Why, oh why is 54 year old Oliver McCall still fighting? It’s a basic question and though many fans will claim the answer is, the former WBC heavyweight ruler needs money and this is the real reason, McCall says he is fighting “to make history.”
McCall, as he explained whilst speaking with BBC SPORT, wants to become the first ever former heavyweight champion to climb into the ring and avenge the pro defeat of his son and become undisputed heavyweight champion at the same time. Elijah McCall was stopped by a young Andy Ruiz back in 2012, and “The Atomic Bull” has been bothered by the loss ever since.
“After he knocked out my boy, I jumped in the ring and looked at Ruiz and I said: ‘Fight me,” McCall said.
At 54 and after almost 35 years in the ring – during which, famously, he has never once been knocked down let alone knocked out – McCall and his team insist he is in fantastic physical condition. And maybe he is – for a man of his age. But can McCall possibly be competitive with anything approaching an elite fighter today?
Of course there is next to no chance Ruiz will even look at taking a fight with McCall (even if he were to lose and lose badly in his rematch with Anthony Joshua and need a comeback fight), but McCall is adamant he is fit and ready to fight him.
The Chicago warrior said he recently sparred an unbeaten heavyweight to prove to his daughter what he can do at his advanced age. McCall says he has the full support of his family and team: “The people who are close to me care about my wellbeing, but they can’t believe what they see,” he stated.
But McCall doesn’t just want to fight Ruiz. No, the veteran of so many big fights is also claiming he would not only beat but stop Tyson Fury should he get the opportunity. McCall says he is certain he would work Fury’s body and take the giant down.
Again, there seems little to zero chance this fight will take place (but then again, these days you never know for sure!), but McCall is determined to fight again before the end of this year – and to still be boxing come November 2nd of 2020; the 35th anniversary of his pro debut.
It’s tough not to root for McCall, 59-14(38). Especially after all he’s been through. Indeed, it really is quite astonishing that McCall is still around. Good luck to the grizzled old warhorse.