Eight men. £10,000. One winner. On September 14th, the 02 London will host the biggest tournament of its kind in the UK’s fastest-growing sport. Following BKB’s most successful show ever in June, we give you everything you need to know about their next Prizefighter tournament.
Eight lightweights weighing up to 74kg will enter an eliminator style competition made of three stages: the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the £10,000 final. BKB18 on September 14th will host the four quarterfinal fights.
The Last Prizefighter
The approaching Prizefighter follows the huge success of BKB’s inaugural tournament which concluded last June. In the final, Ricardo Franco outpointed James Connelly over a thrilling seven round war, to be crowned the winner of the first ever BKB Prizefighter tournament. Franco walked away with £10,000 in cash and the Jack Broughton trophy. Crucially, he also earnt the right to challenge pound for pound ‘BKB King’ Jimmy Sweeney for his lightweight world title.
The matchups for the approaching Prizefighter were selected at random at an event hosted by BKB Co-owner Jim Freeman. Here are the results:
Quarter final fight one: Hubert Geven v Bachir Fakhouri
Quarter final fight two: Paul Stredder v Mark Rawes
Quarter final fight three: Tony Lafferty v Ben Gumbrell
Quarter final fight four: Smudger Smith v Jeff Chiffens
Meet The Fighters
This Dutch professional boasts an impressive 17-3 MMA and 36-5-4 kickboxing record, across the 140, 155 and 170lb divisions. From a traveller background, the 25-year-old “Gipsy King” has shown he is game. He called out Artem Lobov for a Bare Knuckle fight, offering to fight the controversial UFC star for free at any time and any place. The first of the quarter-final fights marks Geven’s debut to Bare Knuckle boxing, where he takes on Bachir Fakhouri.
NetBet odds to win quarter-final against Bachir Fakhouri: 1/2
NetBet odds to win the tournament: 7/2
Also making his Bare Knuckle debut is Bachir Fakhouri. Full-time fighter “Bash” has been training Taekwondo since the age of ten and has achieved a string of honours since. This includes representing the UK and Europe in Africa and South America. Eastbourne’s Bash is also a ZT fight night winner- a title held by UFC veterans John Hathaway and Oli Thompson. Currently 4-1-1 in professional K1, the 38-year-old brings heavy hands and a wealth of experience to the Prizefighter tournament.
NetBet odds to win quarter-final against Hubert Geven: 6/4
NetBet odds to win the tournament: 14/1
Former Royal Marine Commando Paul Stredder makes his second BKB appearance on September 14th. The 36-year-old boasts extensive experience in combat sports, having fought MMA, Muay Thai and BJJ. He is no stranger to Bare Knuckle, taking a hard-earnt victory in a bloody bout with UBKB last year before he had signed with BKB. Stredder is a two-time Amateur Boxing Association finalist, which serves as a testament to his boxing pedigree. Tough and full of heart, the Liverpool-based pro takes on Mark Rawes at BKB18.
NetBet odds to win quarter-final against Mark Rawes: 5/7
NetBet odds to win the tournament: 5/1
Mark Rawes is a two-weight Southern Area Champion with the International Association of Boxing. His passion for the sport ignited in the white-collar scene, raising money for charity. The 29-year-old from Bournemouth then turned semi-pro under the guidance of friend and professional boxer Steve Liddell. Rawes currently has 13 victories to his name and seven narrow points losses. After successfully defending his belt, Rawes chose the challenge of professional Bare Knuckle over becoming a professional gloved boxer.
NetBet odds to win quarter-final against Paul Stredder: 1/1
NetBet odds to win the tournament: 5/1
Frequently in BKB’s “fight of the night”, this Scottish crowd-pleaser guarantees fireworks. The “Tiger” from Stirling is currently 3-1 in BKB, which earmarks him to do well. Lafferty is a proven tough-man in and out of the ring, having served nine years in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders regiment. Lafferty then went 9-1 in unlicensed boxing before signing with BKB. His Bare Knuckle experience means the bookies give him the slight edge over more experienced gloved boxer Ben Gumbrell.
NetBet odds to win quarter-final against Ben Gumbrell: 4/7
NetBet odds to win the tournament: 3/1
Bare Knuckle novice Ben Gumbrell brings impressive amateur and semi-pro experience to the tournament. Boxing since age 14, Brighton’s Gumbrell achieved Brighton and Hove ABC’s Boxer of the year 2009, 2010, 2011 and Best Club Senior 2008, 2009, 2010. Over his 38-fight amateur career (21-17), Gumbrell reached the finals of the England Boxing Novice Championships and the Southern Counties championships. Following his amateur success, Gumbrell brought his exciting style to the semi-pro ranks, achieving a 6-1 record.
NetBet odds to win quarter-final against Tony Lafferty: 5/4
NetBet odds to win the tournament: 6/1
NetBet’s favourite to win the tournament is Smudger Smith. The BKB veteran is already 2-2 at middleweight. Smudger is the only one of the eight contenders to have entered BKB’s previous Prizefighter tournament. There, he reached the semi-finals, being outpointed by James Connelly. Now, the Yorkshireman is stepping down to 74kg especially for this tournament. Fan-favourite Smith is a classy counterpuncher and has excellent defensive upper body movement. To learn more about him, read Paolo Lucci’s in-depth interview with him “Lightweights Beware” coming soon to ‘Toe The Line’.
NetBet odds to win quarter-final against Jeff Chiffens: 1/4
NetBet odds to win the tournament: 2/1
The competition’s wildcard is the maverick from across the pond; Jeff Chiffens. The mysterious American is undefeated in his one-fight campaign, winning his Bare Knuckle debut with a first-round knockout at WBKFF 1. What stood out more than his brutal one-punch K.O. was his style. The highly unorthodox Chiffens baffled his taller and heavier opponent to end the contest in 1 minute 35 seconds. The Delaware man is unfazed by facing the tournament’s favourite, revealing that the real fight is within himself.
NetBet odds to win quarter-final against Smudger Smith: 11/4
NetBet odds to win the tournament: 16/1
Reserve fighter: Craig Kelly
In case of unforeseen circumstances forcing one of the eight men above to pull out of the contest, BKB has prepared Craig Kelly to step in to replace them. Kelly is a 25-fight professional gloved boxer and the former BBBofC Scottish Welterweight Champion. The 36-year-old is still active, with his most recent fight being a title challenge fought this March. If he doesn’t appear in the Prizefighter, we will see him fight at BKB19 in November.
Odds will be offered in the event that Kelly has to replace a fighter listed above.
The Under Card
BKB18 on 14th September promises a packed-out card filled with some highly anticipated match-ups. In brackets are NetBet’s odds for each fighter winning the bout via any method.
Jimmy Sweeney v Jean Carlos Prada
Tyler Goodjohn v Sean George
Matty Askin v Danny Batchelder
Marc Navarro v Barrie Jones
Darren Hendry v Dan McGraffin
Kris Trezise v Robby Drought
Jack Arnfield v Paul Hilz
You wanna bet?
Leader of the pack NetBet are the first to offer odds on Bare Knuckle boxing. Click here to bet on the quarter finals or the overall winner. See odds below:
Quarter finals only, decided on 14th September:
Overall Prizefighter winner to be decided January 2020:
The Prizefighter takes places at BKB18 on September 14th. Get your tickets from the fighters or here.