Sam Shewmaker was initially supposed to take on Mark Godbeer but will now be fighting Bobo O’Bannon at BKFC 15. Shewmaker has been out of action for twenty months from the BKFC ring and will toe the line once more in the coming days.
Due to a positive COVID test result, Mark Godbeer is out of BKFC 14. Undefeated BKFC heavyweight Bobo O'Bannon has stepped up to face Sam Shewmaker in the main-event! pic.twitter.com/g2W2LzDoMg
— Bare Knuckle FC (@bareknucklefc) December 6, 2020
Godbeer addressed the nature of his bout withdrawal on his personal social media and showed class in wishing the best to both Shewmaker and O’Bannon in this December 11th bout.
Sam Shewmaker has been with the promotion since their first event, was in their inaugural heavyweight title bout, and is readying for his ballyhooed comeback.
Below are several excerpts from my recent conversation with the Hillbilly Hammer
Who would you cite as main sparring partners and the main people you’re working with coaching-wise ahead of this one?
“Well, I got my brothers Mike and Jim and Joe who all have been helping coach and push me as far as training. Then I got my sparring partners, my cousin Jesse, and a couple other guys. Devin and Jared around the gym.”
How does it feel to be so close to getting back out there and getting ready to knuckle up once more?
“You know, it’s always a good, exciting feeling to get back in the ring and compete. It’s gonna be nice to get back down to Mississippi and hanging out in Biloxi. We always love it down there. Competing in that area, a good fan base, and just good people all around. And also it will be good to see my BKFC family. It’s been a while since I’ve got to hang out with everybody and have a good time. There’s a close family in that organization and it’s awesome to be a part of it.”
Having a couple of Queensbury rules fights in the interim
“It’s always a good time. Boxing has always been my base. That’s where I started growing up as a kid, boxing. As an amateur, growing up in Missouri and fighting. Winning a few Golden Gloves titles. I just like to compete. At my age, 36, I don’t get to go play baseball or football anymore. All I got to do is fight. So it’s always good to be able to get back in there and compete with people.”
Getting in there for his last boxing bout with the son of Tommy the Duke Morrison
“It’s pretty cool to be able to take part in something like that. To be able to fight a legend’s son like that. Kenzie‘s a good fighter. It was a good hard match and you know definitely learned a lot from it. Excited to be there that night. A little bit of history. Little bit of my history. A little bit of his.”
Differences in methodology preparing for a gloved boxing bout versus a bare-knuckle bout
“The biggest difference for me is just your distance. Getting your distance down and getting it right between Bare Knuckle and gloved boxing. Most of the other training is the same. You do a little bit more like hands up skills and things like that. With the gloved boxing being three minutes and Bare Knuckle being only two-minute rounds, it’s a little bit different adjusting there too. So it’s nice to train with different time to get in there and get it right. Get the timing down.”
The bare-knuckle fighting lineage with his grandfather and father
“Yeah, just the area where we live. Boxing has always been real popular, especially amongst the men. Back in the early 1900s, and then all the way up to the 1960s and 70s. My dad and uncle were running around young. They all ended up getting together at the gas stations where we’re at. And we are a big tourist area. So there would be a lot of people from out of town that constantly came in, they’d have constantly new opponents, and have all kinds of Bare Knuckle fights. They’d have a referee and everything. Like have Friday night fights here at the lake.”
Sam Shewmaker vs Bobo O’Bannon
Are there any old school, Broughton’s rules techniques you do for your pre fight preparations?
“Oh yeah. You constantly want to be hitting sand. We’d get a five-gallon bucket and fill it with sand. You just pack it in with your knuckles, shake your hands, dive them in, and squeeze real hard. Bring it back up, pack it again, hitting it with your knuckles.”
BKFC’s Police Gazette connection and Shewmaker’s thoughts on the century-plus lineage of the Police Gazette
“The President of Police Gazette, Scott Burt is such a great guy and a great director for that organization. He does a great job representing. Making and handcrafting those medals himself. Definitely a very good dude there.”