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THE LONGEST FIGHT



THE longest battle within the ropes of a squared circle took place in the Olympic Club of New Orleans, April 6, 1893, between Andy Bowen (colored) and Jack Burke.

The contest lasted 110 rounds - 7 hours, 19 minutes.

Iron men! Doubtless that will be your comment; but the irony of it all was the fact that the referee, Jack Duffy, stopped the struggle in the 110th round and declared it "no-contest."

Following is the report as it appeared in the Police Gazette on the day following the match:


THE LONG-WINDED BOWEN-BURKE FIGHT AT NEW ORLEANS



The Bowen-Burke fight took place last Thursday night and Friday morning before several thousand spectators at the Olympic Club in New Orleans. It was stopped Friday morning in the 110th round by the referee, Jack Duffy, who decided that it was no contest. The purse will probably be divided. Bowen wanted to fight to a finish. The bones in both of Burke's hands were broken.
Bowen, who is a New Orleans man, and Burke, a Texan, fought for a $2,500 purse, of which the loser was to get $500, and the light-weight championship of the South. The betting previous to the fight favored New Orleans, and the largest crowd ever held
 
by the Olympic Clubhouse was in attendance when the men entered the ring. That was at 9.30 o'clock Thursday night. In the twenty-fifth round Bowen was nearly knocked down and out by two punches on the head. His opponent failed to follow up his advantage.
Burke got a stiff punching in the twenty-eighth, and from then on up to the forty-fifth round the contest was dull and uninteresting. At the end of the forty-eighth Burke was knocked down and was only saved by the call of time for the interval between rounds. The crowd whistled "Home, Sweet Home," and at midnight many hundreds deserted the clubhouse for home. It was one of the poorest fights that had ever taken place in New Orleans, although both men were in perfect condition.



******

The Bowen-Burke bout is well-documented as the longest recorded match in boxing history. Wikipedia has articles on both Andy Bowen and Jack Burke, and both articles mention the bout. Another long and bloody battle was waged between another Burke named James, and Simon Byrne - the 99-round war ended both Byrne's career and his life.

The event may bring to mind another famous struggle, at least for those who have a certain exposure to global culture:



Verdict: Believe it!


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Comments

thefoxaroo
Sep. 8th, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
I do so envy you old wolf being able to read the Asterix books in their original language. I recognise that frame from Asterix and The Great Divide and although I can't remember what was written in the square box of text, the villager is saying something like "They should revise the rules of these prize fights."

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