“All the respect in the world to the fighters but come fight night, I’m looking to take their heads off.” On January 25th, 2020, the rafters of London’s Indigo Arena will …
“All the respect in the world to the fighters but come fight night, I’m looking to take their heads off.”
On January 25th, 2020, the rafters of London’s Indigo Arena will once again be jam-packed and reverberating from the tumultuous roars of BKB fans, as a barbarous assemblage of bare-knucklers’ will attempt to snatch each other’s souls through the brutalised medium of full-throttled, pugilistic menace in BKB 20.
Fighting on the show’s card as Chief Support is Birmingham’s James “The Truth” Connelly. Connelly has not stepped-out amidst the blood and violence of his bare-fisted compatriots since June this year when he fought Ricardo Franco in one of BKB’s most enthralling seven-round battles to date; a fight that certainly set a new Olympic-Esque pace, ferocity, and expectation of the sport’s new era of fighters.
Throughout their epic collision, the two men ripped through the rounds with their peddles to the mettle, rapidly trading brutality like adrenaline-jacked stockbrokers’ fiercely dish-out bids on Wall Street. A fast, furious and merciless affair where no shot was rationed, no spiteful or venomous bare-knuckled-intention was spared, and absolutely no quarter was given by either fighter as they ploughed, clattered and smashed blow after blow into each other over fourteen-minutes of pure BKB action.
Since then, James has kept a heavy boot on the accelerator of his training and fitness, ensuring the physical and strategical ball of momentum is swiftly spinning, evolving, and enhancing the weapons within his bare-knuckle artillery.
James is an astute and skilled boxer whose attacking-prowess can blast into his opponents like a freight train. And now, with six months of recuperation and the “sink or swim” education of four back-to-back BKB fights under his belt, “The Truth” is primed, ravenous, and raring to get back into the bare-knuckle jungle for potentially two bouts in one night to claim the £5,000 spoils and the prospect of being catapulted into title contention for 2020.
Bare Knuckle Boxing News had the privilege to speak exclusively to James Connelly, touching on his absence in the sport since the Franco fight and BKB 20’s Prize Fighter draw of four fighters duking it out in an eliminator over the course of one night.
James had this to say:
“I’m literally training hard at the moment – training for a four-man competition on Jan 25th, 2020: Two bkb fights in one night; a semi-final and a final. All of our names get put into a hat on the day of the weigh-in then we’ll find out who we’re fighting.
Sean George is one of them – a former champion, Ryan Gibbs and Ellis Shepard are the other lads. So, I’m essentially training for three opponents but obviously, only have to potentially fight two of them.”
How he’ll prepare for the unique competition?
“It’s three, two-minute rounds at the end of the day – so it’s more like a sprint and about who can get there first. I know at this stage with my fitness and the way I’m hitting people – they should be going. I think the problem before was my accuracy – I was throwing my punches and they weren’t flush, I was catching my opponents on their elbows and heads. I’ve learnt from those four fights and switched things up. So now, when I’m throwing these shots, I’m hitting the target.”
Connelly spoke about his outlook on bare-knuckle, the phoney grudges and disrespect that sometimes seems to be a necessary evil nowadays within combat sports.
“It’s always the same with my mate: All the respect in the world to the fighters but come fight night, I’m looking to take their heads off. I’ve come into this game with respect – I don’t call out anyone, it’s not how I work, mate.
They call me the “Truth” because I’ve come into this sport with honesty. I’ve proved I can go seven rounds. I’ve proved a got a chin. My last three opponents were Chapman, Smudger and Franco, who recently became the champion – so my last few fights have been like a crash course in this sport, but I’ve learned a lot from them.”
BKB being an unforgiving sport in the ring:
“It’s dog-eat-dog in there. In boxing, a glove can save you, mate, but in bare-knuckle, one little centimetre to the left and you can get clipped by the side of the knuckle that ends up splitting your eye wide open. No second chances in here and I’ve had to learn so quickly, mate but now I know where I need to be: It’s about accuracy, power and speed. This is what makes these draws so exciting; you’ve gotta get in their first.
If you get banged in the first round, mate, you’ve lost the round and then you’re chasing the fight after that; the geezer could jog around for two rounds after that and win on points. I’m looking to hurt them and hurt them early because they’re looking to do the same. I’m coming in for war.”
And finally, James finished with thanks to his friends, family and supporters:
“A massive shout-out to my coaching team who are my brother’s Michael and John. I’d also like to give a shout to my good friend Stefan Spooner, all my members who come to my gym, my mum, my two daughters Lacey and Miley, and my sponsors www.helpfulplumber.com.”
James Connelly will appear on BKB 20’s night of Prize Fighters, January 25th, 2020. A succulent night of Bare-knuckle will be on the cards – not to be missed.