Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame

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Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame
Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame.jpg
LocationBelfast, New York
Coordinates42°20′36″N 78°06′46″W / 42.343392°N 78.112682°W / 42.343392; -78.112682
TypeHall of Fame
FounderScott Burt
OwnerScott Burt

The Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame is a museum and hall of fame in Belfast, New York, dedicated to the sport of bare-knuckle boxing. It is housed in barns that were once owned by the Greco-Roman wrestling champion and physical culture pioneer William Muldoon. The heavyweight boxing champion John L. Sullivan, who fought in both bare-knuckled and gloved boxing contests, trained in these barns under Muldoon's guidance for his championship bout against Jake Kilrain in 1889.[1] The barns were originally across Main Street from their current location, on the grounds of the Belfast Catholic Church. They were bought, moved, and restored by Scott Burt when the church became no longer interested in maintaining them. Burt opened the Hall of Fame in 2009, when it had its first induction class.[2]

The Hall of Fame houses plaques and memorabilia associated with bare-knuckle boxers that have been inducted to the Hall of Fame, as well as exhibits devoted to the general history of bare-knuckle boxing. Each year's induction class includes bare-knuckle boxers from the classic era, modern bare-knuckle boxers, and honorary inductees. Trainers, promoters and other significant figures in the sport are also upon occasion inducted.[3][4]

The Hall of Fame also serves as a memorial to Sullivan's training camp with Muldoon, a number of relics of which have survived the lengthy period when the barns sat unused. These include his original work-out rings, a ceiling mount for Sullivan's heavy bag, the slatted area of flooring on which Sullivan stood for gravity showers after training, his original swing clubs and weights, and the "room of repose" in which Sullivan and Muldoon relaxed and discussed strategy in the evenings, which includes some of Muldoon's original furniture.[1] Sullivan and Muldoon's use of this training camp was documented by the celebrated reporter Nellie Bly, in an article she wrote for the New York World.[5]


The following are the inductees into the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame as of 6 April 2018:[2][6][7]

Original Inductees[edit]

Original inductees are required to have boxed completely bare-fisted (with no wraps) at some point in their career. These include living fighters and those that fought as early as the 18th century.

Year Inductees Role Nationality
2009 Jack Broughton Boxer  England
2009 Bill Richmond Boxer  United States
2009 Tom Cribb Boxer  England
2009 Tom Hyer Boxer  United States
2009 Paddy Ryan Boxer  Ireland
 United States
2009 George Godfrey Boxer  Canada
2009 Jake Kilrain Boxer  United States
2009 John L. Sullivan Boxer  United States
2009 William Muldoon Trainer  United States
2009 Richard K. Fox Promoter  Ireland
 United States
2010 James Figg Boxer  England
2010 Tom Molineaux Boxer  United States
2010 Tom Spring Boxer  England
2010 John C. Heenan Boxer  United States
2010 Tom Sayers Boxer  England
2010 Jem Mace Boxer  England
2010 Jem Smith Boxer  England
2010 Jack "Nonpareil" Dempsey Boxer  Ireland
 United States
2010 Jack McAuliffe Boxer  Ireland
 United States
2010 Billy Madden Manager  Ireland
 United States
2010 Harry H. Hill Promoter  England
 United States
2011 Jack Randall Boxer  Ireland
 United States
2011 Dan Donnelly Boxer  Ireland
2011 William Thompson Boxer  England
2012 Charley Mitchell Boxer  England
2012 James Belcher Boxer  England
2012 Hen Pearce Boxer  England
2013 Mike Cleary Boxer  Ireland
 United States
2013 Bob Fitzsimmons Boxer  England
 New Zealand
2013 Peter Jackson Boxer  Denmark
 United States Virgin Islands
2014 Elizabeth Wilkinson Boxer  England
2014 Hattie Stewart Boxer  United States
2014 Hattie Leslie Boxer  United States
2014 Anna Lewis Boxer  United States
2014 Alice Leary Boxer  United States
2015 John Gully Boxer  England
2015 Professor Mike Donovan Boxer  United States
2015 Bobby Gunn Boxer  Canada
2016 Arthur Chambers Boxer  England
 United States
2016 Larry Foley Boxer  Australia
2016 Danny Batchelder Boxer  United States
2016 James Quinn McDonagh Boxer
Knuckle (film)
2016 Kimbo Slice Boxer
Street fighter
 United States
2016 Police Gazette Publication  United States
2017 Uriah "Hughie" Burton Boxer  Ireland
2017 Ted Daley Boxer
2017 Billy Edwards Boxer  England
2017 Bartley Gorman V Boxer  England
2017 Daniel Mendoza Boxer  England
2018 Mike Conley Boxer  United States
2018 Tom Johnson Boxer  England
2018 Nat Langham Boxer  England
2018 Joe Lannon Boxer  Canada

