David Telesco, 44, giving it one more shot

May, 18, 2012
5/18/12
4:04
PM ET
It's a pretty easy interview, asking the man who turned 44 on May 6 why he's coming back to the ring, why he can't get boxing out of his bloodstream and focus on a less taxing vocation.

You ask why.

Why, David Telesco, 30-7-1 former light heavyweight contender out of Port Chester, N.Y., why are you back in the ring at the Times Union Center in Albany tonight, fighting 14-1 Vincent Miranda on a card to be featured on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights"?

"It's mind over matter," he told me. "About age, if I don't mind, it don't matter. I live a clean life, and I'm healthier than 20-year-old guys."

Telesco had long-ago trainer Hector Roca check him out in the gym, assess his reflexes, the whole nine, and said the esteemed tutor gave him the go ahead. They last worked together when Telesco was on the way up, a kid in his early 20s. The boxer insists he will again ascend, and tells me after a few fights he believes he can be the best version of himself there ever was.

Chad Dawson (31-1; age 29) who just defeated the sport's most sage pugilist, 47-year-old Bernard Hopkins, a month ago, is in his sights.

"I realized, I'm not getting any younger, let's see how far we can go," Telesco said. "Dawson is 25 minutes from me in Connecticut. What a great show we could put on for the hometown fans, at Foxwoods."

I asked forgiveness, but a most natural question to ask a comebacking fighter is: Are you doing it for the money?

Is he? Telesco said that is not a factor, that he has money saved up from his sanitation gig, a pension, the whole deal.

He last gloved up on Oct. 21, 2009, losing to Byron Mitchell via TKO2. He said that he was still feeling the effects of an on-the-job injury which occurred a year before, when a metal bar off a garbage truck slammed into the back of his head. A neurologist told him someone with a softer head would have died. But Telesco's is hard, and so is his resolve; he said he will now be paying more attention to defense than he did in his heyday.

That recent birthday was a happy occasion, but twinges of what-might-have-been did surface. He did earn a title shot against Roy Jones in 2000, losing a UD12. But once a boxer, always a boxer, for most of the best of them.

"I had a birthday, and sometimes it messes with the mental," he admitted. "But I am living a clean life. Guys in their 20s don't want to train with me. I've changed for the better. To my hometown, I want to say: Get ready, we're going on a ride, one more time."
Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for TheSweetScience.com.

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