Few great words from BKB media manager Tom Ross
Like all of us, I suspect, I am suffering serious BKBtm withdrawal symptoms and really can’t wait until we can restart the live shows at the O2 Arena.
What I miss most, apart from the nuts and guts in the ring, is the camaraderie, the passion, the feeling of being part of something special, something that is growing at a fast pace. The amazing team spirit as we all go about our various jobs ahead of doors opening, preparing in detail to ensure that the matchmaking by Joe and Jim gives the fans and viewers the best BKB experience and that the whole BKB experience improves show by show.
I miss that exciting build-up; from the Friday night with “Tapes are Off” pre-show interviews- to the Saturday lunchtime weigh in-to the installation of the ring, to the live show itself.
I miss the fighters who inside the ring are fearsome but outside of the ring are totally different people many of whom I am pleased to be friends with.
Mid-afternoon on Saturdays we have a couple of meetings a media one with the TV people and commentators, and one Jim and Joe hold with officials MC etc. These meetings reassure Joe and Jim that everyone is aware of their jobs, on top of their game and all on the same page.
As we prepare for the doors to open and other ancillary staff to arrive the atmosphere at the O2 changes quite dramatically at around 5pm. Swinging from the professional let’s get it done attitude to one of electrically charged expectation. You can almost taste the tense nervous energy around the arena.
Fighters arrive with, as you would expect, a much quieter and focused way about them than they might have had at the lunchtime weigh in. To be honest one of two do try to maintain their effervescent demeanour with a happy go lucky mask. However, I suspect, it’s just for show as inside they are slowly but surely getting their mentality into, what is a prerequisite for any fighter, a winning mindset.
As the arena starts filling up with the most important people, the BKB fans, a buzz of anticipation starts to move around the Indigo. My co-commentators Robin Reid, Glen McCrory and myself will spend a few minutes testing Mic levels and going through various things to do with fighter’s records, weights. All the details we need to ensure the broadcast we provide is at the professional level required. We have to be focused and, just like the fighters, all the banter stops as we prepare with our own “be the best you can mentality”.
Then comes the show and again the atmosphere cranks up a few notches as MC Lee Drewett officially welcomes everybody to the show and I welcome everyone around the world on PPV FITE TV
Then its 4 hours of well-matched fights where no quarter is asked, given or expected from the BKB warriors. The quality of fighters and match-making has improved beyond all recognition from my first ever show BKB 1. The levels of fitness and preparation are as professional as any sport I have commentated on in all my years in broadcasting.
During those 4 hours, BKB takes you on a sporting emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish where you will endure almost every emotion known to man. From anger to joy, happy to sad, nervous, anxious, excited, despair and surprise. It can, and most probably will leave you emotionally drained by the end of the show.
BKB used to be the place where ex MMA or ex Boxers came to at the end of their career. In my opinion, slowly but surely, BKBtm is becoming the sport they want to make a career in. It will take time for that to be automatic but that is the vision that Joe and Jim have. In my opinion, each show is a quantum leap towards achieving their goals. With each show the levels of fighter keep on rising and long may that continue.
I have commentated on World Title fights in Gloved boxing and many times I have been disappointed at the undercard. I am sure that is why many fans don’t take their seats until the main event.
One of the biggest changes in BKB from the very early days is that now fans get at least 10 fights with 99.9% of them providing a tasty toe to toe, value for money tear up that is also liberally sprinkled with boxing ability.
So, from the first bell, it’s a feast of Bare Knuckle Boxing that is guaranteed to keep you entertained and excited. No matter who is in the ring there will be favourites but no certainties as anything can happen and usually does.
As you can tell from these ramblings I am missing it like crazy. Roll on BKB21.