The UFC isn’t the only unlikely company jumping into the boxing game.
Barstool Sports has been in the headlines a lot lately after ESPN announced and then cancelled a partnership with the controversial website in just over two weeks. Now they’re using some of the cash and attention they got from that deal to buy Rough N Rowdy, an amateur boxing league from West Virginia that pits bar room brawlers, street fighters, and a random assortment of folks straight off the couch against each other in the ring.
The league gained a lot of attention over the years via low budget promotional videos featuring locals cutting pro wrestling style promos on each other. The most popular videos on their YouTube channel involve a fighter crapping his pants in the ring. To call the whole thing a freakshow is a bit of an understatement, and now Barstool Sports plans to take that freakshow and elevate it to a whole new level despite the obvious dangers of letting random non-fighters fight.
“What does Rough N Rowdy do for us?” Barstool founder Dave Portnoy asked rhetorically in a video announcing the purchase. “It continues on the quest of it does not matter if you like us, hate us, whatever. We speak directly to our own consumers because no one can f**k with Rough N Rowdy.”
“Massholes fighting, New York guidos fighting, every cliche that you have for every state getting in the ring duking it out Barstool style. Rough N Rowdy is not changing, it’s still going to be Rough N Rowdy. Except we’re going to match Barstool with what we have, our audience, our media, our promotion with what they had, which like I said, is a product I’ve never seen before.”
“And guess what?” he continued. “All the boo birds and all the people who don’t like us? There’s nothing you can do to stop it. This thing’s going to be huge. I’ve actually said I think it can be bigger than Barstool. You might be looking at Dana White Portnoy right now, who f**king knows?”
The first Rough N Rowdy under Barstool Sports management goes down December 15th in West Virginia.