By Gerardo Granados: The hard core boxing fans already know the answer but it is possible that many fight fans to not to know it. It is even probable that some fans could be wrong on the date and fighters involved.
For many years I thought that the last fifteen rounder was the IBF featherweight title bout fought by Jorge Paez and Calvin Grove in which “Maromero” won by MD15, but I was wrong. In deed that must be the last 15 round title fight aired on American soil, but not the last one to be sanctioned by a major boxing organization.
The young fight fans must have heard of the epic battles that took place a long time ago when the championships rounds began after the twelve. I doubt that there is a single fan that has not seen a fifteen round fight on video and many fans must be able to make a top ten list. Just to mention a few I would list: Roberto Duran vs. Marvin Hagler, Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns I, Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali I & III (Thrilla in Manila), Wilfredo Gomez vs. Rocky Lockridge, Aaron Pryor vs. Alexis Arguello I, Salvador Sanchez vs. Azumah Nelson, Danny Lopez vs. Mike Ayala, Thomas Hearns vs. Wilfred Benitez, Bobby Chacon vs. Rafael Limon and Wilfredo Gomez vs. Lupe Pintor. In case the reader hasn’t seen these fights I recommend you to search them and enjoy.
The World Boxing Organization was founded after the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation decided to reduce the title bouts from fifteen to twelve rounds so the WBO never sanctioned any 15 round title fight that I know of.
The last 15 round heavyweight championship bout was sanctioned by the WBC – WBA – IBF on October 16th of 1987, it was fought between Mike Tyson and Tyrrel Biggs with victory of Iron Mike by TKO7/15. This was the last fifteen round title bout sanctioned by the WBC.
The last 15 round title bout sanctioned by the WBA was the Evander Holyfield versus Dwight Muhammad Qawi in December 5th of 1987 with the victory of the Real Deal by KO4/15.
According to BOXREC data on August 27th of 1990, Harold Brazier fought against Buck Smith in a non-title 15 round bout that ended in a no decision.
The epic fifteen rounds are gone and now we all just can remember the stories of those ring warriors who had the chance to battle to the distance. Twenty six years have passed but it seems like yesterday when the genuine championship rounds defined who was a true champion from the rest.
The last fifteen round title bout sanctioned took place at the Rajadamnem Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand; back in August 29th of 1988 when IBF Minimmumweight Champion Samuth Sithnaruepol defeated by UD15/15 In-Kyu Hwang. So, did the reader know when the last fifteen round title bout was sanctioned?