Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Should boxing championship bouts be 15 rounds

Once upon a time, all championship bouts were 15 rounds. Why did it change? What difference does it make? Do you care? This Ringside Report essay answers all but the last. Read it!


Anonymous said...

I remember about 25 years ago, then lightweight champ Ray Mancini knocked out some Korean challenger in the 14th round. The poor guy never regained consciousness and died a few days later. Around the same time, heavyweight champ Larry Holmes hammered Tex Cobb unmercifully in a lopsided 15 rounder. This fight should have never been allowed to go the distance. The match was so woefully one-sided and brutal it retired Howard Cosell from broadcasting boxing. Boxing is probably better off without 15 round fights. I think a scheduled 10 round fight for a world title is plenty (as opposed to the current 12).

Nathan Teodoro said...

Thanks for the comments John. I respectfully disagree. At one time, those rounds were call the championship rounds. Tragedies like Duk Koo Kim's death after the fight with Mancini could've happened in less than 15 rounds. I think the focus on safety should concentrate on stopping fights when a fighter has received too many unanswered blows, is so obviously outclassed as to be virtually defenseless, or has been hurt by a stunning shot, regardless of the rounds - in other words, better refereeing. It's the same idea as requiring gloves - they are thought to protect the opponent, but in fact do more to protect the hands of the fighter wearing them, and thus probably prolong fights, while enabling fighters to hit harder with less pain and injury, therefore fighters absorb a larger quantity of damaging blows. I liked the UFC going without gloves in the beginning because it not only made the bouts more realistic, but also made head shots safer by preventing use of the fists - most fighters relied on palm strikes to the head. I think the sentiments (restricting rounds) are well-meaning, but ultimately ineffective.