George Foreman and the Top 10 Old Fighters Who Beat the Odds

Jared Gilkerson@Comatose80Contributor IMarch 16, 2011

George Foreman and the Top 10 Old Fighters Who Beat the Odds

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Most boxers start to lose a step in their late thirties, but this list isn't about most boxers. This list is about those special boxers who beat the odds and said to hell with father time. 

    This list is based on the boxers' record at the age of 40 and above, level of competition faced during those years, titles won or fought for in that time period and total rounds boxed.

    But in some cases I may just have to break my own rules. 

10. Vitali Klitschko

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    Jacob de Golish/Getty Images

    Record: 41-2

    Record Age 37+: 6-0

    Total Rounds: 208

    I know that Vitali doesn't fit the description I gave beforehand, but he is such a dominant fighter, and at thirty-nine years old hasn't lost a step. And it is for that reason that he belongs on this list. 

    Since age thirty-seven Vitali has not even come close to losing a fight, and he has fought for the WBC title every time. 

    The heavyweight division is not what it once was, but some of the reason that it isn't is because of Vitali Klitschko. 

    Vitali has deserved a spot on this list and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

9. Evander Holyfield

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    Record: 43-10-2

    Record Age 40+: 6-5 (1 NC)

    Total Rounds: 433

    Evander Holyfield belongs on this list because when everyone thought he was done and past his prime in 2004, he showed why he still belongs in the ring with an above five-hundred record against good heavyweight competition.

    At the age of forty-four and forty-six, Holyfield fought for the heavyweight title. He came up short in both fights, but the fact that he competed at a high level against two belt holders says a lot.

    Holyfield has proven people wrong his entire career, and it won't surprise me if he wins a heavyweight belt within the next few years. 

8. Jack Johnson

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    Record: 55-12-7

    Record Age 40+: 13-6

    Total Rounds: 699

    Jack Johnson never fought for a title after the age of thirty-seven, but he kept very busy. 

    Johnson fought until the age of fifty-two, which is astounding in the sport of boxing. 

    Fighting almost 700 rounds in a career as a heavyweight is unprecedented, and that stat alone is an amazing feat. 

7. Bob Fitzsimmons

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    Record: 68-8-4

    Record Age 40+: 6-3-1 (1 NC)

    Total Rounds: 391

    Bob Fitzsimmons won the light heavyweight title at the age of forty. To win a major title at the age of forty is an incredible accomplishment.

    Fitzsimmons tried to win the title again at the age of forty-two but failed to do so.  

6. Julio Cesar Chavez

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    Record: 107-6-2

    Record Age 40+: 3-1

    Total Rounds: 633

    Julio Cesar Chavez in an anomaly. Although he wasn't as active in his forties as other fighters were, he still belongs on the list.  

    He turned pro in 1980 at the age of seventeen and stayed relatively active until 2005. Twenty-five straight years in any sport is hard to accomplish, much less in boxing.

    At the age of thirty-eight he fought for the light welterweight title, but lost. The fact that he was still fighting for a title sixteen years after he won his first one is amazing.  

5. Larry Holmes

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    Holly Stein/Getty Images

    Record: 69-6

    Record Age 40+: 21-3

    Total Rounds: 581

    Larry Holmes was as active, if not more active, than any other fighter in their forties.

    Racking up twenty-one wins in his forties and fighting for a heavyweight title on three separate occasions earns Larry Holmes the number five spot on this list. 

4. Bernard Hopkins

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    Record: 51-5-2

    Record Age 40+: 6-3-1

    Total Rounds: 432

    Hopkins is still fighting top level opposition at the age when most fighters have been retired for a decade. 

    Even though Bernard doesn't have a whole lot of fights under his belt in his forties, the fights that he does have under his belt have almost all been against top level competition and in different weight classes. 

    Bernard won multiple middleweight titles at the age of forty, lost them to Jermain Taylor then decided to move up to light heavyweight and beat the likes of Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright, Kelly Pavlik, Roy Jones Jr. and had a draw against light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal.

3. Roberto Duran

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Record: 103-16

    Record Age 40+: 18-7

    Total Rounds: 822

    Not many fighters fought twenty-five times in their forties, but Roberto Duran did exactly that.

    Although Duran never held a major title in his forties, the mere fact that he stayed so active against good competition is impressive. 

    At the age of forty-seven Duran fought for the middleweight title but came up short losing by TKO. 

    Another plus for Duran are the 822 rounds boxed under his belt.  

2. George Foreman

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Record: 76-5

    Record 40+: 17-3

    Total Rounds: 350

    "Big" George Foreman had one of the greatest comebacks of all time. He began his comeback at the age of thirty-eight and strung together twenty-four victories in a row within a three-year time frame. 

    Foreman would eventually become the oldest heavyweight champion ever when he knocked out Michael Moore at the age of forty-five. 

    George continued to fight until the age of forty-eight before he retired. 

1. Archie Moore

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    Record: 185-23-10

    Record Age 40+: 26-2-2

    Total Rounds: 1,474

    Archie Moore defied age more than anybody else. He held the light heavyweight title at the ages of forty, forty-one and forty-two. 

    The man also fought well over two-hundred professional fights spanning four decades. 

    Moore fought nearly 1,500 rounds, which is unprecedented and probably won't ever be done again.