'We can't stop Doncaster bare knuckle boxing event,' say police

South Yorkshire Police say they do not have the power to stop a planned bare knuckle boxing event in Doncaster because the sport is technically not illegal.

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 8:37 am

Licensing officers within the force objected to an application for an alcohol licence and a DJ at the BKF 3 event in Stubbs Hall Farm, Hampole on March 28.

Councillors rejected the Temporary Events Notice (TEN) but have no real power to stop the event.

Bare-knuckle boxing is actually legal but has no official regulator and is not governed by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC).

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South Yorkshire Police say they do not have the power to stop a planned bare knuckle boxing event in Doncaster because the sport is technically not illegal.

This is despite a South Yorkshire Police (SYP) solicitor saying in their objection to the TEN that: “No one cannot, lawfully, arrange a bare-knuckle fight (whether under a TEN or otherwise) as a bare-knuckle boxing isn’t considered a sport, it is just a series of criminal assaults.”

Clubs and events are allowed to operate without a licence - because they don't exist - unless the government intervenes.

A SYP spokesman said: “ A bare-knuckle fight could involve the participants committing criminal assaults against each other.

“Any reported offences will be investigated in the usual way.”

Minutes from the licensing meeting said: “The police submit the application is not to licence the ‘fighting’ element and therefore the committee does not need to make any determination.

“The police say they suspect the fighting event will be a series of assaults and whilst they agree this area of law is a grey area in essence those sports where harm is involved are allowable due to the level of regulation and marshalling.”