Boxing

Holyfield, Toney, Mormeck: Three Old Warriors Out For More Glory

By James Slater: Never have there been more old guys still chasing glory in the sport of boxing as we have today. Or at least it sure seems that way; especially in the heavier weight divisions. Before this year is over, we will see two men in their mid or late 40’s take major fights at heavyweight and cruiserweight respectively, and we will see a 39-year-old challenge the planet’s number-one heavyweight.

Evander Holyfield and James Toney are the two forty-somethings, Jean Marc Mormeck is the fighter pushing 40. “The Real Deal” is a whisker away from landing a shot at new “Regular” WBA heavyweight champ Alexander Povetkin, while “Lights Out” has a signed date with top-ranked cruiserweight Denis Lebedev. What’s scary is, both men might just pull out a victory. The question is, what then if this happens?

Mormeck doesn’t appear to have much more than a prayer against Wladimir Klitschko on Dec. 10th, so the heavyweight division will not be completely overrun by fossils, but it’s quite easy to envisage a whole load of “Senior Citizen” match-ups taking place if Holyfield beats Povetkin and if Toney beats Lebedev. With a combined age of 92, Toney and Holyfield, if they both pull off the upset, will be in a position to be able to demand bigger fights.

A win for Evander would convince him further he has enough left to once again hold all the belts at heavyweight, and this will lead to trouble - big trouble if Holyfield gets in there with a Klitschko. While Toney has said himself that a win over Lebedev will “open up a lot of doors” - at both 200-pounds and at heavyweight. I can see it now: Holyfield-Toney II for the “Regular” WBA heavyweight title! Maybe it will be worse than that; what with Hasim Rahman, a mere spring chicken at age 38, currently the number-one contender for the WBA strap. Holyfield-Rahman II or Toney-Rahman III, anyone!?

It’s no-one’s business to tell all-time greats like Holyfield and Toney to retire. With all the things that have accomplished in boxing, they have earned the right to walk away when they see fit. But those fans who dislike seeing ageing, faded legends struggling to reclaim past glories sure as hell don’t have to watch their fights. And if Holyfield and Toney do win their upcoming fights and then go looking for yet more glory (as they are both sure to do), there could be a lot of fans opting to look away as they do so.

Maybe there should be. It won’t be pretty, but Holyfield and Toney will both win decisions in November and December (in my opinion anyway). Then what?

Active heavyweights aged 38 or older:

Vitali Klitschko, 40 (the exception to the rule, seeing as how Klitschko is still on top. A modern day one off).

Tony Thompson, 39.

Jean Marc Mormeck, 39.

Evander Holyfield, 49.

Cedric Boswell, 42

Michael Grant, 39

Monte Barrett, 40.

David Tua, 38.

Hasim Rahman, 38.

Oliver McCall, 46.

Ray Austin, 40.

Article posted on 08.10.2011



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