Boxing's Antique Performers
For more than a century, the squared circle has provided spectators with breath-taking performances and exhilarating kayos.
Not lost in these performances are performers who have become boxing anomalies and have ruined young careers while adding to their legacies.
In the following slides will be featured the greatest Father-Time-Resistors in boxing,as picked by this writer. Feel free to add any I may have missed.
Even though Evander Holyfield's days of racing toward the top of the heavyweight division has been over for almost a decade.
He can still summon enough energy and skill to make contests close, defying Father Time even if the judges continue to anchor his "endless ultimate goal" to become what he has been four times; heavyweight champion.
Just three months ago, Holyfield did enough in the eyes of most to defeat WBA giant Nikolay Valuev, only to be denied an almost assured decision victory.
Now that he is no longer defying the critics, odds, and his opponent's youth, George Foreman pitches grills.
Once part of the illustrious HBO announcing team including Jim Lampley and part-time Foreman verbal-sparring partner, Larry Merchant, Big George also used his time as a color commentator to scout future opponents and promote future fights.
His kayo of then 26-year-old Michael Moorer at the age of 45 was amazing in part because it was a fight that Foreman was less than six minutes away from losing.
That left hand, by the one and only Larry Holmes, enabled him to have the second-longest reign in heavyweight history—second only to Joe Louis.
Holmes' jab and powerful right hand also helped him defeat the plodding but heavy handed (among other things) Eric "Butterbean" Esch at the ripe old age of 52 years old in 2002, also his last fight.
His career spanned 30 years and he faced the best competition in each decade and fared well with only Mike Tyson ever knocking him out. And even in his 40's Holmes defeated Olympic gold medalist Ray mercer in a huge upset.
The Easton Assassin is one of the better modern day examples of a boxer who competed at the highest level even in the twilight of his career.
Before promoting fights and fighters for Golden Boy Promotions, Bernard Hopkins was promoting himself.
Not anointed in amateur glory or big-time promoters, Hopkins relied on his surly past and came in the ring dressed as an executioner and gave devastating, kayo-emphatic performances early in his career before he morphed into a patient, pin-point counter puncher.
Following a disputed loss to Welsh great Joe Calzaghe, Hopkins was a betting favorite to lose to middleweight champion and twice conqueror of Jermain Taylor (twice a conqueror to Hopkins) Kelly Pavlik.
The 43-year-old Hopkins made time freeze for this night and not only gave the undefeated, 26-year-old Pavlik a thorough thrashing, he also looked much faster and flashier.
Azumah Nelson v Jeff Fenech
No, these were not two primed warriors combating. Hell,not even one was young and the other old. This was truly an even match between two old fighters completing a very long overdue trilogy while lapsed their primes.
On June 24, 2008,43-year-old Jeff Fenech barely beat 49-year-old Azumah Nelson over 10 rounds.
No, they were not going for gusto and any bitterness was quelled when their long-dormant bodies were reminded of their long slumber. But the fact that two past greats were able to go at it for 10 rounds is a testament to their tenacity at an age when running becomes a challenge, let alone receiving punches.