We’ve seen some bizarre boxing ring walks down the years.
But this latest entrance might just be the most bizarre – and cruel – one we’ve ever seen.
Fans were left fuming after a live bear was used during Sergei Kharitonov’s ring walk prior to his boxing bout against Danny Williams in the city of Khimki.
But while the Russian dazzled inside the ring, his performance was somewhat overshadowed by the strange pre-fight antics of strolling out to fight alongside a live bear.
A bear, a band, a kick boxing champion fighting his first pro fight at 40 , dancing beefeaters and saucy russian soldiers oh ye….. And Danny Williams only in Russia!! pic.twitter.com/p7X9RInKMV
– Donald McCrorie (@grandetoro1949) September 11, 2020
Kharitonov is a well-known name in the MMA world, having secured wins over the likes of Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson in Bellator, Andrei Arlovski in Strikeforce, Alistair Overeem in K-1 and Fabricio Werdum in Pride.
The 40-year-old Russian clearly wanted to make a big statement ahead of his boxing debut.
But instead of letting his talent inside the ring do the talking, Kharitonov had other ideas of impressing the wild home crowd.
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With a live heavy metal band shredding on the guitar and screaming down the microphone, Kharitonov and his team brought out a live bear during his ring walk to face Williams.
“That’s a real life bear!” The fight commentator said.
“That’s not a man in a costume! I’ve seen it all now.”
Even the passionate, partisan crowd appeared to stop and stare at the sight of an eight-foot brown bear casually walking into the area.
And when vision of the crazy incident finally emerged online, it didn’t take long for fans on social media to share their outrage with the cruel act.
As for the fight itself, well, let’s not delve into it too much.
Kharitonov went on to demolish his British opponent in under two rounds with the referee forced to wave off the bout when Williams wasn’t responding to the official’s calls.
The entire event seemed very peculiar to say the least – and the use of a live bear was just the icing on the cake.