Bare Knuckle Boxing Knocks Out Tampa

By on June 24, 2019

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 6 at the Special Events Center at the Fairgrounds in Tampa

When the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 6 in Tampa was announced, many in the area including myself had not heard of the organization and that 5 other BKFC events were put on in other states.

Lobov v Malignaggi (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

The first question to me during my initials discussions with colleagues and friends about the event were, “Is this a sanctioned event?” The answer to that question was easy “Yes it is.” A tilt of the head and the follow up reply contained a “That should be interesting and are you going to go?? My answer to both was a resounding “yes.” Many other people in the area also seemed to be interested in the event as the Special Events Center was packed prior to the preliminary fights that were shown on Facebook Live. Another reason the fights were sold out was because of the fight card itself.

Lobov v Malignaggi (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

The fight lineup had three well known names with one of them being two time boxing Champion Paulie Malignaggi going up against Bare Knuckle veteran and MMA fighter Artem Lobov.

Leben v Cochrane (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

In the Co-Main event was one of the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter veteran in Chris “The Crippler” Leben. Leben was a huge fan favorite as he always leaves everything in the ring, win, lose or draw.

Bare Knuckle in the Tampa area seems to be a perfect match as the Tampa St-Pete area has been a hot bed of professional combat sports for decades especially in the boxing ring.

Boxing Champions from the area have been plentiful and with many of them being household names. Some of them include Antonio Tarver, Jeff Lacy, and most notably of late, Clearwater’s Keith “One Time” Thurman. Thurman is presently the unbeaten WelterWeight World Champion.  


Thompson (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

Thompson and Abdiel Vasquez (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

After a couple solid preliminary fights that included a 5 round slugfest between Travis Thompson and Abdiel Vasquez with Vasquez taking the close decision……The 39.95 pay per view event card was kicked off by David “The Madman” Mundell from Florida versus Drew Lipton. Lipton was no match for Mundell as Mundell knocked Lipton out at 1:35 of the fight round with a nasty overhand right to put Lipton down on the canvas. Lipton stayed down on the canvas long after the ten count.

Mundell v Lipton (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Mundell v Lipton (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Mundell v Lipton (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

It didn’t take long for another fighter to hit the canvas as Jim “the Beast” Alers had a short night after destroying Elvin Brito with multiple upper cuts early in the first round. 45 seconds to be exact. With that victory, Alers was definitely up for knockout of the night.

Alers and Brito (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Alers and Brito (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

That’s the thing with any kind of combat sport but especially in bare knuckle, if you catch your opponent with a heavy clean shot, there’s a good chance he or she is staying down.

Riggs v Barbos (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

After two quick knockouts, there wasn’t any delay in getting the next fight to the ring as Joe “Diesel’ Riggs from Arizona took on Tampa’s own Walter Barbos. Riggs came out to Whitesnake’s most overplayed and lucrative song ever in “Here I Go Again” with Barbos having a pissed off look on his face as Riggs took his sweet time getting into the ring.

Riggs v Barbos (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

Riggs and Barbos exchanged blows in a close first round with the MMA veteran winning the round. The second round was a was different story as Barbos caught Riggs with a stiff right to put Riggs down late. Riggs got up to his feet before another solid shot by Barbos ended the round.

Riggs v Barbos (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

After another close round in the third, Riggs got back into it by dominating Barbos in the forth. The first signs of heavy blood splatter ringside happened after Riggs opened up Barbos’ left eye. Barbos came out strong in the 5th and final round but Riggs hit Barbos with a superman punch that stunned Barbos. The two exchanged blows until the end of the round with this one going to the score cards. If it comes down to who looked worse at the end of the fight than Riggs was the easy winner. Ultimately the judges didn’t think so, with the three of them all scoring the fight 37-37, a draw.

Hooters Anyone?? (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
More Hooters (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

In between the matches, the crowd was entertained by four Hooters Ring Girls while the other attendees wiped the blood from the ring ropes.

Joey Beltran (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

The forth fight of the main card brought the big boys to the ring as Joey “The Executioner” Beltran and his 242 pound frame took on 268 pound Jamie “The Delta Destroyer” Campbell. Campbell got the crowd going as he walked up to “Sirius” by the Allen Parsons Project. It’s the same lead up music that the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan came out to during their championship years.

Beltram v Campell (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

The smaller Beltran controlled the first round with his speed and aggravated Campbell throughout the round. The second was more of the same with Beltran crushing the left side of Campbell’s face with a right hand that put him on the canvas for an 8 count. Beltran would not let up and he smothered Cambell with overhand lefts and rights with Campbell going down a second and final time.

Beltram v Campell (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Beltram v Campell (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

Between fights the scuttlebutt in the arena was if Artem Lubov’s mma sparing partner and friend Connor McGregor would join Lubov ringside. Lubov’s opponent, Pauli Malignaggi and McGregor have bad blood between them since Malignaggi called out McGregor after McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather. Malignaggi wants a huge pay day fight with Mac. Would Mac show up to mess with Paulis’ head?? 

