Cruel 19th Century Boxing

Cruel 19th Century Boxing

The cruel 19th century boxing where boxers fought 110 rounds – started in the evening, finished in the morning. One broke all his fingers, and the other, a month later, spent another 85 rounds with another opponent.

It happened on April 6, 1893 in New Orleans (Louisiana, USA). Andy Bowen and Jack Burke entered the ring of the Olympic Club – two contenders for the title of champion of the southern states in lightweight, which was left by the never defeated previous champion Jack McAuliffe (held the title since 1886). In addition to the belt, a respectable $ 2,500 was at stake at that time, and about 9 thousand people came to see the change of the MacAuliffe era.

Bowen (14-3-3 at that time) is a favorite of the Orleans public, famous for uncompromising sports fighting, resilience and fantastic endurance, due to which he prevailed over rivals in the later rounds (Bowen also ran marathons). And Burke (6-1-2) is a puncher from Texas; who combined his boxing career with the work of a trainer, by the way, thanks to which; according to rumors, he got a chance to fight for the title. Jack came on as a replacement; instead of just one of his students, whose name is not indicated in any of the sources.

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The Favorite

Bowen was the undisputed favorite that night. Burke went out on short notice, was less experienced and most importantly, was inferior in stamina (on paper). In the period from 1866 to 1920, the rules of the Marquis of Queensberry were in force in boxing. They replaced the vaults of the “London prize ring”, where boxers fought in a wooden ring, could throw and kick.

Queensberry’s new postulate is quite similar to the current rules of boxing, but one important detail was missing – the limited number of rounds. Therefore, functional monsters like Bowen could drag rivals into the 20th; or even 30th rounds and finish there (the round then, as now, lasted 3 minutes). However, this tactic did not work with Burke.

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