VICE Presents “Bare Knuckle”

vice bare knuckleVICE today presents Bare Knuckle, the latest in VICE’s award-winning Rule Britannia series. Hosted by VICE’s Clive Martin, the documentary gets rare access to Britain’s bare knuckle boxing scene and the men that have come to define it.

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In Bare Knuckle, Clive Martin finds a community of white and blue collar working men – from laborers to IT technicians – who are all obsessed with the anarchic and archaic glory of bare knuckle boxing; fenced in by hay bales and throwing unprotected punches until their opponent is bloody and unconscious.

This legal but ungoverned sport has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years thanks to the work of promoter Andy Topliffe, whose B-Bad promotions outfit aims to bring legitimacy to this forgotten sport with a slew of crowd-pleasing bare-knuckle matches.

The jewel in his crown is orchestrating the first UK vs US bare knuckle fight in over 150 years, between Jason “The Machine Gun” Young and James “Gypsy Boy” McCrory, a charming Geordie traveller whose match preparations consist almost solely of drinking up to twenty five pints of Guinness a day to meet his required match weight.

At 32 and with 200 fights under his belt, James is a relative youngster on the scene compared to Seth Jones, a drug-smuggler turned lawyer, fighting men half his age in North Wales. VICE explores the mental strain of a life dedicated to fighting when Clive meets James Lambert, an undefeated fighter turned life-coach, who is now so disgusted by his violent past he refuses even to bare his fists anymore.

Bare Knuckle uncovers a subculture of honor, pride and violence, and with Young Vs McCrory becoming the biggest event the scene has known since it went underground in the 19th Century, Clive investigates whether violence is a cause or effect for angry young men.

Bare Knuckle is the latest in the award-winning Rule Britannia series, a strand of distinctive documentaries from VICE that offers unflinching, honest and powerful insights into Britain’s untold stories. Watch more episodes from the series here:

VICE is a global youth media company and the industry leader in producing and distributing the best online video content in the world. Launched in 1994 as a punk magazine, VICE now operates out of 36 offices globally, and has expanded into a multimedia network, including the world’s premier source for original online video, VICE.COM; an international network of digital channels; a television & feature film production studio; a magazine; a record label; anda book-publishing division.

VICE’s digital channels include VICE SPORTS, a sports channel; MUNCHIES, a food channel; VICE News, a dedicated news channel; Noisey, a music discovery channel; The Creators Project, dedicated to the arts and creativity; Motherboard, covering cultural happenings in technology; THUMP, focusing on global dance and electronic music; and Fightland, a channel dedicated to the culture of MMA. VICE acquired British fashion publication i-D in 2012 and re-launched i-D’s digital presence at, a video-driven fashion site. In 2013, VICE launched a news-magazine series on HBO titled ‘VICE.’ The Emmy-nominated series is currently in its second season.

Clive Martin is VICE UK’s Staff Writer. Having dropped out of the worst university in the country, he found himself at VICE where he set about investigating some of the stranger parts of our culture. His ‘Big Night Out’ series which recently transferred from written form to video is ‘a journey into the dark heart of UK club culture’. Having also written for the likes of The Guardian Guide, the Independent On Saturday, Sunday Times Style and the Evening Standard, he has amassed something of a cult following.