News & Opinion | May 30, 2018 5:00 am

Legal, Bare-Knuckle Boxing Returns After 129-Year Absence

The first fights of its kind since 1889, a multi-bout, June card will feature UFC fighters.

Bare-knuckle boxing
Bare-knuckle boxing is returning to the U.S. (Getty Images)
Getty Images/Blend Images

For the first time since 1889, bare-knuckle boxing, or boxing without gloves, is returning to the United States. A new organization known as the Bare Knuckle Fighting Champions (BKFC) is promoting the first, legal, bare-knuckle boxing bouts in the States in 129 years. They will happen on June 2 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at an event that will feature a number of recognizable names, including UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez, former Bellator heavyweight Eric Prindle, and former boxer Paul Spadafora. It will also include what BKFC has dubbed the “first-ever” sanctioned, women’s bare-knuckle match, though the claim is impossible to verify. Former UFC strawweight-turned-flyweight Bec Rawlings will take on boxer Alma Garcia.

However, Maxim writes that though all the fighters involved in the June 2nd brawl have accomplished careers in combat sports, the majority of the fighters on the bill have “passed the point of relevance.” The magazine also writes that it is hard to imagine BKFC will gain any sort of long-term traction in the U.S.