Evolution is defined as the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form… Big Knockout Boxing, better known as BKB, is the antithesis of this… Traditional boxing as we know it today offers a level of complexity that not many sports rival. It is competition in its purest form… two athletes using their God given abilities to out-dual the other in combat. No team. No equipment besides gloves. No objects. Yet the strategy involved in a prize fight takes the purest form of competition and turns it into a rare piece of theater…
This past weekend, the Mandalay Bay Events Center played host to BKB’s first pay-per-view fight card in the United States. The main event featured battle tested veterans Gabriel Rosado and Brian Vera. On the surface, this matchup equates to a pretty good scrap in traditional boxing… but when offered with the added elements of BKB boxing, it’s much more enticing.
BKB features a pit instead of a traditional boxing ring with a diameter of 17 feet. Bouts are seven rounds and only two minutes long. What BKB offers can only be truly appreciated by the eye. After watching Rosado KO Brian Vera with a crushing counter right hand in the sixth round, I walked away wondering if this was the future of the sport.
The action was heavy, as there’s really nowhere to hide in the claustrophobic pit. It reminded me of a video game, where both fighters are in one spot slipping and trading punches with the slightest of lateral movement. BKB was intense and I have to admit… I like it.
But let’s not get carried away fight fans… it will never replace traditional boxing. I see it more as an added element to the fight game… An entity that can take C+ fighters like Gabe Rosado and Brian Vera and put on a good show. It’s a tremendous avenue for one-dimensional fighters who may have lost their way in the traditional game.
See… we as people tend to overreact at the newest and brightest objects of entertainment. The public consensus across America is that boxing is dying… when in actuality it couldn’t be further from the truth. Is it where it once was? Definitely not. But there’s two aspects of traditional boxing that will continue to carry the sport… its history… and its diversity. BKB offers neither.
Everyone loves a war… two guys slugging it out until one succumbs to defeat. It’s a part of sports that’s unparalleled. But remember, too much of one thing is never a good thing. It’s human nature. We need balance. Traditional boxing offers balance. For every Castillo-Corrales I… there’s a De La Hoya-Mosley I. Two completely different types of fights, but equally entertaining. There’s a beauty in being able to use the ring to your advantage. The best fights have a blend of it all… great boxing, movement and exchanges. BKB won’t be able to offer that.
The biggest proponent of BKB is its name… Big Knockouts. The idea is that people want to see more knockouts. People need to once again see the deeper picture… it’s never the knockout, it’s who’s getting knocked out or who’s doing the knocking out. There’s a physiological aspect that the majority of sports fans fail to realize. We don’t wanna just see knockouts, we wanna see the best fighters in the world score knockouts. Traditional boxing makes us appreciate the knockout! When Manny Pacquiao got put to sleep by that violent right hand counter from Juan Manuel Marquez, the sporting world was shocked! In awe of such a moment! It’s balance… and it’s needed.
It’s also why I feel BKB is the perfect added element to traditional boxing. Not an evolution of the sport, but more of a component to garner new fans to the sweet science. It’s also a perfectly constructed bridging of the gap for MMA fans with a slight curiosity in boxing. I’m all for it!
I really hope Big Knockout Boxing is successful and branches out to other cable providers and networks for the simple fact that in its infancy, BKB has no choice but to offer exciting drama-filled matchups. It’s got a big hill to climb, but the interest is there. They have a choice to make… are they competing with traditional boxing or simply offering an alternative? For their sake, I hope it’s the latter.