Bare Knuckle President David Feldman Hopes to Match Tyson Up With Wanderlei Silva
By: Hans Themistode
Former Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has yet another offer on the table. One that he may not be able to walk away from.
Raking in tens of millions of dollars was once a normal occurrence for Tyson. It isn’t surprising. After all, the youngest Heavyweight titlist in boxing history repeatedly left his opponents clinging for life after a few minutes into his contests.
At 53 years of age, he may not possess the same knockout as he did in his younger years, but his ability to draw viewers to a television screen seems to be as strong as ever.
It’s been a decade and a half since Tyson has stepped foot inside of a boxing ring. But the former Heavyweight champion has used this worldwide pandemic to get himself back into fighting shape.
Tyson isn’t eyeing a title shot against unified champion Anthony Joshua. He also doesn’t seem interested in ending the debate of who hits the hardest between himself and former WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder.
Instead, Tyson has expressed interest in taking part in a few exhibition matchups for charity. And while getting a glimpse inside of the ring would draw a massive crowd, current President of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship David Feldman, would rather Tyson bring that attention to his sport. And he is prepared to pay a hefty price in order for the former champion to do so.
“I want to see if we can make the Mike thing happen, period, and then we’ll start talking opponents. We’re not successful yet in making that Mike thing happen. But I don’t think the door’s shut. He did say no immediately. But I think there’s room there.”
Not only does Feldman believe there is room, but he also believes he has the perfect opponent lined up. And regardless of what MMA star Tito Ortiz has recently said to the media in terms of an offer being on the table for him to face Tyson, Feldman has someone else in mind.
“I didn’t offer that (to Ortiz),” Feldman said. “I’m not sure that it really draws. I think a Wanderlei Silva, someone of that nature. No matter how old Silva gets, he’s dangerous, and I think that would be an intriguing matchup. Something like that, but I don’t actually have anything in mind right now.”
Bare Knuckle Boxing Inaugural Event Recap
By Bryanna Fissori
The crowd came out in droves to watch the first sanctioned bare knuckle boxing match. Even the upper levels of the venue were packed and many found fans opted to stand rather than squeeze in for a seat.
Bare Knuckle Boxing took place in a 22-foot diameter circle ring with four ropes. Like traditional boxing, punches were the only strikes allowed. One of the big differences is that fighters were also allowed to punch in the clinch, which could include grabbing the back of the neck or head and “dirty boxing.” Another variance was the “toe line.” Boxers start each round standing at the toe line in the middle of the ring, just inches from each other rather than in their corner. The fighters were not allowed to wrap their hands within one-inch of the knuckle but are allowed to wrap the thumb and wrist for support.
The Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship event marks the first bare knuckle boxing competition since 1889.
All fights were scheduled for five rounds, each lasting two minutes though few made it that long. Of the eight heavyweights competing, four made it on to the quarter-finals of the heavyweight tournament in September. The finals are scheduled for December, with the winner recieving $50,000 just in time for Christmas.
There was going to be no middle ground for this inaugural event. It was either going to be a huge success or a complete disaster. With an organized format, experienced key players on the sidelines, a house full of fans on their feet and PPV that was actually being purchased, it seems like the show went over impressively well.
Unlike traditional boxing or MMA, lack of gloves appeared to reduce the amount of repeated head trauma. No fights were stopped because the fighter couldn’t continue. A knockout was a knockout and a cut was a cut. Each of the fighters was back on their feet after the bout. The ringside physicians kept a watchful eye on each cut and there was no controversy on stoppages.
Heavily experienced cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran was working the event which was refereed by “Big Dan” Miragliotta.
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship Results
It didn’t take long for to christen the canvas with blood. The first bout ended in the second round via doctor stoppage with Arnold Adams bleeding to heavily to continue at the hands of DJ Linderman.
The next two fights also wasted no time with Estevan Payan dropping Omar Avelar in the very first and Dale Sopi falling to Maurice Jackson in the second round.
Just when fans were beginning to think it would be a short night, Reggie Barnett and Travis Thompson put on a five round war. The bantamweights demonstrated the speed and aggression you would expect from lighter competitors. Both fighters made use of the ability to clinch, which is not typical of traditional boxing. The fighters received a standing ovation from the crowd and Barnett won the unanimous decision.
The fifth matchup was another fast one with Johnny Bedford getting the TKO in round two against Nick Mamalis. Winning the award for weirdest fight of the night, Bobby Gunn made quick work of Irineu Beato Costa Jr. who, despite having a decent record (19-7-0) didn’t put on the show that was expected and was dropped twice in 41 seconds to end the fight.
Sam Shewmaker wasted no time against a dangerous opponent, winning via one-punch knockout against Eric Prindle.
The much anticipated female match-up between Bec Rawlings and Almanza Garcia was a great display of boxing technique and clinch work. The ringside doctors called a stoppage at the end of round two due to a bad nose break that had Garcia’s blood running onto the canvas awarding Rawlings a second-round TKO.
The fight that had fans on their feet was the heavyweight matchup between MMA veterans Joey Beltran and Tony Lopez. Beltran won the first few rounds with technical striking as he bloodied the face of Lopez, who was dropped in the first but refused to stay down. Lopez never lost that perseverance and the two put on a brutal display of dirty boxing lasting all five rounds without slowing down. Not only is that a difficult feat, it is also unusual for two heavyweights to maintain that kind of pace. Though Beltran won the decision, the fans won that fight.
The main event was a showdown between former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez and Lewis Rumsey. Unfortunately, following the amazing performance of Beltran and Lopez, this bout was held to a higher expectation. Though the boxers were engaging, their clinches were more typically for what is expected of heavyweights, especially in the later rounds. Rodriguez won the bout via unanimous decision.