By Jackie Kallen
At what point does a boxer know that it’s time to hang ’em up and walk away from the game? Does he ever know or do most boxers fight until they embarrass themselves? It’s an age-old question and the answer has been debated for as long as boxing has been a sport.
Ali’s last fight was hard to watch as was Larry Holmes final foray into the ring.
Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime PPV
Some fans are hoping Mosley will feel Father Time creeping up and pass the baton to his son and other young prospects. His lackluster performance and running act against Pacquaio added fuel to the retirement fire.
Why do some boxers like Wilfredo Benitez and Pipino Cuevas retire early and others like Saoul Mamby and Evander Holyfield continue fighting well into middle age.
A lot has to do with their style of fighting and the level of abuse they’ve taken in the ring. The better their chin–the longer they last.
Saoul Mamby is a perfect example. He fought his last fight three years ago and he was 61 at the time. He lost 11 out of his last 14 fights and yet he was still willing to lace up the gloves. In a total of 85 fights–he was stopped only once–and that was in 1993.
Bernard Hopkins is still fighting at age 46 after accumulating a total of 59 fights. His last fight was against Calzaghe in 2008, but Hopkins has never been stopped.
The same can be said for James Toney who at 43, has fought 84 fights and has never been stopped. He is elusive and has one of the best defenses in the game. (His only KO was his first attempt as an MMA fighter when he faced Randy Couture.)
George Foreman fought until he was 48 years old. In his 81-fight career, his only loss was to Ali back in 1974. Talk about a good chin! And we can add Evander Holyfield to the list. At 48 years old and with 57 fights under his belt, he was only stopped twice.
Then there’s Hector Camacho, Sr. who fought last year at the age of 48 and has never been stopped in 88 fights.
Which is a good argument for Shane Mosley if he refuses to call it a day. He’s not even 40 years old and has never been stopped in 55 fights. Whether there is any gas left in his tank is another question.
Which makes me wonder whether these older fighters are fighting just to survive and get a payday, or whether they are viable contenders and worth our PPV bucks.
What do you think?
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen