Friday, June 26, 2015

BKB To Crown It’s First World Heavyweight Champion

On June 27th BKB: Big-Knockout Boxing will present it’s latest installment with an eight fight card at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Headlining the card will be a bout to crown the inaugural BKB World Heavyweight champion. BKB veteran Julian Pollard will face multi-combat sport veteran Tyrone Spong.

Pollard is undefeated in two previous BKB appearances and is coming off a fourth round stoppage of Elijah McCall on the last BKB event in April of this year. In terms of experience, one might argue that Pollard could have an advantage heading into this fight as he has already fought under the BKB Boxing format. Spong however, who will be making his BKB debut is a seasoned veteran of Combat Sports having competed in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, and Kickboxing.

As this observer has stated in my previous coverage of BKB Boxing cards a theme that will be present for a time as the concept/sport of BKB continues to evolve will be how newcomers to the BKB format will fare against fighters who have previously fought in BKB. Although some may be critical of the fact that Tyrone Spong will be fighting for a BKB world championship in his first BKB fight, it is important to remember that BKB is still very much in its growing stages and as more fighters come on board in various weight classes it is logical to assume that championship fights featuring newcomers against BKB veterans will take place. It really is not all that different from the position that the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) was in many years ago as various promotions started up and began the process of crowning their own world champions in various weight classes.

It will be interesting to see how Spong will adapt to the BKB format. Spong however, is undefeated as a boxer in bouts fought under traditional Boxing rules with a record of 2-0 with both wins coming via first round knockout. It is important to remember that the format in which all BKB fights are fought differ from traditional Boxing rules.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the concept/sport of BKB, here is what sets BKB apart from the traditional Boxing format. All bouts in BKB are fought in an area known simply as the “BKB Pit.” Unlike a traditional 20x20 Boxing ring, the BKB Pit has no ropes measuring seventeen feet in diameter and 227 square feet. Unlike traditional Professional Boxing where rounds are scheduled for three minutes in duration, rounds in BKB are scheduled for two minutes in duration.

 BKB initially debuted in July 2013 as a modernized form of Bare-Knuckle boxing known as BKB: Bare-Knuckle Boxing.  For its first two cards, BKB introduced specifically designed Boxing gloves where the knuckles were exposed inside of the glove. This however, would change as BKB would undergo a slight revamp in the form of a name change to Big-Knockout Boxing in August of last year. Along with the name change, the specially designed knuckle exposed Boxing gloves were replaced by traditional Boxing gloves weighing between eight and ten ounces depending on the weight class in which a fight takes place.

Given Spong’s record under traditional Boxing rules as well as Pollard’s undefeated record in BKB of 2-0, with both of those wins coming via knockout, it is logical to assume that this fight might not go the distance. Some may remember however, following the last BKB card in April this observer while discussing the BKB Middleweight world championship fight between champion Gabriel Rosado and Curtis Stevens, which ended in a seven round majority draw that although BKB is still very much in its growing stages and even though the BKB format differs from traditional Professional Boxing, I believe that championship fights should be scheduled for at least ten or twelve rounds. The Rosado-Stevens fight was “Inconclusive” and in the eyes of this observer, had the fight been scheduled for a longer distance a clear winner may have emerged between the two. It is unclear as of this writing as to the scheduled distance for the Pollard-Spong championship bout, but it will be interesting to see if those behind BKB will schedule this championship bout for a longer distance in an attempt to hopefully determine a clear winner should the fight go the distance.

Also on this card, in a Jr. Middleweight bout Jesus Soto Karass returns to BKB following a successful debut in April as he will take on Adrian Granados. In his last fight on the undercard of Rosado-Stevens in April, Soto Karass scored a five round unanimous decision over Ed Paredes. Soto Karass is a veteran of forty-one professional fights in bouts fought under traditional Boxing rules and will have an experience edge overall over Granados, who will be making his BKB debut after compiling a record of 13-4-2, with 9 Knockouts under traditional Boxing rules.

