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Inside World of Bare Knuckle Boxing: Solicitors, Ex-Armed Forces, Accountants

If I were to say the phrase 'bare-knuckle boxing', what springs to mind?

Huge fellas knocking s*** out of each other in a darkened basement? Brad Pitt's character from Snatch? Dodgy fights in a barn somewhere with men outside keeping look-out?

You might actually be surprised to learn that bare-knuckle boxing is having a resurgence in the UK, with professional events selling out venues up and down the country.

Hundreds of spectators pile in to watch the blood-soaked British bouts with fighters flying in from all over Europe to take part.

Former bare-knuckle boxer Shaun Smith runs Smithy's Gym in Warrington and Ultimate Bare-Knuckle Boxing with his wife Amanda and business partner Stu Armstrong. It's the UK's only bare-knuckle academy, and Shaun spends his days there training fighters before putting them up in bouts at major events.

"For me, it's the ultimate test of your manhood," he told LADbible. "You won't get anything more raw than having a fight with your bare fists.

"Something's gonna get broken, something's gonna bleed...and these men are going into it knowing that this isn't a case of 'it might happen. It definitely will happen.

"It's the most extreme sport you can do. Professional boxing is good, MMA is good, Muay Thai is good, they're all extreme, hard sports, but bare knuckle has just got that extra venom."


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