Why 12 Rounds?

I have always of the mind that the reduction of championship fights from 15 to 12 rounds had nothing to do with safety, but was instead a marketing ploy by Jose Sulaiman to make his product (fights) more conducive to television’s needs.

A 12 round fight fits perfectly into commercial television’s one hour format: (The old network fights.)

12 X 3 = 36 minutes & 12 x 1 = 12 minutes totaling 48 minutes of fight time; with most commercials coming between rounds that leaves 12 minutes. - Six minutes for introductions and six minutes for wrapping up (five minutes at each end, if you throw in another commercial break.)

A fifteen round fight was a time problem for commercial TV:

15 X 3 = 45 minutes & 1 X 15 = 15 minutes totaling 60 minutes of fight time – leaving no time for introductions and wrapping-up unless you move to a 1 ˝ block.  But then TV is left with filling 15 minutes of introduction and has 15 more minutes ‘getting out.’ It is too much time to fill. (Throw in an early KO and TV is scrambling to fill air; a quick KO hurts TV less in the one hour format.)

Selling commercial time was also a problem. The 1 1/2 hour format necessitated that the fight be popular enough to sell all the commercial time available, and the truth is, most fights weren’t. In the sixties and seventies Wide World of Sports had its own solution, they use to fill the extra time by cutting away to the Curling Championships in Canada.

When it was all done, network TV abandoned the fight game anyway and we were left with 12 round championship fights. No doubt fighters, (regardless if it is to their advantage or not,) will always choose fewer rounds, and with the bogus, “it’s safer’ argument still being deployed I doubt will ever see another 15 round fight.

If Jose Sulaiman had been born a generation earlier Billy Conn would have been heavyweight champ, and Marciano wouldn’t have. I still hate 12 round fights; I want the three rounds back.

(Wide World of Sports - I sure do miss watching that commie bastard fall off the ski-jump; I think I’ll go to YouTube.)