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Boxing is an incredibly tough anaerobic sport. It falls into anaerobic exercise because rounds are short, usually three minutes. This means that the exercise is short exertion and high intensity. However, if the fight lasts overnight than it is no longer just anaerobic it is now incredibly challenging. The longest boxing fight ever is one such fight.

Andy Bowen and Jack Burke fought on April 6th, 1893. The pair agreed the fight would be ended by either knockout or one man giving up. While this sounds like a good idea in advance, in hindsight maybe they should have had a few more exceptions. The fight lasted seven hours and 19 minutes, starting at 9 pm and lasting into the next morning.

There was a considerable prize up for grabs, the lightweight championship of the south and a prize of $2,500 (a considerable sum at the time). Jack Burke looked set to take the prize as he won the first 25 rounds but he could not knock Andy “Iron” Bowen. After the 25th round, Bowen actually knocked Burke, but Burke was saved by the bell in that round. 

The two continued to trade punches until both were so tired they were no longer able. For whole rounds, they would circle each other in the ring. If you are asking if the crowd turned on them, not at all, most were asleep by this point. 

In the 110th round, the referee had seen enough. He called the fight a draw as both men were too exhausted to continue (and probably him too). The fight is a good example of why all boxing matches have a round limit and shows that some people can take an incredible amount of abuse and never go down. The fight turned from high intensity to absolute endurance. While the referee was gracious enough to call the fight in the 110th round, we have to ask, why did it take him so long?