There is a rising fight force making massive waves in the United Kingdom. BKB (Bare Knuckle Boxing) reintroduces viewers to an ancient form of hand-to-hand combat. The battles are intense, brutal and showcase elite-level Boxing, as the fighters bare their souls in their attempt to come out victorious in their fights. Each BKB competitor comes from a rugged background, who’s story gives us an inside glimpse of the fighter we see gracing the ring.
One fighter’s story couldn’t be more riveting. Dean “Smudger” Smith is a veteran of the BKB franchise. At 4-3, Dean Smith is recognized for his sportsmanship and hard-hitting style, easily making him a Bare-Knuckle fan favorite. The “Smudger” has had his share of tough challenges in BKB. However, they fail in comparison to his fights outside the arena. Dean Smith is from the Middleton sector of the United Kingdom. Fighting was a norm for Smith, as the events of his early life saw the Englishman engulfed in negativity. He would eventually discover Boxing. Training in Boxing brought healthy benefits, which was the positive outlet Smith needed in his life.
“I was doing a lot of negative things in my life and suffered from depression, “Smith told MYMMANEWS. When I found Boxing and started surrounding myself with like-minded people, it suppressed a lot of those bad feelings.”
Smith has always been a fighter, which made his newfound hobby the perfect match. Boxing became a significant part of Smith’s life, which followed him wherever he went, including his forthcoming journey into the military. Ten years of service, including the completion of four dangerous tours in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Smith was a 473 Special Observations posts member in the Army. In the Army, he also took part in the Boxing team, which membership was gained from coach’s analysis of his multiple scraps with fellow servicemen and high-ranking officials.
All Smith’s past experiences contribute to the man he is today. Competing for BKB has been an enjoyable experience thus far. The treatment of the competitors, the competition, the sportsmanship, and supporting a growing brand is what makes Smith’s time in BKB meaningful.
“I enjoy being part of something new. It excites me that we are giving people what they really want to see in a fight. All of the fights created in BKB are organic. The competitors are very respectful toward each other before and after the fight. This is good because we athletes can focus on the fight and not have to worry about trash talk with our opponent.”
Smith’s love for competing couldn’t be more apparent seeing him in action. Yet, even with his fantastic performances, behind the scenes, Dean Smith undergoes many hurdles just to step foot in the ring. For eight years, Smith has had multiple surgeries and has been diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis. These symptoms cause excruciating back pain that prevents the performing of many essential body functions. Gutting through the unbearable discomfort, Smith doesn’t shy away from competition.
His recent fight against Sean George proved this theory. Taking the fight on short notice, viewers of the confrontation can confirm the exciting hard-hitting battle put on by both men, which earned them Fight of the Night Honors. Though coming out on the losing end, it revealed to the audience that Smith is a premier fighter in the BKB game.
“I am a fighter. As a fighter, I believe you should never back down from a fight, and if you do, you are in the wrong business. I went into many of my fights injured. I took the fight with Sean on four weeks’ notice, even with my spinal issues. During my training, the back pain I was experiencing was painful. My team and I would modify the sessions with bag work, sparring with 4 oz gloves, technique, and tag body shots to prepare for the fight. I believe I should have won that fight. I hope to get a rematch really soon.”
Smith’s life journey is one that showcases the heart of a fighter. Fighting is his very being, which contributes to BKB company’s rise. The future looks bright, even though the process is being halted at the moment. Like many businesses, the current worldwide health pandemic has derailed many of BKB’s future event plans. This consequently affects the company talents who are suffering financially and mentally. Smith is bearing the burdens of the COVID restrictions, as it has separated him from the very passion that has defined his existence.
“I haven’t fought since November and have been struggling mentally like many other people I know due to this COVID bullshit. Depression and Suicide have destroyed more lives here in the U.K than COVID has. I can’t wait to get back to training and fighting.”
Thankfully tough times don’t last forever, as there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Bare Knuckle Boxing will be back in March 2021 with a new event, as fans are thrilled for its long-awaited return. This can only spell positive things for Smith, as he looks forward to returning to action and reconnect with his love of Boxing on a televised stage.