Birmingham, AL is the epicenter of the bare-knuckle boxing world this weekend, as Friday night, Boutwell Auditorium will play host to BKFC 17.
In total, this card features 10 bare-knuckle bouts (all five rounds at two minutes per round), beginning with the free undercard on YouTube and FITE TV at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT this Friday, followed by the PPV at 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT (preorder today for $19.99) over FITE TV and participating cable systems through Sports inDemand.
Highlighting the night at BKFC 17 is its main event at Heavyweight.
Originally, Dillon Cleckler (2-0 bare-knuckle) was to have battled Josh Burns (5-4 bare-knuckle) in this headliner, but on Tuesday, Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships announced that Cleckler is ailing with a shoulder injury and will not compete Friday night.
In his stead, Frank Tate (0-1-1 bare-knuckle), who was initially slated to have fought Zachary Calmus (1-0 boxing), will be elevated to headliner against Burns this week.
Calmus will instead face Bobby O’Bannon (2-2 bare-knuckle) at Heavyweight on Friday for his bare-knuckle debut.
Tate vs. Burns:
Heading into the main event on Friday night in Birmingham, Frank Tate is the taller man at 6-foot-4, with Josh Burns standing six feet even.
How they got here:
Frank Tate has yet to win in bare-knuckle competition, most recently battling to a draw against Detrailous Webster on Sept. 26 in Tunica, MS.
In the other corner, Josh Burns has gone 2-3 in his last five bare-knuckle appearances, most recently scoring a second-round knockout of Chris Sarro back in December in Biloxi.
The Tale of the Tape:
Boxrec shows that Burns owns a 3 ½-inch reach advantage (74 ½ inches to 71 inches) over Tate heading into this main attraction.
Prediction: Frank Tate by unanimous decision.
For more information on BKFC 17, access:
BKFC 17 at a Glance: (Friday)
Prelims: 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT, FITE TV and YouTube (free)
Main Card: 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT FITE TV (preorder for $19.99)