Inside Russia’s first pro bare-knuckle boxing league where fighters risk their lives for just £10,000 as they square up on a cargo ship… and they don’t even need to wear a gumshield (but looking at the pictures they probably should)
- Shocking images show damage suffered by bare-knuckle boxers in Russia
- They compete in Hardcore Fighting Championships for £10,000 prize money
- Fighters only have wrist strapping – and the facial lacerations are gruesome
- Controversial bare-knuckle events are rising in popularity but divide opinion
Gruesome images have emerged showing the bloody injuries suffered by bare-knuckle boxers in Russia.
Those competing in ‘Hardcore Fighting Championships’ clashed in a cage on Monday without gloves.
The results are not for the faint hearted with nasty facial lacerations suffered by boxers competing for the prize money of just £10,000.
The Hardcore Fighting Championships in Russia is a bare-knuckle boxing promotion
Andrei Kiselev, pictured, was covered in blood during his bout in the round of 16
The event on Monday was hosted on a cargo ship and fighters suffered bloody injuries
Those competing sustained facial swelling and cuts as they competed for £10,000
It is the first bare-knuckle fighting league in Russia and the only protection available is strapping to the wrist and an optional gumshield.
The competition’s quarter-final stage took place on a cargo ship called Rio-1 docked in Moscow and those in attendance appeared to ignore social distancing.
One fight saw two rival couriers for food companies, Andrei Kiselev and Anton Shchipochev, lock horns.
Bare-knuckle events appear to be growing in popularity around the world.
Bare Knuckle FC in the United States has signed a number of former boxers and MMA fighters to compete, the latest being ex-UFC fan favourite Paige VanZant.
One competitor had blood streaming down his face from a laceration to his forehead
The only protection for fighters was some light wrist strapping and an optional gum shield
Conor McGregor’s former team-mate and another UFC alumni Artem Lobov and former boxing world champion Pauli Malignaggi are also on their books.
The controversial events divide opinion with many condemning organisers for the barbaric nature of the competition.
But some defend the blood sport, arguing that it is in fact safer for the brain than boxing, despite the gore on show.
There were plenty of fans in attendance and social distancing went out the window
Artem Lobov (left) beat Pauli Malignaggi (right) in a Bare Knuckle FC encounter back in June
One Washington State University study found that people could generate 27.9 per cent more movement when punching a heavy bag with boxing gloves on rather than with their bare fist.
In the UK, ticketed events have attracted up to 800 fans despite a cost of nearly £100 to watch.
The sport has never been illegal in Britain but is not regulated or sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control.