HUNDREDS of bare-knuckle boxing fans descended on Ryton’s Sports Connexion to witness the World Middleweight Championship fight between Jimmy Sweeney and Christian Evans.
Both good friends, Sweeney and Evans boasted the same BKB record prior to Saturday’s fight, however it was the ‘Celtic Warrior’ who came out on top at the conclusion of a blockbuster night of bare-knuckle bouting.
The sport has grown in popularity since becoming legalised and fully sanctioned and is attracting former stars from the sport of boxing and UFC.
Fighters fight in the company of licenced referees, a panal of expert judges and a full medical team including chief doctor, Bill Ellis.
A hotly contested first round was followed by Evans being knocked to the canvas by the 31-year-old shortly into the second of the five round fight.
Referee Shaun Smith stopped the fight and Sweeney, who travelled from the north-west town of Sligo for the fight, was crowned champion.
Evans immediately paid tribute to his “good friend” Sweeney and took to social media to congratulate him.
Evans said: “No excuses, the better man won on the night.
“I’m not going to make excuses and say I didn’t do this or I should’ve done that – Jimmy won and he deserved it, simple.
“I’m a bit gutted, a bit disappointed but that’s life – at the end of the day it was a great night.”
The event, hosted by UBBAD promotions, attracted over 1,300 spectators – and media manager Stu Armstrong confirmed that plans are already in place to bring the event back to Coventry.
Armstrong added: “The night went really well – it was our first visit to Coventry and we are already planning to bring the event back to the Ryton Sports Connexion.
“The Sports Connexion were fantastic hosts, we wanted to attract more people but we decided to move the tables further apart to avoid any hazards for the visitors.
“Jimmy proved the better fighter on the night and displayed his experience.
“We hope to bring BKB to the more mainstream audience, overcoming the reputation that BKB currently has is our biggest challenge but we’re well on the way to where we want to be and Saturday night proved that.”