Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Putting Mayweather's age in perspective
By Brett Okamoto
As Floyd Mayweather Jr. closes in on age 37, can he maintain his standing as the world's top fighter?
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has never lost a fight -- he also has never been so close to age 37.
The No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world will celebrate his 37th birthday on Feb. 24 next year. Although Mayweather has shown few, if any, effects of age in the ring, we all know Father Time is undefeated and undisputed in the athletic world.
Of course, time treats all fighters differently, and in Mayweather's case, it likely will be less harsh. "Money" has taken phenomenal care of his body and has avoided damage throughout his career.
It's worth taking a look, though, at how different fighters fared in their last fight prior to their 37th birthday -- and afterward.
Born: Jan. 10, 1949; Returned from a 10-year retirement on March 9, 1987.
Following a 10-year absence from the ring, Foreman returned at age 38 and even used age as a partial reason for his comeback, wanting to prove doubters wrong. He eventually challenged 28-year-old Evander Holyfield for the heavyweight title in April 1991 and lost. Three years later, at 45, he became the oldest heavyweight champion in history when he knocked out Michael Moorer.
Post-37 record: 31-3
Born: Oct. 19, 1962; Draw with Lennox Lewis on March 13, 1999.
This is the timeline Mayweather hopes to not follow. Many saw the draw as a robbery of Lewis, who outworked Holyfield throughout the bout. One could argue Holyfield never truly bounced back, even though he fought until 2011.
Post-37 record: 8-7-1
Born: Jan. 15, 1965; Defeated Felix Trinidad via TKO on Sept. 29, 2001.
Age is nothing more than a number for Hopkins. For the first time in years, oddsmakers had pegged the much older Hopkins as an underdog in the Trinidad fight. That reportedly prompted Hopkins to bet $100,000 on himself in that fight. He won.
Post-37 record: 13-4-1 (active)
Roy Jones Jr.
Born: Jan. 16, 1969; Lost to Antonio Tarver via UD on Oct. 1, 2005.
If Jones went from young to old in one night, it actually was most likely the previous year when he suffered a stunning second-round TKO loss to Tarver in May 2004, conceding his light heavyweight title.
Post-37 record: 7-4
Born: Sept. 7, 1971; Lost to Miguel Cotto via UD on Nov. 10, 2007.
Mosley saw a five-fight win streak end 10 months prior to his 37th birthday, but age didn't appear to be the reason. He rebounded with solid performances in knockouts over Ricardo Mayorga and Antonio Margarito -- but he has looked old in five fights since.
Post-37 record: 3-3-1 (active)
Sugar Ray Robinson
Born: May 3, 1921; Defeated Carmen Basilio via UD on March 3, 1958.
After retiring in 1952, Robinson returned to the ring in 1955 and reclaimed the middleweight world title. He lost it and reclaimed it again in 1957 ... and again in 1958. The win over Basilio, however, would be his final victory in a world title fight.