Bare Knuckle Boxing Rules Announced

Introducing the official bare knuckle rules to ensure fighter safety as a top priority, as well as fair play and sportsmanship.

Bare Knuckle Boxing is a stand-up fight, where the contestants use their fists only. There will be no kicking, kneeing, elbows, wrestling, throw downs, biting, or eye gouging. Fights under our rules will be contested in bare knuckles only, with protective wrapping allowed only on the lower hand and wrist areas. Fights will be contested in a six (6) sided boxing ring or a four (4) sided boxing ring. Ring canvases must have two (2) lines on canvas 4 feet long and separated by 4 feet. This is to allow the fighters to step up to the line and begin the fight in close quarters. Fights will be contested in rounds of 3 minutes with a 1-minute rest period. Three rounds for regular contested matches, ten rounds for a championship match.


Hand wrapping:
Fighters will fight with bare knuckles. Bare knuckles, again, means the knuckles are open. The contestants are not allowed to wear bandages or hand wraps to cover their hands and knuckles. It is called Bare Knuckle Boxing for a reason.

Age of Participants:
No person under the age of 18 will be permitted to compete in Bare Knuckle Boxing. All contestants 36 years of age or older may be subject to further medical testing.

All fighters are allowed to have three seconds. Two seconds are allowed in the ring or on the ring apron at one time. There must be a cut man included as one of the seconds. Each corner will assign one second as “The Chief Second.”

In the event of a knockdown, the man standing must report to the farthest neutral corner and remain there until the referee instructs him to continue. If a fighter is knocked down and is able to continue, the two fighters must start back at the line. There will be no hitting of a downed opponent; if a contestant is hit while downed this can result in an automatic disqualification.

If a participant is cut where the referee thinks the cut is obstructing the vision of the cut fighter, the referee may call a time-out when there is a lull in action. The cut fighter will be given 1 minute for his cut man to attempt to control the bleeding. If, at the end of the 1 minute, the referee deems the fighter unable to continue, the fight will be stopped and awarded to the opponent.

The fight will be arbitrated by two (2) referees: One referee in the ring to control all the action in the ring, and the other referee on the outside of the ring to decide any dispute or questionable foul that may occur and not seen by the referee in the ring. The referee in the ring shall be the sole official for the fight, unless he feels he may have missed something. Then and only then may he consult with the second referee.

There will be three (3) judges that will score the fight on a 10-point-must system. The winner of the round will receive 10 points, with the loser of the round receiving 9 points or less. In the event of an even round the judge must score the bout 10-10 unless points have been deducted.

There shall be two (2) ringside physicians at every fight, with one physician assigned to each corner. The physician shall observe at all times the physical condition of the contestant and may stop any contest at any time to examine a participant and to recommend the termination of the bout when, in the judgment of the physician, serious injury could result to a participant if the contest continues.

Medical examinations:
Pre-fight examination: In addition to the testing requirements, which include a physical; a negative HIV, HEP B, HEP C test; a dilated eye exam; and a CAT scan of the brain, each boxer shall be examined by a physician within 8 hours of the time he enters the ring. If the physician feels the contestant is not physically fit to participate, he shall notify the person in charge and they shall cancel the bout.

Post-fight examination: Each contestant will be given a post-fight examination where the physician will determine if the contestant needs further medical supervision. In that case the contestant will be provided transportation to the nearest hospital.

Medical equipment:
No contest shall take place or be started unless there is an ambulance, together with emergency equipment and a portable resuscitator with oxygen, and a qualified operator on premises.

Fights shall be scored on the amount of punches and effectiveness of the punches. It is not just the volume of punches, but the punches that have the most effect.

A standing eight count will be used. There will NOT be a three-knockdown rule used. All fighters must wear a mouthpiece and a cup with a groin protector.

In addition, there will be weight categories: Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, Light Heavyweight, Cruiserweight, and Heavyweight. Also, very soon there will be female Bare Knuckle Boxing rules being posted for female professional bare knuckle boxers. The titles available will be North American International and World Champion status. The fighters are allowed to wear sponsorships from different companies to put on their fight gear. BKF will also supply professional Bare Knuckle Boxing gear for the fighters to compete in.

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