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The Longest Boxing Match in History that went 110 Rounds and Lasted over 7 Hours

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Bowen and Burke entered the ring on a Thursday evening, April 6 and wouldn’t come out until Friday, April 7, 1893, where they both fought the longest gloved boxing match in history at the Olympic Club in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Andy Bowen was known for taking 3 to 4 punches before he was able to land one shot. He had a history of long fights, as in 1890, he fought a 43-round match against Charley Johnson.

Jack Burke was the lightweight champion of Texas but was generally considered to have been less experienced than Andy Bowen. He was the trainer of another boxer who was supposed to go against Andy, but after that guy dropped off, Jack took his place. As he was only 24 at the time, he lacked a lot of experience.

Both men weighed 134 pounds, so from that perspective, none of them had an advantage. Still, Andy was under pressure, as the fight was taking place in his hometown, and losing there would have brought shame to him and the community.

What happened on that night?

On April 6th, 1893, the two fighters entered the ring. No one would have ever thought that this night would go down in history as the longest boxing match. The two men entered the ring at 9 pm and would only finally finish at 4 am, which means it technically spread over two days.

Jack liked to taunt opponents and quickly gained the advantage, as early as the first round. All rounds would last three minutes each. Jack even made Andy stagger by the time they had reached round 25. But Andy was known very well for being tough, even being nicknamed “Iron”.

By round 48, Andy used a furious attack and put Jack down. The match would continue, though, as even if Jack was still on the floor, he couldn’t be counted out, as the time expired before that could happen.

How did it end?

By the time the 108th round came along, the referee, named John Duffy, noticed that both men were pretty close to falling off their feet due to exhaustion, and back then even the shoes were a different quality and not from a well-known brand. The battle went for so long that some people left, while others stayed, but fell asleep in their chairs, as the fight kept going on for hours.

Finally, John said that the fight would only go on for two other rounds. If by the 110th round, nobody would manage to win, then he would simply declare the fight as being a “no contest”. Anticipation was running high as both men clearly wanted to win after seven hours. No punches were thrown, so John declared the fight as being a “no contest”.

In fact, the fight was later declared as being a draw. John figured that announcing a draw would make the audience ask for their money back or ask for a rematch since, at the end of the day, they had paid to see someone win. The prize money, $2500 were split between the two men since probably nobody wanted to put them together in a ring ever again!

The aftermath

During the game, both men lost 10 pounds, each. On top of that, Jack had broken every bone in his hands. Following the fight, he was actually bedridden for a month and a half. Just two months later, Andy returned to the ring and fought 85 rounds. Jack also returned and continued boxing for another couple of years, now more experienced.

Just a year later, Andy was fighting with George “The Kid” Lavigne when George knocked him down and he hit his head on the hard surface. He didn’t regain consciousness and the next day, at 7 am, being only 27 years old, Andy died from a fracture on his skull.

The blow that killed him came in the 18th round—six more than the allowable limit for today’s boxers, but 92 less than he had lasted against Burke. George was arrested but finally set free as there wasn’t any wrongdoing.


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