There is something very Georgian and 18th Century about this but I suppose it qualifies as entrepreneurialism of sorts:
The final punch lands, exploding the fighter’s nose into the braying crowd, and the broken, unseeing, bare-knuckle boxer submits. The winner lifts his bleeding hands in celebration, knowing the victory won by his fists will line his pockets.
Welcome to the boxing underworld of bare-knuckle fighting, where the exhausted victor can hobble away with as much as £50,000 in cash.
Tax-free cash as well I should think.
These brutal confrontations have long been outlawed. But even now in country lanes, fields, barns and warehouses, grown men are pitting themselves against each other to settle old scores – and earn big money – at the risk of appalling injuries.
A reaction to the ‘risk aversion’ culture, perhaps?
Organisers say the police rarely break up a fight – it’s easier to let the contest finish naturally than risk a riot.
Also they might get the crap beaten out of them.
Ricky English, an unlicensed promoter, has signed up hundreds of fighters in the three years since he started in the fight promotion game. It is big business – he is organising fights up and down the country, charging spectators up to £50 a head.
“This is for the novices,” he said. “Fighters won’t go amateur any more. They’re sick of all the rules, the standing counts and the tap, tap, tapping. They want to have a fight and earn money. And they’re earning money.”
So is he trying to tell us that overregulation has spawned a thriving ‘underground’ industry?
“It’s great fun. I had one fighter with a glass eye who’d take it out before a fight. Crowds just love it,” said Rocky Rowe, who promoted unlicensed fights for many years. “It’s a bit like karaoke.”
Surely it cannot be that painful?