A look my top 5 boxers over 40 list, men who are still actively competing as professional fighters.
A boxing career is not long, the toll of relentless training, years of brutal weight cutting and the physical effects of taking shots push the body to its limits.
There are easier ways to make a living but for a rare few the stars align with careers extending past 40.
The speed and punch resistance may go but this can be compensated with guile and ring craft.
With advances in sports nutrition and easier access to world-class training methods, the average fighters career can be extended.
However it takes an exceptional talent to keep their faculties after 20+ years of head shots.
Lets take a look at the top 5 boxers over 40 that are still active in 2017.
Number 5 – Roy Jones Junior (65-9, 47 KO’s) Age – 48
Possibly the most talented fighter to ever pull on a pair of gloves, Jones Jr is still very much active recording 6 wins in 7 fights over the last two years.
At the tender age of 48 Roy shows no signs of slowing down.
His recent opponents have had the feel of exhibition bouts, ranging from an undefeated bare knuckle boxer in Bobby Gunn – to a 0 fight novice in Vyron Phillips.
Although nowhere near as potent as the young Jones who destroyed James Toney in 1994 to take the IBF Super Middleweight Crown.
It is a privilege to see the former five-weight world champion and future Hall of Famer in action.
Number 4 – Lolenga Mock (38-14-1, 13 KO’s) Age – 44
This next man on my list is a Danish citizen reputed for toughness having been stopped only once in a 53 fight career spanning a remarkable 25 years.
Having clocked an impressive 7 wins in a row competing at Super Middleweight, Mock was tested at the top level, suffering defeats to David Haye and Lucien Bute.
He came close to defeating Haye in their fight – putting the Londoner down heavily before being stopped two rounds later.
Having recently cited the phenom Bernard Hopkins as an inspiration, the 44-year-old is looking to build momentum and challenge the elite once more.
Number 3 – Omar Narvaes (45-2-2, 24 KO’s) Age – 41
The Argentinian Flyweight has had a glittering career to date, successfully defending the WBO Flyweight Title 16 times.
He is no stranger to the big time.
Having only lost once in nearly five years, the 5′ 2” Southpaw still has a lot to offer the Flyweight division.
It is even more impressive that Omar is still competing at 41 in one of the lightest divisions in the sport, where speed and footwork rule the roost typically.
Number 2 – Cornelius Bundrage (35-6, 20 KO’s) Age 43
The Detroit resident didn’t fight in 2016 after his defeat to undefeated Jermall Charlo (25-0, 19 KO’s) and it looked like the end of a glittering 20 year professional career.
However, ‘K9’ bounced back in January this year with a fantastic knock-out of the experienced Sergio Gomez (20-21, 16 KO’s).
The former two-time Super Welterweight Champion later commented at the time that he:
“Hoped this was another run at the title.”
Number 1 – Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KO’s) Age 40
Now to my number one.
Wladimir Klitschko is a tribute to modern training methods in every aspect.
The 6′ 6” Ukrainian has done it all, from Olympic Champion to undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
Still active and looking like a wounded animal after the defeat to Tyson Fury in November 2015, Klitschko aims to win back the belts by facing the young champion Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KO’s) in April 2017.
Wladimir has been at the top of the game for over a decade and is still one of the biggest draws in boxing.
Klitschko takes a cerebral style of fighting into training camps, continuously innovating and looking at ways to cut impact to ageing joints – contributing to many years of peak performance to date.
Well, that concludes my top 5 boxers over 40 list. Do you think anyone else should have been included?
With modern training methods continuing to reduce the wear and tear on the body, we can look forward to many of our favourite boxers competing well into their thirties at the least.
Which can only be a good thing for fans. Will we see another Bernard Hopkins aiming for a belt at 50 though?
Time will tell.