Why Are Heavyweights Fighting Past 40?
By Ken Hissner (July 24, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Archie “Old Mongoose” Moore the former world light heavyweight champion fought for the heavyweight title against Rocky Marciano at 38 and Floyd Patterson at 39. He was 45 when he fought Muhammad Ali and the next fight was his last one at 46. Next up was “Big” George Foreman winning the WBA and IBF titles at 45. His final fight was a controversial loss to Shannon Briggs at age 48.

Foreman’s accomplishment seemed to keep other heavyweights around longer. With no weight to make and heavyweights relying more on power than speed it has kept too many around too long. Today the first to come to mind is Evander Holyfield at 47 and still talking about fighting for a title.

Former four weight champ James “Lights Out” Toney is 41 and fought last year but is talking about going MMA. Former WBC champ Oliver McCall is 45 and just fought in June of this year. Former WBC champ Oleg Maskaev was 41 and fought in December. Frans Botha is 41 having lost in April. Former NABF champ DaVarryl Williamson is 41 and fought in October and is scheduled to fight in August.

Andrew Golota is 42 having fought in October. In Africa the ABU champion Joseph Chingangu is 43 having fought in November. From the Argentine is Fabi Moli at 41 having won in May.

Former IBF champion Michael Moorer retired if there is such a thing in 2008 at 40. He had won his last six fights. Former WBO champ ”Mercilus” Ray Mercer retired in 2008 at 47 winning a six round decision which is all Sweden allows. At 41 Riddick Bowe was the former WBA/WBC/IBF and after losing those titles gained the WBO title and won his last nine fights retiring in 2008 after an eight round decision win in Germany but is still talking comeback.

Former British, Empire and European champion Joe Bugner moved to Australia winning their title at 45. He continued fighting until he was 49 winning his last six fights. Former WBA champ Bruce “Atlantic City Express” Seldon fought last September at age 43. “Smokin” Bert Cooper came out of an eight year retirement this year at age 44 and is scheduled next month to fight. Former WBO champ Henry Akinwande was 42 retiring in 2008 losing a six round decision. Former European and Empire champion Matt Skelton fought in July at age 43. Former PABA champ Kali Meehan age 40 lost in May in a WBA eliminator.

Former WBC champ Trevor Berbick was 45 in 2000 winning the Canadian title. Ron Lyle made a comeback at 45 after not fighting for fourteen years. He won four by knockout and quit. Former WBC/WBA light heavyweight champion Bob Foster retired at 40 in 1978 losing as a heavyweight. Former champ Jack Johnson was 54 when he last fought in 1932.

Former WBC/IBF champ Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes was 52 when he fought Butterbean in 2002. Former WBA champ “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon was 45 retired in 2003. Former WBA champ Greg Page fought his last fight in the ring at 42 where he went into a coma. Former WBA champ Tony Tubbs was 48 when he last fought in 2006 winning a six round decision. All time pound for pound great Sam Langford was 43 in 1926 when he fought his last fight legally blind.

Here is thirty well known boxers who fought in their 40’s and a few in their 50’s. Was it for money?

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