BARE KNUCKLE BOXING: The gloves are off as a new chapter in the career of Tyler Goodjohn begins

Tyler Goodjohn makes his bare knuckle boxing debut this Saturday.

Tyler Goodjohn makes his bare knuckle boxing debut this Saturday. - Credit: Archant

Wentworth warrior Tyler Goodjohn has ditched the gloves to pursue success in the fast-growing world of bare knuckle boxing.

Goodjohn was a successful amateur boxer (winning two thirds of his 69 outings) and went on to enjoy an exciting professional career which featured English super lightweight title glory.

He won 13 of his 18 fights in all in the paid ranks – the last of which was almost a year ago - but ‘El Tornado’ is now focusing on being a big hit in the BKB battle ground.

A new chapter in his no-holds-barred sporting story begins this Saturday when he faces undefeated Scotsman Tony Lafferty at the sold-out Indigo venue inside the O2 in London. His debut fight – over five two-minute rounds - is actually a world title eliminator at 11-and-a-half stone level.

“I got fed up of professional boxing for a few different reasons,” said Goodjohn.

“I saw BKB being advertised on TV. I liked the look of it, made contact with the promoter and it just went from there.

“Life is about taking yourself out of your comfort zone and I’m looking forward to doing that again. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie - if something doesn’t scare me a bit, I don’t want to do it.

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“I’ve not gone as far as making any long-term plans – it’s just something I wanted to have a go at. Saturday will tell me more, but I’m straight into a world title eliminator so there could be big things ahead.

“I’ve always tried to be the best I can be as an amateur boxer and a professional boxer, and I’ll being giving my all again in BKB.

“There are other former pro boxers going down this route and I can see it becoming a a really big thing in the future.”

Goodjohn has prepared for his BKB bow with a series of sparring sessions against both bare knuckle fighters and boxers. He has also been put through his paces at Steve Whitwell’s gym in St Ives.

He hopes his supreme boxing skills will stand him in good stead in his new challenge, but he admits that punch selection will be crucial.

“I’ve seen videos of my opponent and he looks a tough guy,” added Goodjohn. “He’s won both of his BKB fights so is more experienced than me in this discipline, but I’m hoping my boxing ability will help.

“It’s important to be really precise with my punches. I can’t be throwing silly shots and risking damage to my hands.

“My only worry is that I’ll cut easily around the eyes after having done so much boxing, but I’ll hope to avoid being hit too often!

“Bare knuckle will probably hurt more the next day than regular boxing, but I’m sure it won’t be too different in the ring when the adrenaline has kicked in.”

Goodjohn, who runs his own bootcamp gym - El Warriors Workshop - at Wentworth, has sold more than 100 tickets for the show.