The boxing world seems to be both upset and overjoyed by the old men that are dominating the sport.
Chad Dawson has been criticized for taking on Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson, both of whom are over 40 years old.
Despite their age, Tarver has recently made a successful debut at heavyweight this past year and Johnson knocked out his much younger competitor, Allan Green, in the third "round robin" round of the Super Six tournament.
This shows that just because they're old, doesn't mean they can be overlooked. With possibly a big year ahead of them, here are three old men who can change boxing in 2011.
Johnson had to drop from the 175 pound weight division to the 168 pound weight division. The 41-year-old Johnson hasn't fought at 168 in 10 years, yet he comes out and conquers.
Johnson knocked out 31-year-old Allan Green in round eight to enter the semifinals after 31-year-old Mikkel Kessler dropped out due to "injury." It took an old man to keep the competition rolling when a young man couldn't.
Glen Johnson seeks victory in both of his next two fights in the Super Six. The first will be against 33-year-old semifinalist Carl Froch.
If he beats him, he faces the winner of the other semifinal match between tournament leader Andre Ward, who turns 27 next February, and 30-year-old knockout artist Arthur Abraham.
Andre Ward is being hyped up as the clear favorite to win the tournament.
He's become the brightest star of the event so far with his unexpected wins over Mikkel Kessler and his domination of Allan Green.
Glen Johnson has shown he still has the power to catch the young chin of any upcoming new boxing star and put him down. He has the comfortable look of a fighter who can still win in the ring.
Though many expect the younger fighter to triumph, the Showtime audience may just witness the eclipsing of a bright star by an old moon ready to glow bright over the city lights one last time.
Another example of an old man excelling recently is Bernard Hopkins. He was called by many to "go into retirement" after his ugly win over another old boxer, Roy Jones Jr. (41 years old at the time).
Then he got the fight with Ring Champion Jeans Pascal and almost made history as the oldest holder of a major championship belt.
George Foreman holds the record at 45 years of age. Hopkins would've been a few months older than Foreman was when he made history back in 1994 against 26-year-old heavyweight champion Michael Moorer by way of knockout in Round 10.
Hopkins' fight for history ended up being a draw though, but a rematch looks likely for 2011.
Bernard Hopkins has been criticized for fighting too long after his prime, yet he continues to find his way back to the top every time he falls.
He gave Jean Pascal, who is 28 years old a run for his championship money in a match that some say would have went his way if he weren't in the young fighter's hometown.
A rematch will likely bear fight of the year nominee fruit in 2011. If Hopkins can channel is old extensive knowledge of the sport, maybe a knockout, comeback and fighter of the year award can be mined out of the rematch with Pascal next year.
Best of all, if Hopkins win, he will have made history.
He turns 40 next September. Four months before then, he will fight the biggest active star in boxing today. Many say Mosley is undeserving.
Often, naysayers point to his loss last May to an elite fighter and his draw last September with an average fighter. With so much against him from the public, he has a lot to prove with his fist.
If Mosley defeats one of the hottest stars of boxing in May of 2011, he will not only have a financial payday to retire on, but a monumental legacy-defining victory to go out on.
His knockout punch is still fierce. His speed has slowed over time, but he's fast enough to be sure to land something each round against his foe. The match will not be easy, but he's got size, power, and experience.
I say rumble old man, rumble.
These are three old men of yesterday threatening to dethrone the young men of tomorrow.
They will come hungry, well-trained and knowledgeable.
They will not be merciful.
They will plan carefully and not be impatient in the ring.
And most of all, they will NOT fade willingly into that good night.
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