Reputed ex-mobster Danny Provenzano, 51, wants to take bare-knuckle boxing mainstream. He believes it can be turned into a multi-billion-dollar industry and capture the world’s attention.
In an interview with the Daily Mail Provenzano said, “Bare-knuckle boxing requires a lot more skill than gloved boxing. You’ve got to make sure every punch counts, otherwise you’rre going to break your hand.”
He went on to argue that bare-knuckle boxing is safer than gloved boxing, “There are a lot more cuts and bruises, but less long-term damage.”
The medical fraternity appear to be divided on this.
The argument goes like this: Gloves ‘cushion’ a blow allowing for more blows to be delivered during a bout. The more blows there are, the more damage is done to a fighter’s brain.
The other side argue that the greater impact of an ‘un-cushioned’ blow inflicts more trauma on the brain and substantially increases the chance of damage to a boxer’s hand.
What both sides agree on is that the sport already exists. Without regulatory oversight the combatants are without any protection other than their own fists.
Bobby Gunn is regarded as the best bare-knucle boxer in the world. In an interview with MMA Radio he announced that two states in the US are on the verge of legalising the combat sport.
“It’s going to be ground-breaking for the sport.”
Provenzano is working closely with Gunn to legalise the sport throughout the world. To that end they wish to organise a fight with high profile MMA fighter Kimbo Slice to grasp world attention.
“He (Gunn) is the poster boy of the bare-knuckle boxing world.”
While Kimbo Slice rocketed to fame with viral Youtube videos of his accept-all-comers street fights. Gunn won the first officially sanctioned bare-knuckle boxing match in 2011.
He said to barcrogt.tv, “I’ve been fighting since I was 6 years old. I do this for my family.”
While it was an underground sport promoters were happy to allow gambling. Their fighters stood to earn up to $100,000 for a high profile fight. But in a bid to have the sport legitimised they have had to eliminate this side of their events.
“We’ve taken a hit in the pocket,” Provenzano said. “But it will be worth it once we’re mainstream.”