Toshiaki Nishioka and the Top 15 Fighters 35 and Older in the World

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Toshiaki Nishioka and the Top 15 Fighters 35 and Older in the World
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The aging process of a prizefighter is often fickle. Generally considered to be a young man’s sport, boxing’s physical toll can rear its ugly head in what seems like an instant, and it is not uncommon to watch a fighter age before one’s eyes or never be the same after an especially brutal bout.

Meldrick Taylor, Donald Curry and Wilfred Benitez, despite their excellent credentials, quickly come to mind as fighters who enjoyed meteoric rises, only to see their peaks end in their mid-to-late twenties—a time when athletes are thought to be entering their physical primes.

Such is the unforgiving nature of boxing. As sports science and training methods have increased in sophistication, the mercurial nature of “age” in prizefighting is something that largely remains unaccounted for.

More recently, fighters like Jermain Taylor and Jeff Lacy have been prime examples of sharp declines. Also, in a more conventional sense, the natural aging process has been frighteningly unkind to a legend like Roy Jones Jr., just as it was to Muhammad Ali when “The Greatest” hung on too long.

However, some fighters only ripen with age, and their defying of physical limitations (relatively) is always remarkable and steeped in boxing history.

The great Archie Moore won the World Light Heavyweight Title at 39 against Joey Maxim after Moore agonizingly waited for his title shot for over 16 years. “The Old Mongoose” only got better with age, and Moore would go on to become the greatest light heavyweight in boxing history, while also holding the distinction of challenging both Rocky Marciano and Cassius Clay at heavyweight.

While Moore is perhaps the most remarkable example of a prizefighter nurturing their craft and defying age, there are certainly other examples, and today’s contemporary boxing landscape is no exception.

The following list celebrates the most accomplished and currently active (within reason) 35-and-over fighters. Also included is a page of snubs to indicate why certain fighters didn’t make the list, as well as two honorable mention tiers to complement the top 15. Furthermore, readers should note that the list was weighted in terms of each fighter’s recent accomplishments.

With that, in honor of the incomparable Archie Moore, let’s examine the best greybeards in boxing.

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