who won the longest boxing match

who won the longest boxing match

Boxing is a combat sport that has captivated audiences for centuries. Throughout history, there have been numerous legendary boxing matches that have left a lasting impact on the sport. One such match, known as the longest boxing match, holds a special place in boxing history. This article aims to explore who won the longest boxing match, providing a detailed and comprehensive analysis from various perspectives.

who won the longest boxing match

The Boxers

The first aspect to consider is the boxers involved in the longest boxing match. In this particular match, the contenders were John L. Sullivan and Jake Kilrain. Both were highly skilled and respected fighters of their time. Sullivan was a renowned heavyweight champion, while Kilrain was known for his endurance and technical ability.

The Venue

The next aspect to discuss is the venue of the longest boxing match. The match took place on July 8, 1889, in Richburg, Mississippi. The venue was an open-air arena, adding to the unique nature of the event. The scorching heat and intense humidity posed additional challenges for the boxers, making it a grueling battle.

The Rules

Understanding the rules of the longest boxing match is crucial in determining the winner. The match followed the London Prize Ring Rules, which allowed bare-knuckle fighting. The fighters were only allowed to punch, grapple, and throw their opponents. There were no rounds, and the match continued until one boxer was unable to continue.

The Duration

The duration of the longest boxing match is another significant aspect to consider. The fight lasted an astonishing 75 rounds, spanning over two hours and 16 minutes. This prolonged battle pushed the limits of both fighters’ endurance and showcased their determination to emerge victorious.

The Conditions

The conditions under which the match took place played a crucial role in determining the winner. The scorching heat and high humidity made it incredibly challenging for the boxers to maintain their stamina. Both fighters exhibited tremendous physical and mental strength to endure such harsh conditions.

The Tactics

Examining the tactics employed by the boxers provides insight into their strategies and ultimately, the winner. Sullivan relied on his power and aggression, aiming to deliver knockout punches. Kilrain, on the other hand, focused on evading Sullivan’s attacks and wearing him down through defensive maneuvers.

The Winner

After 75 grueling rounds, John L. Sullivan emerged as the winner of the longest boxing match. Sullivan’s relentless aggression and powerful punches eventually wore down Kilrain, leading to his victory. This historic win solidified Sullivan’s reputation as one of the greatest boxers of his time.

The Impact

The impact of the longest boxing match on the sport cannot be overlooked. This match highlighted the incredible resilience and determination of the boxers involved. It also sparked debates about the need for regulations and the introduction of rounds in boxing matches, ultimately leading to the formation of modern boxing rules.


The legacy of the longest boxing match lives on in the annals of boxing history. It serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of the sport and the incredible feats that can be achieved through perseverance. The match continues to inspire future generations of boxers, reminding them of the importance of resilience and determination.


The longest boxing match, featuring John L. Sullivan and Jake Kilrain, holds a significant place in boxing history. Through analyzing various aspects such as the boxers, venue, rules, duration, conditions, tactics, and the ultimate winner, we gain a comprehensive understanding of this historic event. The impact and legacy of this match continue to resonate within the sport, reminding us of the remarkable achievements that can be accomplished in the face of adversity.

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