BKB™ Prize Fighter: James Connelly
BKB™ Prize Fighter: James Connelly
At BKB 16 on March 30th, James Connelly will square off against Smudger Smith in the semi-finals of the Prize Fighter tournament.
Ahead of his bout, chasing the £10,000 and Jack Broughton trophy, Connelly touches on what drew his interest towards bare knuckle boxing, his opponent, and what winning the prize money will do for him.
One of the oldest sports, but newly legalized has continued to grow over the past few years in both Europe and North America. While bare knuckle boxing seems barbaric to some, for others, like Connelly, it made him excited to be a part of it.
“I got into BKB through getting in touch with Jim Freeman (Co-owner) and him giving me an opportunity. I never knew it was legal before I started seeing it on Youtube, so I was really excited when I knew I had the chance to be involved in this sport. Ricky Nelder and Kris Trezise, who are both BKB British champions are both my mates, and they have been a part of me also getting involved.”
Now fully involved, and one of the four remaining in the tournament, James has nothing but respect for his opponent, Smudger, but says comes March 30th, “that will go out the window.”
“Smudger Smith I would see as a friend, a hard man who is a realist, and we both knew we could end up fighting each other in this tournament and here we are. I have the utmost respect for this man, but come March 30th that will go out the window for 10 minutes or less, go to war and after we will hug and be friends again. I have nothing bad to say about him and I’m sure he won't have anything bad to say about me. We are going to fight regardless, and we will put a show on for the BKB fans.”
When Connelly heard of the legalization of bare knuckle boxing, he was interested to fight, but never knew he’d be apart of the Prize Fighter Tournament. Now with the opportunity to advance and potentially win £10,000, James plans on using it for smart investments.
The £10,000 prize money I have never thought about it. I got asked to be in Prize Fighter, I didn’t put my name forward, so it’s like I’ve had a crash course in BKB”, Connelly laughed, then continued… “But I would set up a gym with the money, it will go into something worth having and not spent on material things. I will make the money go a long way and build something I’ve always wanted.”
With a plan for the money, and war in mind, Connelly says we can expect a different fighter. More focused, he has now learned from his “trial and error” stage, ready to fight in front of the thousands that will be in attendance.
“You can expect me to be a different fighter! I had a lot of trial and error in my last camp with way too much running for way too long. I have got a training schedule from Birmingham’s top coach, Jon Pegg that I have followed to a tee, and I have seen the difference in how I feel, with my being heavier and stronger. With this fight, it's a pleasure to be involved in BKB™. Three nights ago I was fighting in a social club, and now I’m fighting in front of a few thousand! How times have changed.”
From fighting in front of just a couple of people to competing at the O2 Arena in London, James Connelly will enter the semi-finals with greater knowledge and about as humble as they come. Tune in March 30th on PPV and Fite tv for BKB 16, featuring the Prize Fighter Tournament semi-finals.
The finals will be set, who do you think will advance? Let us know on Twitter: @bkb_official1