Bare Knuckle Bonanza! BYB Acquires UK-Based BKB

BYB Extreme Bare Knuckle Fighting Series (BYB) has acquired London-based Bare Knuckle Boxing (BKB), the world’s first professional bare knuckle boxing promotion. For stateside fans unfamiliar with the bare knuckle scene across the pond, BKB has successfully promoted 40 bare knuckle boxing events broadcast in over 35 countries since its inception nearly a decade ago.

“This is an unprecedented tipping point in mainstream bare knuckle fighting globally,” said BYB Owner and President Mike Vazquez. “Since the inception of both companies, we’ve maintained and developed a working relationship with BKB that has showcased cross-promotional fights since 2021, giving fans what they truly want and deserve: the best fighters in the world, taking the gloves off and facing one another in the oldest and purest form of combat sports.”

Formed in 2015 by Jim Freeman and Joe Smith-Brown, BKB regularly sells out the Liverpool Echo Arena and London’s Indigo at the O2, has hosted international fights in Phuket, Thailand, and boasts a roster of over 175 international fighters.

That includes some of the best bare knuckle fighters in the game, like Ireland’s Jimmy Sweeney, Croatia’s Marko Martinjak, and Wales’ Barrie Jones and Dan Chapman. BKB was the first bare knuckle company in the world to professionalize the sport in the modern era.

“This acquisition was a natural next step in becoming the biggest, baddest bare knuckle company in the world, with the largest international footprint and over 250 fighters from six continents and over two dozen countries, not to mention broadcasting on numerous platforms, globally, and to millions of people,” Vasquez continued.

Both Freeman and Smith-Brown will stay with BYB in an executive capacity, as Freeman will continue to handle day-to-day operations for BYB in Europe, and Smith-Brown will also stay on with BYB to oversee continued European expansion.

“Make no mistake, BYB and bare knuckle fighting is taking over the combat sports world, with a trajectory not much different than the UFC and MMA were on twenty years ago,” said BYB CEO Gregory Bloom. “BYB has positioned itself as the far-and-away leader in advancing the sport of bare knuckle fighting both domestically and internationally.”

BYB’s recent broadcast expansion includes live events on Fuse, the Latino-owned, global entertainment company available via cable TV or satellite providers, as well as through Sling TV, Fubo TV and DIRECTV STREAM. BYB programming is also available on Fight Network, as well as Roku and Apple TV devices across North America; and on BeIN SPORTS XTRA and BeIN SPORTS XTRA en Espanol.

“We have come a long way since Dada 5000’s backyard, but we’ve grown strategically, maintaining full control of the product, its ownership and its intellectual property, and have continued to uphold the highest standards of professionalism,” Bloom continued. “We have a brand ready-made for mass consumption, and the addition of BKB exponentially strengthens our product, worldwide, as bare knuckle goes mainstream.”

For much more on BYB and BKB click here and here.

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