MMA veteran and unified Bareknuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC)/ Police Gazette Boxing Corporation (PGBC) (Bareknuckle Boxing) Heavyweight world champion Joey Beltran successfully made the first defense of his world championship by scoring a fourth round stoppage of previously undefeated Marcel Stamps in the main event of BKFC 13 on Saturday night at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina, KS. Beltran had problems with the elusiveness of Stamps in the early rounds and was down on the official scorecards as the fight progressed due to Stamps’ ability to establish distance and catch the champion as he came forward. While Stamps’ style may not be appreciated by some fans who are used to the standing and trading punches that many Bareknuckle Boxing bouts are fought under the modernized Bareknuckle format, it was effective. Beltran began to change things in round three by getting on the inside and landing solid body punches and mixing in offense to the head while in the clinch. In round four, Beltran appeared to hit Stamps on the back of the neck. Although this was an illegal blow, Beltran was cautioned after Stamps had gone down. At this point in the fight, Stamps appeared compromised and went down several times, many of which were ruled slips. Beltran was able to score a knockdown from what appeared to this observer to be a body shot. Stamps was able to get up on unsteady legs, but the champion sensing he had the challenger in trouble pressed forward and after a second knockdown of Stamps from a combination, the challenger was counted out while on his knee against the ropes. Official time of the stoppage was 1:55 of round four. Joey Beltran advances to 4-1-1, with 2 Knockouts. Marcel Stamps falls to 2-1, with 2 Knockouts.
In the co-main event in the 115lb. weight class, 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist and undefeated Jr. Bantamweight prospect in traditional Professional Boxing Nico Hernandez successfully made his professional Bareknuckle Boxing debut by scoring a fourth round stoppage of Chancey Wilson. Hernandez’ hand speed was on full display throughout this fight though he was tested in spots by MMA veteran Wilson. Hernandez overall skill set eventually dictated the combat in the bout and after four rounds that were competitive, but generally saw Hernandez get the better of the exchanges, the fight was stopped due to Chancey Wilson vomiting in his corner. Nico Hernandez advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Chancey Wilson falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
In the Heavyweight division, Bill Dieckhoff scored a first round knockout over Austin Levine. Dieckhoff dropped Levine with a right uppercut, left hook combination early in the round, this was followed by a second knockdown from jab to the head, Dieckhoff scored a third and final knockdown with a follow up barrage resulting in the fight being stopped. Official time was 1:54 of round one. Bill Dieckhoff advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Austin Levine falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.
In a 175lb. bout, Antonio Hernandez scored a five round unanimous decision over Jack Freriks. A tactical battle from the start that saw both fighters have success early. As the fight progressed however, it was Hernandez’ lateral movement, timing, and combination punching that proved to be the difference. Official scores were 49-46 (On Two scorecards), and 48-47 all in favor of Hernandez. Antonio Hernandez advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Jack Freriks falls to 1-1, with 0 Knockouts.
Also in the 175lb. division, Dave Rickels scored a five round unanimous decision over Clifford Wright. Official scores were 50-45, (On two scorecards) and 50-43 all in favor of Rickels. This fight was largely highlighted by both Rickels’ physical strength as well as his compact offense. Rickels consistently threw and landed flurries of punches and frequently had Wright on the defensive throughout. Despite taking a beating, Wright was not knocked down and remained very “Game “ until the final bell. Official scores were 50-45, (On two scorecards) and 50-43 all in favor of Rickels. Dave Rickels advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts. Clifford Wright falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.
In the 185lb. division Isaac Doolittle scored a five round majority decision over Brandon Johnson. What was a competitive fight all the way through saw several exchanges inside the clinch between the two fighters. Doolittle scored a knockdown of Johnson in round one with a left hook to the head and this along with his slightly higher work rate throughout is what allowed him to earn a hard fought majority decision.Official scores were 47-47 (Even), and 48-46 (On two scorecards) giving Doolittle the victory. Isaac Doolittle advances to 2-0, with 1 Knockout. Brandon Johnson falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.
