Bradford’s bare-knuckle boxer wins European title on home soil

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A HOLME Wood boxer has just won a European title, and he wants a world title by the end of the year.

Liam Duffy, 29, won the Spartan Cage Wars Bare Knuckle European heavyweight title at the Bradford Hotel on April 16 and is looking to defend his crown now on July 9.

Discussing continental glory, he said: “I was bare-knuckle for years, and got the call to fight a Pole, but he had to pull out the same day and I ended up fighting another guy for the European title and Won.

“I’m fighting again at the Bradford Hotel on July 9 to defend my title, and I would love a world title by the end of the year.

“My team and I are based at Under Hooks gymnasium in Bradford and my trainers Dean Lister and ‘Shewy’ are brilliant and train me for free.

“They do a lot for the kids there, helping them get off the streets and the gym offers boxing, wrestling and bare knuckle so it’s a great place for fighters.”

Duffy calls bare-knuckle boxing “the fastest growing sport in the world right now.”

When asked to expand on this, he said: “There are different stages with bare hands, you have hay bales, you have cage wars and you have your BKB at the O2 Arena.

“The promoters there have gone to Miami and they’re working on getting naked on the big stages and fighting overseas.

“My promoters, Ash and Christian from Spartan Bare Knuckle, just made a deal to go to Poland, but I would love to go to America.

“At the moment though, I just want to focus on my European defense and then a chance for the world title.

“I just have to take one fight at a time.”

Liam Duffy poses with his title belt which he won last week.

Duffy was also keen to vouch for the sport, which may not always get a glowing portrayal in the media.

He insisted: “It certainly doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

“I’ve boxed all my life, but ever since I got bare knuckle I’ve found it to be the most gentlemanly and respectable sport.

“It’s really beautiful, and the honor in it is really lovely.”

Talking about exactly how he got into bare knuckle boxing and the progress he’s made since his debut, Duffy said: “My friend Scott Midgley, who is a bit of a legend in the sport, asked me if I wanted to try instead of regular boxing.

“I had a bit of a rocky start, as I was battling at the hay bale level, often on only a day or two’s notice, and not always winning.

“But then I started doing it, and I progressed and really got an idea over time.

“I work extremely hard and train twice a day in the gym, and now it’s just about working for this fight on July 9.”

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