Bareknuckle boxing’s knockout king has issued a warning to gloved fighters making the switch to the UK’s fastest-growing sport.
Promoters BKB announced this week that Chad Gaynor and Michael Lobby had signed up to fight on their shows.
Gaynor fought for the English welterweight title during his 15-2 gloved career, while Lobby had a couple of fights up at cruiserweight under London promoter Mickey Helliet.
Bareknuckle boxing is growing, with 3,000 sell outs at the O2 Indigo prompting the promoters booking Wembley Arena this year.
The chance to fight there – and in front of millions worldwide on television – looks set to bring more gloved fighters to the sport.
Daniel Lerwell has warned them that bareknuckle boxing is very different.
The Welshman has been named the sport’s No 1 power puncher after laying out three of his opening four opponents.
Lerwell had previously boxed as an amateur and on the unlicensed circuit and also fought MMA before joining BKB and said: “Getting hit in a bareknuckle fight is totally different.
“There have been a few pro boxers who have come to bareknuckle thinking it would be easy.
“They have had one fight and thought: ‘I don’t fancy doing that again.’
“Look at Paulie Malignaggi, a former world champion boxer who lost to Artem Lobov in a bareknuckle fight.
“I think gloved boxers look at us and think: ‘They aren’t as skilled as me,’ but we are rough-and-ready streetfighters.
“We don’t all have the skills, but we have the toughness and that’s what counts in bareknuckle boxing.
“Gloved boxers get hit in a bareknuckle fight and think: ‘I didn’t like that.’
“The ring is a lot smaller in bareknuckle boxer as well. There’s nowhere to run. You can close your opponents down quicker and set about them.”