A 165lb. bout saw Fred Pierce score a first round knockout over John Hollis. A left hook to the head sent Hollis down for the count at 1:54 of round one. Fred Pierce advances to 1-3, with 1 Knockout. John Hollis falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.
In a bout in the 150lb. weight class, LJ Hermreck needed just fifty-one seconds to score a knockout of Rowdy Akers. The two fighters exchanged immediately once the bell sounded. A bad cut opened under the left eye of Akers resulting in his eye swelling quickly. A short uppercut to the head sent Akers down and ended what was a short, but explosive fight. LJ Hermreck advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Rowdy Akers falls to 1-1, with 1 Knockout.
In the opening bout of the evening in the 125lb. weight class Kendrick Latchman scored a second round knockout of Miles McDonald. McDonald was consistently aggressive throughout, but also missed wildly with a portion of his offense. This allowed Latchman to more or less pick his shots as McDonald came forward. A combination to the body and head of McDonald sent him down in the second round. While it was a full combination of punches that landed, it appeared to be a right hand to the body that did the damage. A second knockdown with another right hand to the body resulted in the fight being stopped at 1:41 of round two. Kendrick Latchman advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Miles McDonald falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.
As has been the case in the twelve previous cards in the BKFC’s two year history, there has been steady progress made not only in terms of the promotion’s growth, but also recognition that has not always been seen by other variations of Bareknuckle Boxing since the sport in Bareknuckle-form began to re-emerge over the last decade. A sign of such progress can be illustrated not only by the BKFC’s recently launched subscription-based digital streaming network platform BKTV that not only serves as the exclusive global broadcast home for all of the promotion’s cards and on-demand library in a successful transition away from the promotion’s previous pay-per-view centric focus, but the promotion has also opened its platform to other Bareknuckle Boxing promoters as witnessed by the recently launched Toe The Line Bareknuckle promotion in September.
Further signs of progress and recognition that can now be seen are BKFC 13 was the first event to feature real time open scoring. A concept that is used by the World Boxing Council (WBC) for its world championship fights in traditional Professional Boxing, but one that has been a source of debate for nearly thirty years that has yet to be universally adapted and embraced by state and regulatory commissions around the world. Perhaps the most significant sign of growth however, is that official Boxing record keepers and databases such as BoxRec are now recognizing Bareknuckle bouts under the modernized format as official professional fights. Something that has been long overdue in this observer’s eyes that has not been accomplished by promoters that have presented their own variations of Boxing in Bareknuckle-form over the last decade, most notably the now defunct BKB:Bare-Knuckle/Big-Knockout Boxing promotion that was owned by United States Satellite Pay-TV provider DirecTV.
Longtime readers who may recall the coverage yours truly provided on every one of the DirecTV promoted BKB cards, I speculated from time to time as to whether or not Professional Boxing presented in a different form and format from that oof Traditional Professional Boxing would ultimately be recognized by sanctioning organizations and official record keepers as a recognized form of Professional Boxing. While it has been several years now as of this writing since the last DirecTV promoted BKB card and to date, none of those bouts are in official record databases beyond the coverage that I and a select few who cover Traditional Boxing full time, who covered some or in my case, every BKB event DirecTV promoted, I am optimistic that progress will continue to be made as far as the sport in organized Bareknuckle-form being recognized as the legitimate Professional Boxing form that it is.
While it remains doubtful that the sport’s major sanctioning organizations that regulate Traditional Professional Boxing will ever embrace the sport in Bareknuckle-form and would be willing to sanction a world championship fight under this format, this observer is encouraged by the steps forward that have been made. Even though it also is unclear as of this writing as to whether Traditional Boxing either Professional or Amateur will be showcased on the BKFC’s new digital streaming network as all of sports continue looking to adapt as television continues its evolution towards an all streaming format, it shouldn’t be ruled out. Especially if the trend of both boxers and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters choosing to compete in Bareknuckle Boxing in between bouts in their primary combat sports discipline continues.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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