Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame 2019
Belfast, NY  “KnuckleTown, USA”  

July 13, 2019

Arnold "AJ" Adams First legal Heavyweight Champion of the World

 

Scott Burt, President of the Police Gazette, honors Arnold "AJ" Adams as World Heavyweight Champion and further inducts Adams into the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame 

https://www.bareknuckleboxinghalloffame.com/.  
The last heavyweight bare-knuckle boxing match was in Richburg, Mississippi in 1889.  Illegal in every state in the Union, John L Sullivan and Jake Kilrain still fought for the title and bragging rights to be champion of the World.  The first legalized World Heavyweight Bare-Knuckle Boxing Championship match was held in Biloxi, Mississippi one hundred and thirty years after Sullivan defeated Kilrain in Richburg. It was an appropriate time and place for honoring the sport and its journey to state legalization.

Arnold"AJ" Adams, in his induction as first World Heavyweight Champion of Bare-Knuckle Boxing, spoke about the tireless efforts of the Hall of Fame for their work in the legalization of the sport.  A striking and powerful image in the ring, Arnold Adams, accepted induction into the Hall of Fame displaying the “Muldoon Medicine Ball” trophy.  Speaking in an unpretentious manner, he praised his challengers and all who had taken part in the efforts to legalize bare-knuckle boxing.  Adams is true champion of the people.

Scott Burt President of BKBHOF and Arnold Adams World Heavyweight Champion

Dave and Bryan

 

2019 celebrated the beginning of a sport left asleep for over one hundred and thirty years.  The last heavyweight battle of 1889 between John L Sullivan and Jake Kilrain ended declaring the clear championship of the world, John L Sullivan.  The slumbering sport of Bare Knuckle boxing has now awakened within America. The two states of Wyoming and Mississippi passed legislation for State Sanctioning and legalization of the competition within the last year.


Instrumental in that revival was the tireless work of Bryan Pedersen https://planningforthefight.com/ State Representative of Wyoming and Dave Feldman https://twitter.com/bkffeldman?lang=en Chairman of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship promotions.  Their energy and personal power forced the governing bodies to throw in the towel and legalize the sport.   


July 13, 2019, marked the now legitimate competition celebrating the inaugural pioneers by their induction into the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame. Congratulations gentlemen we salute you.

Left: Dave Feldman 2019 Promoter of the Year Chairman Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship and Right: Bryan Pedersen, Chairman Wyoming State Board of Mixed Martial Arts

Bryan and Colleen

 

Bryan Pedersen Induction into the Bare Knuckle Hall of Fame and Colleen “Hunny” McAuliffe

In Belfast, NY, "Knuckle Town USA" on July 17, 2019, I had the honor of interviewing inductee Bryan Pedersen https://planningforthefight.com/.  The event was the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.  I asked Pedersen what it took to persuade Wyoming to become the first State to Sanction Bare Knuckle Boxing in the nation.  Pedersen replied, "Wyoming takes its population's freedom seriously.  Wyoming does not impose its will on the people if a law is not specifically defined." 

Pederson went on to discuss how through his representation of the people he was able to position the sport and promote it up through the legislative process as a viable form of entertainment for the people.  He went on to say that, "The Capital in its wisdom sanctioned the sport with an oversight committee defined as the State Board for Mixed Martial Arts  and designated me as chairman."

 

Not many of us have the constitution to be combat veterans, but many of enjoy the heat of battle.  Bryan Petersen is a standout personality who continues to hold the foundation of this country close to his heart.  Congratulations on your Induction into the BKBHOF Mr. Pedersen.

 

Wayne and Dan

Wayne Spinola Ring Referee accepting “The Muldoon Medicine Ball” from Scott Burt

Dan Miragliotta Ring Referee accepting
“The Muldoon Medicine Ball”

In Belfast, NY, "Knuckle Town USA" on July 17, 2019, I had the honor of interviewing inductee Bryan Pedersen https://planningforthefight.com/. The event was the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.  I asked Pedersen what it took to persuade Wyoming to become the first State to Sanction Bare Knuckle Boxing in the nation.  Pedersen replied, "Wyoming takes its population's freedom seriously.  Wyoming does not impose its will on the people if a law is not specifically defined."  


Pederson went on to discuss how through his representation of the people he was able to position the sport and promote it up through the legislative process as a viable form of entertainment for the people.  He went on to say that, "The Capital in its wisdom sanctioned the sport with an oversight committee defined as the State Board for Mixed Martial Arts  and designated me as chairman." 
       

Not many of us have the constitution to be combat veterans, but many of enjoy the heat of battle. Bryan Petersen is a standout personality who continues to hold the foundation of this country close to his heart.  Congratulations on your Induction into the BKBHOF Mr. Pedersen.

Sheena Starr

 

Sheena Starr and Colleen “Hunny” McAuliffe

Sheena Starr Women’s Featherweight Champion 

Bare-knuckle boxing attracts fans and participants from all walks of life.  This Starr is no different. Sheena Starr https://www.facebook.com/SheenaStarrMMA/ Never a wallflower, turns heads and holds court in and out of the ring. Once challenged by medical conditions, her determination overcame many issues to her body and built a robust platform now becoming champion.  


Starr spoke about her championship advice in an interview during the Hall of Fame induction weekend.  “The secret of my success is family,” she said, “The bare-knuckle boxing Hall of Fame in Belfast, NY is a hardworking family who comes together offering help and challenging each other.” She quickly puts the sport in perspective “Crying is acceptable, but quitting is not. The sport gives you back what you put into it.”

 

Bill Backus

Colleen “Hunny” McAuliffe and Billy Backus Welterweight Champion of the World 1970

Bill Backus welterweight champion of the world in 1970 fought a total of 74 fights in his career.  In an interview at the bare-knuckle boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend, Backus offered his advice on becoming a champion: “Most important and the #1 rule is to be in shape. You will not last for 5, 10, or 15 rounds if you are not in shape. You only get one-minute rest between the rounds then back to the center of the ring.   Put the work in on your Legs, they carry you to the end of the match, work on your heart for strength and breathing to keep you calm, feeding your body oxygen. The second drive is the dream and journey you want to take in your life.”  

Backus made a name for himself around the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY when he was a local boy out of Syracuse.  That name and reputation were to take him through the surrounding states of NJ, and Pennsylvania, and then on to national attention and even international matches in Europe and Australia.   Backus leaned back and spoke candidly, “I really liked the travel.  How else was I going to see most of this world?”

Bill Backus is a legend at the Hall of Fame weekends and events. You can run into at the Bare Knuckle Hall of Fame weekend in “Knuckletown USA,” Belfast, NY or at the International Boxing Hall of Fame inductions in Canastota, NY.

For any media inquiries, please contact JE McAULIFFE

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