“If you look at any of these Boxers, I think they should get down and dirty and say ‘You know what? Gloves comin’ off.'”

Phuket, Thailand-In the era of pandemics with seemingly no end in sight, the in-person studio interview is becoming a rare sight and a lost art. Fear not, as beloved MMA and K-1 legend Bob “The Beast” Sapp (12-19 Kickboxing/12-20-1 MMA) made a memorable in-person appearance on the December 21 episode of the popular Real Quick With Mike Swick podcast.

Sapp’s loyal and everlasting popularity in Asia largely comes from his unwavering, passionate desire to please the crowds that watch him fight, win or lose. This is a nearly twenty year pact Sapp has had with fans and skeptics alike. Here in Thailand, “The Beast” seemed to be on a mission to stir up interest in setting up potential fights with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal and “Iron” Mike Tyson, who have both indicated interest in fighting Sapp in the past.

On the Real Quick With Mike Swick Podcast, Swick says of the recent popularity of exhibition matches, “Now the value with Tyson coming out with that fight and having it being a success, now the value is there. The money is there, the revenue is there, and now–I see a week ago, Shaquille O’Neal calling you out for a fight.” With his trademark grin, Sapp simply replied “Yes Sir.” Moments later, Sapp cut a jolly, yet menacing promo accepting fights with both Shaq and “Iron Mike” Tyson, promising Shaq will fall.

Shaquille O’Neal went viral in November while doing commentary with MMA Legend Chris Lytle at BKFC 15. Calling Bare Knuckle fighting “The future of combat sports”, Shaq expressed excitement at the potential of the sport. Asked by Chris Lytle who he would fight, Shaq answered, “I always said that I wanted to fight somebody my size. There was a guy in Korea, his name was Hong-Man Choi. Remember Hong-Man Choi? If I was to fight anybody it would have been him but I’m forty eight so I probably can’t do it…or you know what, or maybe even Bob Sapp. One of those two”. Imagine getting “Shaq Diesel” and “The Beast” in there slangin’ and bangin’?! Brotherman, that’s a whole lotta warrior in that Squared Circle!

BKFC President David Feldman speaking to O’Neal at BKFC 15

When Mike Swick asked Sapp what his preferred rule set would be for mega fights with Shaq and Tyson, Sapp said of the matter, “We have to make it equal. So for Shaq–MMA or Bare Knuckle. Mike Tyson–Bare Knuckle or MMA. Evander Holyfield–Bare Knuckle or MMA. Lennox Lewis–Kickboxing, Bare Knuckle, MMA…up to his choice. If you look at any of these boxers, I think they should get down and dirty and say ‘You know What? Gloves comin’ off.”

Personally, I feel like Bare Knuckle would be perfect for these types of fights Bob Sapp is proposing. If they go the MMA route, Sapp and O’Neal, both three hundred fifty pounds plus would have to find and compete in a promotion that still has a Super Heavyweight division like King Of The Cage. With all due respect, King Of The Cage is more of a regional stage and surely these legends deserve a bigger platform?

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship has no Heavyweight limit so it would be all systems go in The Squared Circle. Another important thing to consider–MMA rounds go for five minutes. BKFC does two minute rounds. This would certainly be less taxing on the stamina and most importantly, the Shaq callout happened at a BKFC event! Let’s go Bare Knuckle to settle this, huh fellas?

This November 2020 Tyson/Jones Exhibition has done something quite interesting in the sports world, most notably the “semi retired” sports world. Simply put, it has reinvigorated all the warriors of yesterday and gotten them to reflect on their “unfinished business” with one another. Boxing Greats like Lennox Lewis, who has previously indicated zero interest in a comeback, is now hinting at “unfinished business” of his own. Surely he’s speaking of former nemesis Mike Tyson? The possibilities are endless, aren’t they? Tyson/Holyfield 3. Sapp vs Shaq. Phil Baroni taking on my biological father. It’s ALL ripe for the taking!

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship needs to get in touch with Bob Sapp immediately. With the right matchmaking, Sapp can bring his large Asian audience to the BKFC platform and an opponent with a large North American audience (Um, like Shaq!!) can potentially make this the biggest event in Bare Knuckle Boxing history.

Since Bellator has been giving all their old guys the boot lately, its easy to forget that Bellator built their promotional success off of “Old Guy Freak show” fights just a decade ago. To build a promotion from the ground up, you got to make Tito vs Chael and Gracie vs Shamrock 3 happen first so you can eventually get your Pitbull and Douglas Lima era down the line. Between the two of them, Sapp and O’Neal are nearly fourteen feet and eight hundred pounds of monster. In terms of freak shows, this is pretty freaky! Let’s see them knuckle up! For the people! For the growth of BKFC.

By Josh Herbold

Fight Historian Bare Knuckle Boxing Media Host of "The Bare Knuckle Half Hour" on the MMA Island Youtube Channel Twitter/Instagram: @jherbsports

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