George Foreman Winning a Title at 45 Influenced Others
By: Ken Hissner
On November 5th in 1994 at the MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, “Big” George Foreman regained the IBF and WBA Heavyweight title knocking out Michael Moorer in the 10th round. He was behind on point from the judges with scores of 88-83 twice and 86-85. Shortly after the fight Foreman was stripped of the WBA title for refusing to fight Tony Tucker.
One of the fighters Foreman influenced most was now 44 year old Shannon “Cannon” Briggs, 29-1, who was the last opponent in Foreman’s 81 fight career. It was thought Foreman was lucky to get by Germany’s Axel Schulz, 21-1-1, in April of 1995 and most felt he deserved the decision over Briggs losing 117-113, 116-112 and 114-114.
Briggs last fought on November 4th 2016 improving his record to 60-6-1 (53). He has been 9-0 since turning 40. He chased Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko then champion for years. He won the WBO title on November 4th 2006 stopping Siarhei “White Wolf” Liakhovich. Liakkhovich in his last bout at 42 in October of 2017 stopped Ramon “Pantera” Olivas, 14-7, of Sonora, Mexico, in the 3rd round of a scheduled 6, in Sonora, Mexico.
Former WBC Heavyweight champion Oliver “The Atomic Bull” McCall, 57-14 (37), at 49 lost his last fight in April of 2014 to Marcin “Rex” Rekowski, 13-1, over 10 rounds in Poland, in a rematch that McCall won in February. He was 15-7 after the age of 40. He won the title in September of 1994.
Fres “The Big O” Oquendo, 37-8 (24), at 45 is scheduled to fight for the WBA World title on September 29th at Cologne, Germany, when he meets champion Manuel Charr, 31-4 (17), though Oquendo hasn’t fought in four years. He lost a disputed decision to Chris Byrd in September of 2003 for his IBF World title.
Like Oquendo 45 year-old southpaw Amir “Hardcore” Mansour, 23-2-1 (16), is still chasing a title opportunity. He has won 7 minor titles and has been in the world ratings. His last fight was in November 2017 ending in a NC3 over a clash of heads against Russia’s Sergey Kuzmin, 11-0, in Moscow.
Billy “Bronco” Wright, 52-4 (43), of Las Vegas, last fought in January of 2016 at the age of 51. He hadn’t lost since 1998 to Tony Tucker. He won his last 22 fights since then of which 9 of his last 11 fights were in Bolivia. He won the WBC FECARBOX, WBO Latino and interim PABA titles.
All of these heavyweights felt they could match what George Foreman did at age 45 winning the heavyweight title.
Boxing Insider Interview with Oliver O’Dea
By: Stephen James
Boxing comebacks are getting far more frequent these days, every other day we hear of another fighter from the past talking about getting back into the ring. But after 19 years and at the age of 42 forgotten Irish Featherweight Oliver O’Dea will again step through the ropes when he fights in the US in January for the first time on those shores since 1999. Now returning at light welterweight, the big punching Irishman is determined to finish thee job he set himself all those years ago regardless of age. We spoke to him about his incredible decision.
Boxing Insider (BI): Why at 42 decide to get back between the ropes again?
Oliver O’Dea (OD): Why not, life’s too short not to take chances, theses loads of reasons, mainly to show my kids anything is possible if you believe in yourself. One of the main reasons is my youngest daughter, she’s autistic and 3 years old, I want to do this for Ondine, Kira, Tristan and Jessica, all my kids. BI: you stopped boxing in 1999 and moved back to Ireland after a number of years in gyms in the UK and the US, why stop early? OD: broken hands, enough of the business of boxing and my main backer and best buddy Gladiator actor Oliver Reed died right at that time. It was just time to walk.
BI: You’ve worked with some big names in boxing, how did that come about?
OD: it was odd looking back at it, I sent a letter to a promoter in the UK and told him I would beat any fighter on his books, the postman came a week or so later and had a British stamp. Your welcome here to try if you like, it was the head of the then KO Pro team based in Bristol who had Alfred the Cobra Kotey the then WBO bantamweight champion, Kevin “The Look” Lewisham who nixed Felix Trinadad for the Welterweight Title and a few more, so I set off to Bristol on a bus from Cork at 18 and learned my trade, a few months later we were based in London and Sky’s Spencer Oliver was just about to turn pro but I never sparred him, great sparring with Tony Pep the super featherweight world champion at 6’2 and Kotey too. Moved to Steve Collins and then to the US.
BI: You had 7 wins from 7, what do you want to achieve now?
OD: Who cares about numbers, I want to really test myself in there cause its where I belong. Its not for money, I’m not calling out McGregor to get noticed or rich, I’ve shared the same gym with him on a few occasions and nothing special with his hands, he just has the advantage 98% of MMA fighters can’t punch properly. It freaked him out I wouldn’t kiss his arse and just said how’s it going as he did with respect after seeing me train.
BI: Where are you based now?
OD: West Cork, I’ve a gym here and a coach but we will be fighting in the US and hopefully Germany and Canada. I’m rated in the Canadian professional boxing council international ranking at 140 so its an option.
BI: You have been linked to a few trainers like the Mayweathers?
OD: Yea Jeff; Floyd’s uncle, I’ve also been talking to Wayne McCulloch but I’ll see, I’ve a good friend here Andy Kerrins who’s a good coach we will start working together ASAP and spend a good 8 weeks with him.
BI: Best of luck on the comeback.
OD: I would like to thank TITLE Boxing for there backing.