Scottish bare knuckle boxer search begins in Hawick

Garth 'Gumpy' Walker, of Hawick, right, the UK champion, with Luke Atkin, a twice former world champion in bare knuckle boxing (picture by Brian Sutherland).
Garth 'Gumpy' Walker, of Hawick, right, the UK champion, with Luke Atkin, a twice former world champion in bare knuckle boxing (picture by Brian Sutherland).

The ‘X Factor of Bare Knuckle Boxing’, as it is known, made its Scottish debut in the Borders – and was impressed by what it saw.

A training day took place last Saturday in Hawick, launching a search for new talent to become professional bare-knuckle boxers.

Gareth 'Gumpy' Walker, left, who is defending his UK title in November, works the pads with Shaun Smith (picture by Brian Sutherland)

Gareth 'Gumpy' Walker, left, who is defending his UK title in November, works the pads with Shaun Smith (picture by Brian Sutherland)

Ultimate Bare-Knuckle Boxing, aka UBKB, is a professional legal promotion company for the sport, owned and run by Shaun and Amanda Smith, from Warrington, and Stu Armstrong, from Newcastle.

Members of the public were invited along to Hawick Boxing Club to train and find out more about the Europe and the USA’s fastest growing combat sport.

On hand with advice was Shaun – the sport’s leading referee and also known as the ‘The UK’s Scariest Debt Collector’, from the documentary short of the same name, and the Netflix series ‘Bare Knuckle Fight Club’.

Also present was Hawick plasterer and ex-rugby player Gareth ‘Gumpy’ Walker, who is the UBKB British Heavyweight Bare Knuckle Boxing champion – and he will soon be defending his title.

With the UBKB’s strong emphasis on the health and safety, the voluntary participants did not take part in any sparring or actual fighting.

Stu Armstrong said: “We were really pleased with the turnout of people who wanted to try out to become a professional bare knuckle boxer – some of whom were local and some who had travelled from all over the country.

“There were a number of fighters there who have great potential and so we are in talks them at the moment about their future in the sport. We received a very warm welcome in Hawick from everyone and we will most definitely be back very soon.”

The firm’s next bare knuckle boxing show will be on November 2 at Manchester’s BEC Arena, where Gareth ‘Gumpy’ Walker will make the second defence of his UBKB heavyweight crown, against Lee Mcgarry.