Shoaff v Lane (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

The next fight featured a middleweight matchup of two fighters that have spent as much time in the tattoo parlor as they have the ring. Lanky Tom Shoaff took on the heavy-handed and a much thicker Julian Lane. Lane knocked down Shoaff in the first and also dominated Shoaff in the second.  

Shoaff v Lane (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

Lane continued to throw haymakers throughout the third with Shoaff showing a lot of heart and stamina as they continued to battle into the forth and then into the fifth. Shoaff’s face took a lot of damage through the first four rounds as he needed a knockout to win the fight in the fifth.

Shoaff v Lane (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Shoaff v Lane (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

Shoaff pressed Lane during the fifth and stunned Lane with an uppercut and a left cross late in the round but it wasn’t enough as Lane won in convincing fashion with the scorecards reading 49-45.

Bedforf v Barnett (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

The finale to the Bare Knuckle 8 Man Lightweight Championship Tournament was next as “Brutal” Johnny Bedford matched up against Reggie Barnett Jr.

Bedforf v Barnett (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

When the bell rang, the two fighters dropped their heads and raced in like rams with their fists flying. Bedford scored two quick knock downs on Barnett early in the first minute. Barnett weathered the storm and made it out of the first round as a flurry of punches was exchanged by the two fighters.

Bedforf v Barnett (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

It was a close second with Barnett winning it by establishing his right jab, but Bedford baited Barnett to come forward in the third and Barnett bit. Bedford raised his hands up to say come on and fight and when Barnett moved forward, Bedford hit him with a straight right to the jaw that sent Barnett tumbling backwards for a knockdown. Barnett recovered again and the fight went to the fifth and final round.

Bedforf v Barnett (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

Both fighters were a bit gassed as the fight concluded with Bedford taking the title easily by a unanimous decision on the judge’s scorecards.

Bedforf v Barnett (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Chris Leben (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Dakota Cochrane (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Cochrane v Leben (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

The highly anticipated co-main event was up next with “The Crippler” Chris Leben taking on Dakota Cochrane.   The first round was a body slugfest by Leben with an illegal elbow thrown in to boot. The next four rounds were very even with exchanges by both fighters. Cochrane was a worthy opponent and with an unananimous decision, Cochrane upset Leben. It was obvious, Leben was gassed in the forth and even more so in the fifth with Cochrane pressing and landing solid shots on Leben. It was a disappointing loss for Leben with Cochrane proving to everyone that he is a force to be reckoned with in upcoming bare knuckle fights 

Cochrane v Leben (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Cochrane v Leben (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Cochrane v Leben (Photo-Jordan Raiff)
Lobov v Malignaggi (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

The most anticipated fight in Bare Knuckle Fighting history was next as Artum Lobov walked to the ring across the catwalk. Pauli Malignaggi with tons of piss and vinegar in his veins, strolled to the ring with swagger and a huge posse. Boos and cheers galore were heard in the Events Center. While the McGregor question was answered with a “no” (Mac didn’t show up) the fight’s big question was “would Malignaggi’s speed and boxing experience overcome Lobov’s power and bare knuckle experience?”

Lobov v Malignaggi (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

Both fighters seemed a bit nervous in the first with Lobov controlling the first half of the round by using his weight to smother Malignaggi. Malignaggi recovered at the end but Lobov wins a close round one.

Lobov v Malignaggi (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

Malignaggi changed things up a bit in the second by spacing himself out from Lobov and using his speed to go to Lobov’s body. He then threw jabs that got Lobov’s attention with Malignaggi winning a close second. From there it was all Lobov’s fight. He used his MMA skills to control the spacing and threw more punches that connected then Malignaggi.  Lobov went to the fifth round winning the fight with Malignaggi needing a knockout.

Lobov v Malignaggi (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

The fifth round was more of the same with Lobov chasing Malignaggi and throwing more punches. Even when Paulie hit Lobov, the shots had no effect on him. All the garbage talking that Malignaggi did leading up to the fight was just that. Talk. The effort didn’t back up the chatter with Malignaggi not throwing enough punches throughout the fight. 

Lobov v Malignaggi (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

The judge’s cards were unanimous 48-47 for the clear victor in Artum Lobov with the judges’ generously awarding Malignaggi 2 of the 5 rounds. He stated in the post fight that he might of broke his hand in the second round but it seemed like excuses for a guy that should of won this fight easily. His excuses continued by calling out the judges as he thought he won because of lack of connected punches by Lobov. Pauli’s face told a different story as his face was tore up with cuts and bruises.  Malignaggi also said that he was retiring from the sport and he was done fighting as a 38 year old. Lobov and his team was ecstatic about the win with Lobov high-fiving all the fans next to and around the catwalk leading upi to the ring.

Lobov v Malignaggi (Photo-Jordan Raiff)

 The Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 6 in Tampa was a huge success. A packed house witnessed some great fights and the event was ran beautifully by the event promoters with zero hiccups from a live sports perspective. The future is bright for the organization as they travel to other states to get sanctioned for other matches with the main goal to have events in Las Vegas and New York. The fans also got their money’s worth and many that I spoke with afterwards said that they would come back for the next Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship in Tampa.

For more information and upcoming events: https://www.bareknuckle.tv/

Categories: Entertainment, Other Sports, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment