Asif Vali has been involved in professional boxing for many years but is urging fight fans to give the bare fist variety of the sport a chance.
The former manager of Amir Khan has teamed up with the ‘Bare Fist Boxing Association’ for a show this Saturday (March 17) at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester (Longbridge Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester, M17 1SN), with eight bouts scheduled to take place, including two ‘title’ fights.
Asif, who has helped stage huge world title fight shows in the UK and America, acknowledges many people will have a negative impression of bare fist boxing. The Bolton-based fight figure insists the sport often gets painted in a bad light but says he is pushing for proper regulation, and is positive there are exciting times ahead for the activity.
“Bare fist boxing is obviously where professional boxing originated, and it’s never gone away,” explained Vali. “There have been a number of very well-attended shows taking place up and down the country, and the ‘Bare Fist Boxing Association’ has formed off the back of that.
“People get the wrong idea about these shows. They think it’s just knuckle to knuckle but it’s not and the fighters actually wear hand wraps. Because the sport, like white collar boxing, isn’t regulated, the British Boxing Board of Control won’t accept it, but I’m hoping that very soon it will become regulated because we want to make it as safe as possible. Boxing is on the up, but there are plenty of people who are never going to make it as pros. So why don’t we regulate white collar boxing and bare fist boxing for the competitors involved?
“All the fighters on this show will have a medical prior to fight-night, they are given checks during their training, and the rounds they box are shorter than in professional boxing. For this particular show, we’ve done everything to make it run as much like a professional boxing show as possible. There’ll be the lights, the ring entrances, the ring girls, the only thing they haven’t got is gloves!
“The sport is growing and the shows are really popular. Spectators like bare fist boxing because it’s shorter than professional boxing, it usually ends quicker, and also because the referee, who’s closest to the action, makes the decision about who wins. I really think it could end up as big as boxing and the sport will continue to improve as more shows are put on.
“The venue for Saturday, Bowlers, holds 2000 people so you can see there are exciting times ahead, and I actually believe that bare fist boxing helps raise the profile of all combat sports, including professional boxing. For, this show, tickets are just £30 on the door or from the boxers direct, people can come along, see what the sport is all about, and are guaranteed a good night.”
The line up for Saturday’s show at the Bowler’s Exhibition Centre (Longbridge Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester, M17 1SN) is as follows:
Dean Busuttil New vs Daniel DanDan Hunter British middleweight title fight
Scott Midgley vs Ashley Gibson British light heavyweight title fight
Kieran Amardi vs Roy Roy Hislop
Andrew Abraham Bowling vs Nasir Mahmood
Mark New Tustin vs Carl Sweeney
Steven Eilbeck vs Hayden Sherriff
Antony Dunn Skrypek vs Athos Konstandi
Seamus Joseph Anthony Devlin vs Callum Kerr
For ticket information contact 07583280190 (Ticket Prices £30.00 standard; £50.00 VIP).