Wishing BKB friends a Happy and Healthy 2021
2020 started so full of promise for all of us connected to BKBtm as it promised to be another year of advancement and moving upwards on Joe and Jim’s BKB journey.
It kicked off in great style with BKB 20 at the O2 Arena in January with the prospect of 4 or maybe 5 more shows during the following 11 months.
Sadly, the pandemic put paid to that for us all with many of us suffering the pain of losing loved ones and others suffering genuine hardship. But BKB wise it was the Joe and Jim and the fighters who suffered the most as show after show was postponed and rearranged only for it to be postponed again. The fighters worked hard in their training camps building themselves up professionally only to be told the fight could not happen. For any sportsman that is soul destroying and mentally painful. However, us knuckleholics we were also missing our regular fix of great fights both live and on PPV Fite TV.
This inspired Joe and Jim to put on a behind closed doors “BKB Lockdown” show in a fantastic venue that they knew would mean they lost money but the desire to put on a show for the fans meant their hearts ruled their heads and their bank balance.
I have commentated on every show since BKB 1 and to be fair was not sure what to expect. We were using a new TV production company while having a mix of seasoned fighters and debutants who would showcase what they had to offer the sport. I suppose you never really know if a fighter has what it takes until the first bell goes.
I hope you enjoyed the production from what was a fantastic venue in Redditch, where Channel 5 have hosted their last 2 gloved fight nights. The whole production was as professional as any gloved boxing event.
The fights, as I said were a mix of established BKB fighters and new faces. But what a show they put on.
The highlight was the British Bantamweight title fight between Sean George and Smudger Smith. It was the closest fight I have had to call and knew on the final bell that it could either way. And whichever way it went would not have surprised me or my co-commentators Robin Black and Glenn McCrory. It went to Sean George by the finest of margins but what a fight it was and has left us all breathless and begging for a rematch ASAP. Neither deserved to lose the fight but the judges went for Sean and that was a massive and understandable disappointment for Smudger and his fans. He deserves lots of respect for making the brilliant fight that it was. After all it’s impossible to clap one handed. However, to hear some social media talk afterwards that the fight was “fixed” was extremely disappointing and deluded nonsense and disrespectful to everyone concerned.
As I said they both played their part in making it such a great fight and in my view the fight of the year. They are two terrific warriors that BKBtm, I am sure, are proud of.
To be honest in my opinion BKBtm now has more value for money fighters than at any time since BKB 1 and that argues well for the future of the sport and the BKBtm organisation.
Dan Podmore looking leaner meaner and fitter than at any time he has fought BKB lifted the British Heavyweight crown by stopping Rob Cunningham in the 4th round.
It was fantastic to see Nathan Leeson back and looking so hungry in the ring. He beat Matt Piper who was retired on doctor’s orders after the first round.
What a performance from Craig Morgan who took the fight against Jay Eggleston at short notice and to be honest won comfortably.
KO specialist Paul Hiltz will be looking for a title fight after seeing of debutant Aaron Foster with ease as will Scott McHugh who was impressive in his win over Will Cairns.
The one debut fighter who really impressed was Reece Murray who was in control from the first bell against Marty Mayes to win undisputed but having said that watch out for Transylvanian Conon Barbaru who won by KO on his debut but will face tougher tests in the future.
Now as we head into 2021 it looks like it will be the end of February at the earliest before Jim and Joe can get BKB back on track with either BKB 21 or BKB Lockdown 2. I don’t know about you but I will be suffering withdrawal symptoms
We are all great fighters from outside the ring. I have never had a bad fight from ringside in the comfort of the commentary position, never put a foot wrong and always know what should have been done that wasn’t. I would never get into the ring and do what these guys do and that it was I have 100% respect for anyone that does be they a champion, challenger or opponent. That is why we should never disrespect anyone who steps into the ring. He is a warrior doing what the rest of us cannot do, or more nearer the truth would never do no matter how much we were offered to fight. Win lose or draw they deserve our ultimate respect.
A boxing trainer once said to me that in any fighter he looked to see if they had boxing’s Holy Trinity i.e. a) chin b) desire/heart and c) ability. When you have all three you have a champion. When you have two a) and b) you have an opponent. However, if you only have c) you have a waste of time.
By the way he also told me to be wary of any boxer who fights with his face.
I am sure 2021 will be a fantastic year for BKBtm. It has given me hours of job satisfaction and making me a lot of new friends over the last 4 years or so. Roll on February.