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Kershaw Agile Opens Up Options: A Brief History of Bare Knuckle Boxing

The history of bare knuckle boxing goes back thousands of years. It was popularized in the United States during the 19th century by two men.

One was a boxer named Jack Johnson and the other was a self-proclaimed “brave” man called John Larkin. Both were Irish immigrants who fought under various names such as Johnny Ringo or Joe Louis. They both had a strong belief in the superiority of their fighting style.

Johnson and Larkin believed that bare knuckles could not only knock out your opponent but it would also cause them to lose consciousness, thus giving you time to escape. This led to many fights being stopped due to injuries sustained from punches thrown with one hand alone.

These days there are no longer any professional boxers who fight exclusively using bare fists; however, some amateur fighters still do so for fun or as training exercises.

In the early 1900’s, the bare knuckle boxing craze reached its peak when several famous boxers such as Jake LaMotta, Jimmy Ellis and Jack Dempsey all boxed using only their bare hands. However, these days most boxers use gloves which have been designed specifically for bare knuckles.

Bare Knuckle Boxing: Pros & Cons

There are many pros and cons to using bare fists in boxing. Here are a few of them:


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There is no restriction on punching power.

No matter how hard you punch someone, you can only hurt your hand.

You can also use weapons or other objects to hit your opponent with.


Your hands are very important when it comes to doing daily activities.

Your hands can be seriously damaged if you don’t look after them properly.

The legality of bare knuckle boxing varies from nation to nation. There are currently only two countries in the world where bare knuckle boxing is completely legal: The United States of America and Myanmar (Formerly Known as Burma).

Due to the potential for serious injury, many governments have made it illegal to engage in bare knuckle fighting for money, sport, or any other kind of reason. It is still legal in most places however to fight another person using your bare hands for self-defense.

This explains why in the past many people who were arrested for assault were released due to the fact that they were acting in self-defense.

The weapons you can use while fighting with bare knuckles can vary depending on where you are. For example, in the United States and other places where it is legal, you can use household items such as a glass or even a gun if you really wanted to.

Sources & references used in this article: