The ‘brutality’ appeals, that’s quite literally the brutal truth behind Regan Buckley’s move into bare-knuckle boxing.
The St Teresa’s graduate, who raised eyebrows when he left the pro game to return amateurs and shocked people when, not long after he had won European Games bronze, he announced his retirement at the tender age of 22, surprised again last week.
‘Rego’ revealed he was returning to the ring but wasn’t lacing up his gloves. The gloves will remain on the hook as he goes bare-knuckle and fights on a BKB card in Manchester on May 14.
Explaining his decision to enter the bloodiest of combat sport codes ‘The Rocket’ told Irish-boxing.com a new challenge excited him and the violence of full fist action appealed.
“Bare Knuckle is something that’s been on my mind for a long time. I just loved the brutality of it and The toughness, I’m always looking for the next challenge and I think this is definitely something that will challenge me.” he explained to Irish-boxing.com
“Bare Knuckle just offers something new for me. I’m an impulse person and always looking for the next goal to smash or title to take. Something to feed that flame under me something new to focus on, to start from the bottom and work my way to the top.”
It’s not just a once off venture for Buckley, BKB run regular shows and the setup is similar to boxing in terms of belts and promotion and the Bray man forsees long-term involvement.
There’s a proper structure to it now,” Buckley explains.
“People in Ireland just see bare knuckle boxing as out on the streets but that’s not the case, now it’s getting really big in the US and the UK, with professionally run shows and a lot of notable fighters switching to it. I think it’ll be the next big thing. The next UFC in terms of status. There’s proper weight classes with world championship belts etc, judges referees and everything. Just like professional boxing,” he continues before revealing he wants to make a real impact in the code.
“This could be a long-term move for me I’ll see where it takes me. I love the idea of this type of fighting, blood and guts type wars. It’s exciting for me. I want big fights, just like in amateur and professional boxing. I can see myself up there with the big names soon. I sent around a few messages to different people and ended up linking in with ultimate BKB , the shows look amazing and well run which is why I went with them.”
There are those who held hope of a Buckley boxing return and were upset to see him take the bare-knuckle path.
The fighter has never closed the doors on boxing again but points out he has chosen to open a door that excites and suits him at this stage in his life.
“A lot of people may be upset but this is something that I want. I’m a firm believer in doing what makes you happy. And alongside that, I can work around my own schedule in regards to training. I can train, and spar when suits me each day. It’s my own freedom in a way,” he continues before stressing he is keen to start inflicting damage.
“There’s no nerves for me coming into this. I feel very strong and sharp now after bulking up and I’ll be throwing big bangs and looking for big KOs. I can’t wait to get my teeth into it now. I love the buzz of it and it’s gonna be a good tough fight,” he says with regard to his BKB debut.