Social influencer Bryce Hall came up short in his only boxing match back in 2021. Now he’ll take off the gloves for his second fight when he competes in bare-knuckle boxing as part of Friday’s BKFC 48 card.
The shift from gloved combat to bare-knuckle boxing is dramatic for all veteran combat sports athletes, much less a novice like Hall, who rose to fame after he started posting videos on outlets like YouTube and Vine as a teenager. His background doesn’t necessarily describe somebody born and bred to scrap in a bare-knuckle fight, but the 23-year-old Maryland native explained that’s exactly why he wanted to do this in the first place.
“I fought two years ago, lost, talked a lot of s***, and I’ve always wanted to come back to the boxing scene,” Hall told MMA Fighting, “because it’s just a fun thing for me to do. By no means am I trying to do this professionally for a long time, but it’s fun for me. I thought, what better redemption to come back to? I could have fought any other influencer or any other influencer in bare-knuckle, but I thought why not do a bare-knuckle boxing match?
“One, because the sport is blowing up everywhere. Two, I’m crazy enough to do it and I’m going to be the only influencer to ever do it. Three, fight a 3-0 bare-knuckle fighter in their own sport. It’s awesome. I’m also not scared to get punched in the face or scared to punch someone in the face bare-knuckle. It’s going to be a great experience Aug. 11.”
Hall takes pride in the fact that he’ll be the first as he prepares to take on a veteran in Gee Perez, who boasts a perfect 3-0 record in BKFC with three knockouts. If there’s been one major criticism of most influencers who cross over into boxing, it’s that they’ve all been happy clashing with each other rather than seeking out higher level competition.
Even in Jake Paul’s case, he’s only faced one opponent with a prior record in boxing and it ultimately served as his only loss after falling to Tommy Fury back in February.
“This was a little one up on the Paul brothers and every other influencer doing it,” Hall said. “But also, I do want to do more influencer boxing things. So I do this, I get to experience a bare-knuckle across my jaw or across my temple, I get to feel an actual punch, and then I go into these stupid influencer fights and I’m like, ‘These punches feel like nothing,’ and I take over that scene. It’s a win-win scenario for me.
“I don’t think any other influencer is ever going to do it again, especially when they see what happens. It’s a brutal sport, but I’m not scared. I want to do this for myself.”
The last time Hall set foot in a boxing ring was in his 2021 match against Austin McBroom, which ended with an emphatic third-round TKO loss.
Looking back now, Hall knows he spent way too much time promoting that fight rather than actually training and preparing, which came back to bite him. This time around, Hall promises he’s been dedicated to learning under two-division BKFC champion Lorenzo Hunt, who’s been putting him through the ringer to get ready for his fight on Friday.
“Ideally, I don’t want to go in there and get battered,” Hall said. “I think it would be way more viral if I go in there and beat a 3-0 bare-knuckle fighter. When I do something, I take it fully serious. Last time, last camp, I was doing it mainly focusing on the promotion and the entertainment side, but this time I’m fully focusing on the training aspect of it.
“[Hunt] is putting me through absolute hell. I said leading up to my last fight that the rest day is going to be my fight. This time, I fully mean that the rest day will be my fight. I’m so exhausted. My days consist of just waking up, training, sleeping, and then waking up again and going back to training and sleeping.”
The loss in his lone boxing match combined with a desire to have a great story to tell his kids one day is all Hall needed to sign up for a bare-knuckle fight. He also learned from previous fight that talking too much can get you in trouble, which is why he’s keeping his predictions short and sweet for this one.
“I’m going to be patient,” Hall said. “I’m going to wait until he f**** up and I’m going to hit him with a big shot. I’m not going to go in there like a random gas station hired people that go in there and fight him.
“I’m going to fight him like a technical boxer and I’m going to hit him hard. I don’t think he understands and he’s underestimating how hard I actually do hit.”
With plans to return to influencer boxing soon, Hall may have even more options available to him if he can pull off the upset against Perez in BKFC — and that sounds good to him.
“I don’t want to end my record without a win,” Hall said. “If I win this, I’ll be 1-1 and then my OCD’s going to take over and I’m going to be like, ‘Now I need to be 2-1.’”