By: Hans Themistode
All good things come to an end.
In sports such as basketball and football, the end comes with a missed shot, or a bad pass down the field. But in boxing, the end for a fighter is much more cruel.
Muhammad Ali, Bernard Hopkins and Ken Norton share a few things in common. They were all world champions, all-time greats and absolute legends. But they also share an analogous ending.
The last image of Norton was an infamous one, as Heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney blasted him out in the first round. Muhammad Ali spent the final year of his career losing his finally two contests. An 11th round stoppage to Larry Holmes and a unanimous decision loss to Trevor Berbick. Bernard Hopkins, also lost his final two career fights. A unanimous decision loss to Sergey Kovalev, followed by a stoppage loss to Joe Smith Jr. In that contest, Hopkins was sent flying from the ring.
There are other all-time great fighters such as James Toney and Roy Jones Jr who also fought on for far too long.
In short, boxing heroes eventually succumb to father-time. There are a few anomalies such as Floyd Mayweather Jr and Rocky Marciano but those are the exception, not the rule.
Current pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez has never been a follower during his career. But he’ll gladly follow the path of Mayweather and Marciano, rather than Ali and Hopkins.
“36-years-old, for me,” said Canelo to Box Azteca. That’s a good time to retire, 37-years-old at the max. I always have discipline, work ethic, and dedication. The only thing that has changed is my successes, I train every day as if I was a rookie.”
At 29 years of age, retirement is still a long way away. But as they say in sports, once you begin to think about the finish line, the end isn’t too far away.
With that being said, the love affair between Canelo and the sport of boxing is still going strong. For now.
“My body asks me to fight. I keep training because I love boxing. I train, whether I have a fight or not. I’ll dedicate myself to my business.”