Last December it seemed that everyone in world of the ever growing sport of BKB was shocked, with the exception that is of myself, Liam ‘bad Intentions’ James and my Son Ben, when he took the Lightweight World Bare Knuckle Title from the seemingly unbeatable Kevin Bennett, and in Kev’s own back yard of Hartlepool.
The former champion Cage Fighter, that has fought all over the world as part of the huge Cage Warriors promotion was classed as a massive underdog, after all, “What could a Cage Fighter do with a former commonwealth Champion Pro Boxer that was unbeaten in Bare Knuckle” well that is what most fans, and many other fighters seemed to think.
Everything changed on that cold December night in Hartlepool as ‘Bad Intentions’ (James) climbed into the squared circle on what was only his fourth Bare Knuckle outing, to face the vastly more experienced ‘Bulldog’ (Bennett).
Nobody could ever doubt that Bennett was, and still is a class act, many thought in a class of his own, after all they don’t call him ‘Body shot Bennett’ without reason. Bennett was a very talented Professional Boxer before taking the gloves off to fight BKB, beating Michael Muya in November 2003 to become the Lightweight Commonwealth Champion.
Since Kev first entered BKB he has dominated most of his opponents and finished them with crippling shots to the body, from his first Bare Knuckle against talented multi discipline fighter John Spencer, to his last before taking on James against Durham’s Brad Harris (Rematch), but this night was to be different!
As the bell signaled the start of the first round of un-gloved pugilism, for the World Title Liam James stuck to his game plan and dominated from the off keeping Bennett on the back foot until this fight was stopped by referee Barrington ‘One Eyed Baz’ Patterson on medical advice to a nasty cut to Bennetts Head.
The room fell silent, was this it, was the fight over was Liam James to be crowned to Lightweight King? The wait seemed to be agonising and felt like it lasted a lifetime when in reality it was only seconds, with the doctor and medic checking out Bennetts cut head, and Liam James stood in a neutral corner with ‘Bad Intentions’ on his face ready to go and get stuck in to fight some more.
On medical advice the referee waved the fight off and a new Bare Knuckle Lightweight Champion of the World was crowned, in the form of Liam James, this was very unpopular in Bennetts own back yard of Hartlepool, and understandably Kev Bennett was gutted, for the want of a better word, immediately asking for a rematch, as the audience started to Boo the new Word Champion.
The Medical Officer on duty on the night said of the cut on Bennett “It’s was decided by the ringside doctor to be in a too dangerous location to allow it to continue, to close to the eye, the cut was in his view unsafe to continue and could have caused further injuries and needed medical treatment from the Doctor, not safe for the fighter to continue as he could not see due to blood in his eyes”
James agreed for the rematch with Bennett, however he needed a little time out to have surgery to remove a chip of bone in his arm. Surgery and convalescence now complete and what is one of the most eagerly anticipated rematches in the sport in scheduled for April 22nd at Coventry.
Liam who trained under John Kavanagh and was the training partner of ‘The Notorious’ Conner McGregor doesn’t see the fight ending any differently to the first, but a determined Bennett will be determined to reclaim the Word Title strap.
Liam, who is currently in training camp to defend his World Title told me “You can train all your life but nothing can prepare you for standing in front of me. I showed that in December and I’m going to put a stamp on it next week”
The former Cage Warriors star, James, is also looking to resume his career in Mixed Martial Arts, and is hoping to step back into the cage with Cage Warriors this year. Liam hasn’t fought MMA since mid-2014, at which time he was the ranked number five in the UK and Ireland and had trailed in Las Vegas with the UFC.
Tickets for the rematch of Liam ‘Bad Intentions’ James and Kevin ‘The Bulldog Bennett’ are available now from Liam who can be contacted via his official Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/bkbbadintentions
Stu Armstrong Media
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