Many action movies & TV shows include fierce bare knuckle fights. Many others include kicks to the head of an opponent. The above two types of fighting do not seem plausible to me. Head kicks are telegraphed early enough to be dealt with effectively (See remarks below). Hitting the face any where except for the nose is likely to do damage more damage to the fist than to the face. In my teens, I got into more than an average number of fights because I seemed nerdy which tends to attract bullies. BTW: My martial arts instructor mentioned that the fist can be made into an effective weapon, but would seldom (if ever) be done to the right hand. He said that making the fist into a worthwhile weapon would make it significantly less useful for other purposes. My instructor mentioned that if you can get in close, the heel of the hand can be used very effectively. As an experiment, make a hard blow to the edge of a heavy table or a post with the heel & think about what would happen if you used your fist for that hard a blow. He recommended taking a stance with hands open palms facing your opponent. It makes you look afraid & might encourage carelessness. He also recommended taking a blow aimed at the face on the forehead by ducking slightly. I never tried this, but he claimed that your opponent would not use that fist for the rest of the fight. He also said that win, lose, or draw you are going to get hurt unless your opponent is an ineffective a**hole. Avoid a fight if possible. He mentioned an intersting strategy when challenged to a street fight: Run. If your opponent chases, drop to your hands & knees when (if) he gets close. I once used this idea & it was amazingly effective. My assailant ended up unconscious on the side walk. I took martial arts training in 1939 to 1942. My instructor was probably one of (if not) the best in the USA at that time. Oddly enough he was Norweigian. His family was poor, resulting in his taking a job as a cabin boy on a freighter when he was circa 10 years old. When he had shore leave in Japan, he got lost & was left there. The owner of a dojo took pity on him. He was in Japan at the dojo for 15 or more years. BTW: I was a very effective grappler, winning a college conference championship & a few AAU events. At martial arts I was only better than mediocre. The training I received made me an effective collegiate grappler. Circa 1880-1910, bare knuckle boxing matches were a common sport. Accounts of those fights described a lot of body blows & few hard blows to the face. Blows to the face tended to be reserved for when an opponent was exhausted. It is interesting to note that "punch-drunk" fighters were rare in the bare knuckle era. The 6-8 ounce gloves used in more modern times in addition to wrapping of the hands (in gauze?) protected the hands & allowed for more blows to the face. If an opponent tried to kick me in the head, I would own him. Such a kick is telegraphed soon enough to be dealt with, primarily by dropping to the knees & grabbing the other foot. This assumes that a blow to the testicles is verbotten, which would be the preferred response to the attempted head kick (further assuming no hard protective jock strap).