There is an old boxing adage that says that the only unbeaten fighter is Father Time. The reality is, as boxers get older, they lose the speed, power, and reflexes that once made them into great fighters. If you are a boxer, it is especially risky to fight past your prime, because you become more susceptible to losses.
But there are some boxers who, even with their best years behind them, still find a way to prove they have much left in the tank. These boxers depict an incredible ability to forget how old they are and perform like they are in the best shape of their lives.
Legends such as Erik Morales and Bernard Hopkins have put in some great memorable performances late in their careers. When a 40-year-old veteran can suddenly punch like he just turned 20, it’s truly a sight to behold.
They say boxing is a young man’s sport. If that is the case, then these veterans never got the memo. Even in their advanced age and experience, these old-timers were able to punch their way to the annals of history.
Let’s celebrate some of those amazing feats. Today, Evolve Daily shares five times veteran boxers turned back the clock, defied Father Time, and put on vintage performances despite their age.
1) Erik Morales vs Marcos Maidana
The man known as “El Chino”, Marcos Maidana, was destroying opponents left and right with his unrelenting aggressive style and dynamite-packed fists. On the other hand, Mexican legend Erik “El Terrible” Morales was four years deep into retirement. But the viewing public clamored for a fight between an old lion and a hungry contender.
It was April of 2011, and Morales was 34-years old and way past his prime. As such, he was a huge underdog against Maidana, one of the hottest tickets at junior welterweight at the time. Although Morales was in trouble early, the Mexican veteran weathered the storm, and by the middle rounds, the momentum had shifted.
Despite nearly finishing Maidana later in the fight, Morales would end up losing a closely-contested majority decision, but without the old warrior putting up a valiant effort that won the hearts of many.
2) Bernard Hopkins vs Tavoris Cloud
Bernard Hopkins’s place in history among the all-time greats is debatable, but no one can argue against him being one of the most intelligent fighters ever. “The Executioner” is known for his intriguing fighting style, which makes use of textbook techniques as well as a myriad of moves that bend the rules, and some that throw the rulebook completely out the window.
On March 9, 2013, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Hopkins shattered his own record as the oldest boxer to win a world title. At 48-years old, the old legend dominated a young and undefeated Tavoris Cloud to capture the IBF Light Heavyweight Title — one of the most remarkable feats in all of boxing.
With 19 of his 24 wins coming by knockout, many observers worried that Cloud’s power would be too much for an old man like Hopkins if a big punch were to land clean. That never happened, and instead, Hopkins used every bit of knowledge he had accumulated over his career to frustrate and demoralize his younger foe en route to a unanimous decision.
3) Oscar De La Hoya vs Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The original Pay-Per-View king, “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya is known for putting on some of the biggest fights in boxing history. With millions of American and Mexican fans tuning in to watch his every fight, De La Hoya has made a fortune with his pugilistic spectacles.
On May 5, 2007, Cinco de Mayo, the 34-year-old De La Hoya took on the highly-regarded Floyd Mayweather Jr. at super welterweight. It was Mayweather’s biggest fight at the time, back when he was still known as “Pretty Boy Floyd” and had only just begun to create the “Money” persona.
Although many did not consider De La Hoya getting past Mayweather’s vaunted defense, the old Mexican warrior turned in a spirited performance, taking the fight to Mayweather on multiple occasions. In the end, however, De La Hoya lost a close split decision, but many believe he actually won the fight and was robbed of victory in Las Vegas.
4) Shane Mosley vs Antonio Margarito
“Sugar” Shane Mosley is known for his fast hands and powerful fists, but at 35-years old, the welterweight legend would enter as an underdog when he fought “The Tijuana Tornado” Antonio Margarito on January 24, 2009. Margarito was notorious for his incredible durability and toughness, hounding opponents with an unending torrent of big punches until they succumbed to the pressure.
To make matters worse, a scandal erupted when blocks of plaster were discovered in Margarito’s hand wraps just minutes before the two were to enter the ring. Margarito was caught in a blatant attempt to cheat, and Mosley was livid.
Mosley’s fury showed in his performance, and the man everybody had written off prior to the bout put on one of his most impressive showings to date, knocking out and finishing Margarito emphatically and with undeniable anger in round 9.
5) George Foreman vs Michael Moorer
Imagine coming back from a 10-year retirement and fighting a young, hungry tiger at the age of 45. Well, that’s exactly what “Big” George Foreman did on November 5, 1994, against then highly-touted heavyweight Michael Moorer.
Moorer, who was 26 at the time and nearly two decades Foreman’s junior, accepted the challenge from the heavyweight great due to the massive payday. Moorer, who then held the IBF and WBA world heavyweight titles, thought it was going to be a walk in the park against an aging veteran. He thought wrong.
Foreman scored the upset, winning via 10th-round knockout after Foreman’s legendary power shone through. Foreman dropped Moorer with a crushing body shot early in the round, and then put on the finishing touch with a right hand square on Moorer’s jaw.
The punch had so much force behind it that it broke Moorer’s mouthpiece. Moorer failed to beat the count of ten.
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