Honorary Inductees[edit]

These must have brought positive spotlight to upstate New York or done a considerable service to the sport of Bare-knuckle boxing. Honorary inductees are those that have not bare knuckle boxed, that is, those listed as a 'boxer' have boxed with gloves or wraps, and inductees associated with ice hockey are inducted for their contributions to the fighting aspects of the game (to date, both hockey-related honorary inductees have been associated with the Buffalo Sabres, who play 66 miles (106 km) from Belfast). The honorary inductees were included as an acknowledgement that bare-knuckle boxing ended as a mainstream sport over a century ago, and that the honorary inductee system allows notable figures that promoted activity similar to bare knuckle boxing, who might be more recognizable to modern audiences, to be included in the Hall.[8]

Year Inductee Role Nationality
2009 Carmen Basilio Boxer  United States
2009 Rob Ray Hockey enforcer  Canada
2009 Baby Joe Mesi Boxer  United States
2009 Bill Heaney Promoter  United States
2010 Billy Backus Boxer  United States
2011 Livingstone Bramble Boxer  Saint Kitts and Nevis
 United States Virgin Islands
2011 Dick Wipperman Boxer  United States
2011 Jimmy Ralston Boxer  United States
2012 Ben Becker Coach
(to Muhammad Ali before the 1960 Summer Olympics)
 United States
2012 Tony Graziano Trainer
(of Billy Backus in the 1970s)
 United States
2012 Juan de Leon Trainer
(Team Mesi)
2012 Carlos de Leon Trainer
(Team Mesi)
2012 Angel de Leon Trainer
(Team Mesi)
2012 Chuck Pelitera Trainer
(Team Mesi)
2012 Johnny Sudac Jr. Trainer
Gym Owner
 United States
2012 Michael Tome Gym Owner  United States
2013 Carlos Ortiz Boxer  Puerto Rico
2013 Tommy Hicks Boxer  United States
2013 George "Elbows" McFadden Boxer  United States
2013 Hite Peckham Boxer  United States
2014 Nellie Bly Reporter  United States
2014 Melvina Lathan NYSAC Commissioner  United States
2014 Gloria Peek Trainer  United States
2014 Leona Brown Boxer  United States
2014 Christy Martin Boxer  United States
2015 Jack Green Jr. Promoter of the sport
2015 Johnny Green Boxer  United States
2015 Howard Cosell Commentator  United States
2015 Bert Sugar Historian  United States
2015 Don Dunphy Commentator  United States
2015 Al Bernstein Commentator  United States
2015 Cus D'Amato Trainer  United States
2015 Charles Murray Boxer  United States
2015 Purple Heart Homes Charity  United States
2016 James J. Corbett Boxer  United States
2016 Ring Magazine Publication  United States
2016 Boxing News Magazine Publication  United Kingdom
2016 The USA Boxing News Publication  United States
2017 Ed Atherton Wrestler  United States
2017 Barry Broughton Grandmaster
2017 Chris Guzman Artist
2017 Roy Harding Boxer  United States
2017 Jimmy Holmes Boxer  United States
2017 Tim Witherspoon Boxer  United States
2018 Rick Jeanneret Hockey announcer
(inducted for his blow-by-blow on in-game fights)
2018 Tony Gee Historian  England
2018 Dick Topinko Boxer  United States

Marie Backus Person of the Year[edit]

Year Recipient
2014 Mercedes Vazquez-Simmons
2015 Jack Emrick
2016 Bob Collins
2017 Gino Arilotta
2018 Bill Clancy

Marie Backus Team of the Year[edit]

Year Team Members
2018 Team USA Jujitsu Bryana Baer
Mike Hanchett
Charlie Love
Desmond White
Barry Broughton (coach)

Induction Events[edit]

For the inaugural induction ceremony in 2009, former undisputed heavyweight champion Leon Spinks was a special guest.

