Advanced Television

BYB Bare Knuckle acquires UK’s BKB

May 8, 2024

BYB Extreme Bare Knuckle Fighting Series Owner and President Mike Vazquez has announced that the company has acquired London-based BKB, the professional bare knuckle boxing promotion which has successfully promoted forty bare knuckle events which are broadcast in over thirty-five different countries with millions of fans and viewers worldwide.

Formed in 2015 by Jim Freeman and Joe Smith-Brown, BKB regularly sells out the Liverpool Echo Arena and London’s Indigo at the O2, has hosted international fights in Phuket, Thailand, boasts a roster of over 175 international fighters – including some of the best bare knuckle fighters in the world including Ireland’s Jimmy Sweeney, Croatia’s Marko Martinjak and Wales’ Barrie Jones and Dan Chapman, and was the first bare knuckle company in the world to professionalise the sport in the modern era.

Both Freeman and Smith-Brown will stay with BYB in an executive capacity, as Freeman will continue to handle day-to-day operations for BYB in Europe, and Smith-Brown will also stay on with BYB to oversee continued European expansion.

Vazquez commented: “This is an unprecedented tipping point in mainstream bare knuckle fighting globally. Since the inception of both companies, we’ve maintained and developed a working relationship with BKB that has showcased cross-promotional fights since 2021, giving fans what they truly want and deserve: the best fighters in the world, taking the gloves off and facing one another in the oldest and purest form of combat sports. This acquisition was a natural next step in becoming the biggest, baddest bare knuckle company in the world, with the largest international footprint and over 250 fighters from six continents and over two dozen countries, not to mention broadcasting on numerous platforms globally,and to millions of people.”
The announcement comes on the heels of BYB CEO Gregory Bloom’s February Announcement of BYB’s broadcast expansion, airing live on Fuse, the Latino-owned, global entertainment company available through cable TV or satellite providers, as well as through Sling TV, Fubo TV and AT&T TV Now; on Fight Network, the combat sports network, available on cable, satellite and telco systems across the US, Canada, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, as well as Roku and Apple TV devices across North America; and on beIN Sports Xtra and beIN Sports Xtra en Espanol.
Bloom said: “Make no mistake, BYB and bare knuckle fighting is taking over the combat sports world, with a trajectory not much different than the UFC and MMA were on twenty years ago. BYB has positioned itself as the far-and-away leader in advancing the sport of bare knuckle fighting both domestically and internationally. We have come a long way since Dada 5000’s backyard, but we’ve grown strategically, maintaining full control of the product, its ownership and its intellectual property, and have continued to uphold the highest standards of professionalism. We have a brand ready-made for mass consumption, and the addition of BKB exponentially strengthens our product worldwide, as bare knuckle goes mainstream.”
Smith-Brown added: “Over the past decade, we’ve had the pleasure of growing alongside BYB, and in doing so are proud to have paved the way for bare knuckle to grow throughout Europe and the World. BKB has been instrumental in ushering the fastest-growing combat sport on the planet to meet its growing international demand. We are proud to have created one of the world’s leading combat sports companies, and the acquisition by BYB is evidence of that. From here, the sky’s the limit. There’s now no better place or bigger stage than BYB for fighters and fans alike in the bare knuckle arena.”
 Since 2015, BYB has worked diligently to grow the reach of bare knuckle on both a domestic and international level, hosting events in Wyoming, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Colorado, London, and Dubai, and is continuing to work with athletic commissions throughout the US globally to expand the fanbase growing sport of bare knuckle.

Categories: Articles, Business, M&A

Tags: , , , ,