB Pit will ensure the likelihood of a potential action-packed fight between Rosado and Stevens.
The fourth BKB card features a total of five championship fights in a card that will feature nine fights overall. BKB Cruiserweight world champion Anthony Johnson will defend his title against Joey Montoya.
In a bout for the BKB Jr. Middleweight world championship champion David Estrada will defend his title against Khurshid Abduliaev. Both Estrada and Abduliaev are coming off victories on the third BKB card last August.
In a bout for the BKB Welterweight world championship champion Javier Garcia will defend his title against Johnathan Chicas. Garcia is also coming off a victory last August and will be making his second defense of the BKB Welterweight championship he won in December 2013.
As the concept of BKB continues to evolve a theme that will be present for a time will be how newcomers to the BKB format will fare against fighters who have experience fighting under the format. We will see how fighters such as Curtis Stevens, Johnathan Chicas, and Joey Montoya do in their first BKB bouts.
The fourth BKB card will also for the first time in BKB history feature a Women’s bout for the vacant BKB Women’s Lightweight world championship as former WBA Women’s Lightweight world champion Layla McCarter will face former WBC Women’s Jr. Lightweight world champion Diana Prazak.
In other bouts:
Jr. Welterweights: Herbert Acevedo vs. William Hutchinson
Jr. Welterweights Gabe Duluc vs. Antonio Canas
Heavyweights: Julian Pollard vs. Elijah McCall
Jr. Middleweights: Jesus Soto Karass vs. Ed Paredes
BKB: Rosado vs. Stevens takes place Saturday April 4th and is available on cable and satellite pay-per-view throughout the United States for $29.95. Contact your local pay-per-view provider for ordering information.
The first three BKB cards provided much excitement and has shown the relatively quick evolution of the concept now known as Big-Knockout Boxing. The revamp of the BKB concept has resulted in BKB being able to stage cards in Las Vegas, Nevada after previously staging cards in New Hampshire. With the second card under the slight revamp of BKB on the horizon it will be interesting to see which fights and fighters stand out in what continues to be an evolving concept. As someone who has covered the first three BKB cards, I am very much looking forward to seeing the next installment of BKB.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
For more information about BKB: Big Knockout Boxing and a list of cable and satellite providers carrying BKB: Rosado vs. Stevens please visit: www.bkb.tv
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