Tomorrow, February 7th, marks the 22nd anniversary of one of the oddest, weirdest world heavyweight title fights in history: the rematch between Lennox Lewis and Oliver McCall. Fans who witnessed the manner in which McCall quite literally fell apart in the ring, crying as he suffered a mental breakdown, will likely never forget it. Lewis gained revenge for the shock KO loss he had suffered, but was it the real McCall in the ring with him in the return fight, some two-and-a-half years on?
McCall looked as finished as finished can be back then yet “The Atomic Bull” fought on. And he might not be done fighting just yet, either. McCall boxed, and won, back in November of last year, when he picked up a decision win over a 3-16-1 fighter named Larry Knight in what was his first fight in over four years. Now, according to the invaluable web site that is BoxRec, McCall, 58-14(37) will fight on March 23rd in Robstown.
At age 53 (54 in April), the former WBC heavyweight is scheduled to fight Ronald Baca, 9-3-4(3) over a scheduled eight-rounds. Of course the fight is subject to change, as are all bouts posted on BoxRec, but seeing as how McCall fought just a couple of months ago it seems the March fight is indeed likely to take place. McCall, who famously has never been down one single time as a pro, much less stopped, can still fight, to a degree at least, and he could well beat New Mexico’s Baca, a man 21 years his junior.
Baca, who is coming off two draws, both of which took place last year, is a small heavyweight at 5’11” and he is no puncher. But who on earth can possibly know what, if anything, McCall has left at this seriously advanced stage of his career? Why is McCall still fighting on? Does he need the cash, or does McCall find, as do so many other former world champions and big names, he has nothing else he really enjoys doing?
McCall does look in good physical shape for a man of his years, at least he did in the Knight win. No, he’s not anywhere near as solid as he once was, but for a 53 year old, McCall looks pretty good. But where will the career of McCall finally end? Will his legendary chin finally let him down one day, or will the tough guy from Chicago manage to go out with a win?
It’s been a crazy, wild ride and Oliver McCall is apparently not through just yet.