Although Soto-Karass is likely the favorite heading into this fight based on overall experience in addition to his previous experience in BKB, it will all depend on how Granados will adapt to the BKB format. It will however, be interesting to see if the winner of this fight could find himself in position to fight for a vacant BKB world championship in the Jr. Middleweight division down the line.

In a Middleweight bout Shane Mosley Jr. , son of former multi-division world champion Shane Mosley will make his BKB debut against Jason Kelly, who will also be fighting in BKB for the first time. Mosley enters having compiled a professional record in traditional Professional Boxing of 4-1, with 4 Knockouts. Kelly will enter the fight undefeated with a record of 3-0, with all three victories coming by way of knockout.

Both fighters are up and comers in traditional Professional Boxing and it will be interesting to see whether one of these fighters can establish themselves as a contender in the BKB Middleweight division. Although one might assume that a rematch between Gabriel Rosado and Curtis Stevens for the BKB World Middleweight championship could take place on a future BKB card, for other fighters competing in weight classes in BKB where there is a world champion, an impressive performance could elevate a fighter into a championship fight. Whether or not Mosley or Kelly will eventually find themselves fighting for a BKB world championship remains to be seen.

In a Jr. Middleweight bout Janks Trotter will make his BKB debut against Ed Paredes.  Trotter, will enter the fight with a professional record of 9-1-1, with all nine of his wins coming by knockout. Parades, who has a record of 35-5-1, with 23 Knockouts, in fights fought under traditional Boxing rules will be looking for his first victory in BKB.

Also in the Jr. Middleweight division Urmat Ryskeldiev will face Marcus Willis. Both fighters will be making their BKB debuts. Ryskeldiev will enter the fight with a professional record of 10-3-1, with 6 Knockouts. Willis will enter with a record of 14-4-2, with 3 Knockouts. Both fighters have suffered knockouts in bouts fought under traditional Boxing rules. One might argue however, that Willis could have a slight advantage in this format as he has only been stopped once in his career, while Ryskeldiev has been stopped in all three of his losses as a professional. Although BKB is a different format than traditional Professional Boxing, a question that some might ask as BKB continues to grow is how fighters who have suffered knockouts in bouts fought under traditional rules will fare in the BKB Pit, which has in BKB’s previous four cards proved to favor fighters who like to fight on the inside and does not appear to favor fighters who like to use lateral movement.

The biggest thing about the BKB Pit is that it will force fighters to engage and for fighters who have suffered knockouts before in bouts fought under traditional rules, it will be interesting to see how they approach fighting in The Pit. Fighters who have a reputation as being susceptible to being knocked out, particularly early in fights may not fare well in the BKB format. Fighters however, who may have suffered knockouts in the past, but have at the same time proven to be battle tested could have more success. It will simply boil down to how newcomers will adapt to the BKB format.

In other bouts:

Chris Spang (Professional Boxing record 2-0, 0 Knockouts) vs. Samuel Horowitz (Professional Boxing record 3-1, 3 Knockouts) (Light-Heavyweights)

Anthony Castellon (Professional Boxing record 11-0-1, with 10 Knockouts) vs. Antonio Johnson (Professional Boxing record 11-1-1, with 6 Knockouts) (Jr. Middleweights)

Travis Castellon (Professional Boxing record 13-0-1, with 10 Knockouts) vs. Arturo Quintero (Professional Boxing record 18-4-1, with 10 Knockouts) (Lightweights)

*All six fighters are making their respective BKB debuts.

BKB: Pollard vs. Spong takes place Saturday June 27th 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.

As BKB prepares for the fifth card in its existence, the overall theme of this card will be in large part newcomers entering the BKB format for the first time. The concept/sport of BKB however, has over the last two years shown consistent progress and this observer believes that this card taking place two months following the last BKB event is a good sign that this concept is heading in the right direction. As BKB prepares to crown it’s first World Heavyweight champion, this observer very much looks forward to seeing what is in store for BKB on Saturday night.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

For more information about BKB: Big-Knockout Boxing and for a list of cable and satellite providers carrying BKB: Pollard vs. Spong please visit:

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