It’s no secret that the days of boxers going toe-to-toe have dwindled. And with the rise of mixed martial arts as the king of combat sports, the boxing industry in general has been overshadowed for the past decade.
The newly established Big Knockout Boxing plans to change that, however, as the new promotion will hold its first pay-per-view card at Mandalay Bay Events Center on August 16, when middleweight Bryan Vera takes on Gabriel Rosado in the main event.
Big Knockout Boxing (BKB) is intent on bringing back an element of fighting that has been lacking in boxing for quite some time. “You’re forced to fight,” Vera says.
The highlight of the promotion is what’s called “the pit”: a circle 17 feet in diameter with padded borders and no corners or ropes. The fighters will wear specially designed gloves with different padding than traditional boxing gloves.
“Everybody wants to see toe-to-toe; everybody wants to see a fight,” Rosado says. “With having seven two-minute rounds and not having any ropes, I think that style will force a toe-to-toe matchup.”
It’s exactly what BKB is aiming for. With offense and aggression emphasized, as well as shorter rounds, the chances of knockouts are greatly increased.
“In this particular environment, offense is going to be rewarded, and more offense is going to lead to more knockouts,” says Bruce Binkow, BKB’s executive director. “ I think it allows fighters to pace themselves differently and allows for strong action from the opening bell.”
While anti-violence crusaders or even boxing purists may not be drawn to it, BKB officials believe their sport will create mainstream interest while also eliminating the controversial decisions by judges that often taint high-profile bouts.
“A lot of the politics and the judges’ scoring don’t matter in here,” Vera says. “It’s two minutes and you’ve got to go to war, and most of the time they’re not going to [need] to go to the scorecard.”
Along with eliminating the politics, BKB gives fighters a chance to showcase themselves differently from contemporary boxers.
“BKB is going to bring real fighters,” Rosado says. “Nowadays you almost have more athletes than fighters, and there are a lot of frauds. With BKB you have to be a fighter at heart.”
While BKB intends to add a new twist to boxing, it isn’t attempting to revitalize it, as Binkow believes BKB will develop its own identity apart from traditional boxing. While comparisons will be inevitable, the promotion aims to create a product that will be accepted and respected by the mainstream.
“This a combat sport for all fans, and people who enjoy combat sports will appreciate them in any form,” Binkow says. “This is hopefully going to create a new stylistic form of combat sports.”