Undefeated cruiserweight and US Army veteran Blake “The Beast” McKernan of Sacramento, Calif., is the latest boxer to sign a multi-year agreement with International Championship Boxing, promoter of the revolutionary and exciting new combat sport that features boxing in a cage.
The 31-year-old, 6-foot-1-inch McKernan has a record of 11-0 with six knockouts. McKernan turned pro 16 days before his 29th birthday, but he has good reason for not doing so before then. He served in the US Army for more than three years as an infantry machine gunner, a stint which included one year in Iraq.
While in Iraq, attached to special forces seeking high value targets, he was wounded when an improvised explosive device located on a roadside detonated.
Back in civilian life, he was in the mortgage industry until, one day, he told himself, “I don’t want to live with ‘what ifs.’ “
So, he quit and devoted himself to boxing for the first time. McKernan started at age 10, but never stuck with it completely. He played football, baseball and soccer in high school and was, at his best, a four-handicap in golf.
“I want to turn my dreams into reality,” says McKernan. “When I was 10, I wanted to be the heavyweight champion of the world. I don’t know if success at that weight is possible for me, but who knows?
“What I do know,” says McKernan, “is that I’ll be bad news for anyone who gets in the cage with me.
“Fighting in the cage will be to my advantage,” says McKernan. “With six instead of four corners, I have more places to trap them, where they won’t be able to step off. Then they’ll taste my power.”
“We’re continuing in 2019 what we started in 2018, and that’s signing fighters who we believe will flourish in the ICB cage,” says Jack Fulton, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Virginia-based ICB.
“And the number of not just boxers but mixed martial artists and kickboxers that ICB will sign will grow,” says Fulton. “Boxers and fighters in all three sports from North America, Europe and Asia are reaching out to us in dramatically large numbers.”
Even though he’s boxing full time now, McKernan has plenty of other elements in his life, starting with his eight-year-old son Tyson, named after Mike, the former heavyweight world champion.
McKernan recently graduated from Sacramento City College with a degree in kinesiology. He works with several non-profit organizations in the Sacramento area, including Make-A- Wish America and Kaiser Permanente volunteer services program. He also works with the US Army, speaking on its behalf at local high schools.
“I combine Rocky and Rambo; that’s my life in a nutshell,” says McKernan. It took Fulton almost two years to get the cage designed, built, patented and approved by boxing and athletic commissions within the United States, including the state of Nevada. An 18-year veteran promoter of the sport, Fulton, through the years, began to realize the sport needed something new, something fresh. And in 2016 he did something about it.
“The Fight Zone” has red and blue entry points with two opposing neutral corners. Boxers compete under Association of Boxing Commissions rules: no clinching, no grappling and no kicking allowed.