From 2011-2013 there was a breakfast in honour of a particular person each year, in 2011 this was Jack Green, Buffalo Ring 44 President. In 2012 the breakfast was in honour of Jeff Mengel, who had trained the fighter Jimmy Holmes in the barns in Belfast, New York. The 2013 breakfast was in honour of Zeke Wilson, author of the book The Eighth Round, combatant of prejudice in boxing and a noted boxer himself.[2]

Current Recognized Champions[edit]

With the introduction of modern day sanctioned bare knuckle boxing events both inside and outside of the United States, the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the National Police Gazette, currently recognizes several individuals as World and American Bare Knuckle Boxing champions. The following individuals are recognized as the current champions.[9]

Division Champion
Heavyweight World Champion Canada Bobby Gunn
Heavyweight American Champion United States Chase Sherman
Lightweight American Champion United States Johnny Bedford
Women's Featherweight World Champion Australia Bec Rawlings
Women's Featherweight American Champion United States Helen Peralta

Modern Era Championship History[edit]

National Police Gazette Heavyweight World Championship[edit]

Weight limit: 200 lbs and above (91 kg)
Bobby Gunn was recognized as the Bare Knuckle Boxing lineal champion after his victory over Richie Steward in 2011. Sometime after this victory, Gunn was awarded the National Police Gazette Championship by the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame. He then cemented his lineal championship status as he defeated Irineu Beato Costa Jr at BKFC 1 in 2018 which did not appear to be a Police Gazette Championship title defense.[10]
No. Name Event Date Defenses
1 Canada Bobby Gunn
promoted to undisputed champion
N/A February, 2016

National Police Gazette Heavyweight American Championship[edit]

Weight limit: 200 lbs and above (91 kg)
Arnold Adams claimed this championship by winning an 8-man tournament which was hosted by Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
No. Name Event Date Defenses
1 United States Arnold Adams
def. Sam Shewmaker
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 3
Biloxi, Mississippi
October 20, 2018
2 United States Chase Sherman Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 7
Biloxi, Mississippi
August 10, 2019

National Police Gazette Lightweight American Championship[edit]

Weight limit: 135 lbs (61 kg)
Johnny Bedford claimed this championship by winning an 8-man tournament which was hosted by Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
No. Name Event Date Defenses
1 United States Johnny Bedford
def. Reggie Barnett Jr.
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 6
Tampa, Florida
June 22, 2019

National Police Gazette Women's Featherweight World Championship[edit]

Weight limit: 126 lbs (57 kg)
The inaugural champion, Bec Rawlings, was awarded the National Police Gazette Championship by the Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame 3 days after her historic win over Alma Garcia. [11]
No. Name Event Date Defenses
1 Australia Bec Rawlings
promoted to undisputed champion
N/A June 5, 2018

1. def. Britain Hart at BKFC 2 on Aug 25, 2018
2. def. Cecilia Flores at BKFC 4 on Feb 2, 2019

National Police Gazette Women's Featherweight American Championship[edit]

Weight limit: 126 lbs (57 kg)
No. Name Event Date Defenses
1 United States Christine Ferea
def. Britain Hart
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 5
Biloxi, Mississippi
April 6, 2019
2 United States Helen Peralta Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 7
Biloxi, Mississippi
August 10, 2019

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Belfast, N.Y., houses Bare Knuckle Hall". ESPN. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  2. ^ a b c "BKBHOF Inductees". Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2017-04-28. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  3. ^ "Kimbo Slice inducted into Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame". My MMA News. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  4. ^ "List of Inductees By Year of Introduction". Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  5. ^ Bly, Nellie. "A Visit with John L. Sullivan". Archived from the original on 2014-08-18. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  6. ^ Staff Reports. "Bare Knuckle Boxing HOF announces 2017 induction class". Wellsville Daily Reporter. GateHouse Media. Archived from the original on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  7. ^ "2018 Inductees Announced". Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  8. ^ Wilson, Sam (July 6, 2018). "Jeanneret to join Rob Ray in BKBHOF". Olean Times Herald. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  9. ^ "Champions". Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  10. ^ "The Most Prestigious Bare Knuckle Championship Belt of All Time". NATIONAL POLICE GAZETTE. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  11. ^ "BKB Hall of Fame". BKB Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2019-02-07.

External links[edit]