PACQUIAO IS FOURTH OLDEST BOXER TO WIN A WORLD TITLE
By Maloney L. Samaco
Thu, 25 Jul 2019
Manny Pacquiao became the fourth oldest boxer to win a world title when he outpointed Keith Thurman by split decision winning the WBA (Super) welterweight championship last weekend at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada.
To be exact, Pacquiao was 40 years, seven months and three days old during that memorable clash between two WBA welterweight champions. Pacquiao, the regular champion, dethroned Thurman, the super champion.
But three other boxers were older than the fighter turned legislator when they won a world boxing title. Bernard Hopkins is the oldest world champion in boxing history, a record which he would probably preserve for several years.
Hopkins broke his own record when he won the IBF light heavyweight title from Tavoris Cloud in March 2013 two months after turning 48. In 2014 when he won another belt, the WBA (Super) light heavyweight title from Beibut Shumenov at age 49, becoming the oldest boxer in history to unify titles in a weight division.
In October 2011, Hopkins had already surpassed George Foreman's record when he outpointed Jean Pascal to gain the WBC light heavyweight title at age 46 at that time.
Foreman retired after a loss to Jimmy Young in 1977 and became an ordained Christian minister. Ten years later he announced a comeback and Foreman was 45 years and 10 months, when he knocked out Michael Moorer in the tenth round to become the unified IBF and WBA heavyweight champion in November 1994.
Sugar Boy Malinga was just eight days short of his 42nd birthday when he scored an upset victory over Robin Reid in December 1997 to win the WBC super-middleweight title for the second time. The South African was 40-years-old when he claimed the title in March 1996 via split decision over Nigel Benn, but lost the belt to Vincenzo Nardiello, who then lost it to Reid.
There were other fighters who were over their prime yet they won world titles at an older age. But these boxers were younger than Pacquiao when they were crowned world champions.
Bob Fitzsimmons, the former world heavyweight champion reduced in weight in November 1903 at the age of 40 years and 6 months and won the light-heavyweight title by outpointing George Gardner.
Robert "Hands of Stone" Duran was nearly 38 when he faced Iran Barkley for the WBC middleweight crown and won by a split decision.
"Jersey Joe" Walcott beat Ezzard Charles in March 1951 to win the world heavyweight title. Officially he was recorded to be aged 37, but many fans believed he was older than that.
Just two months before his 38th birthday, Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield claimed the vacant WBA heavyweight championship with a unanimous decision against John Ruiz in August 2000.
Corrie Sanders was 37-years-old when he scored a big upset stopping Wladimir Klitschko in the second round in March 2003.
Daniel Zaragoza was just two weeks short of his 38th birthday when he wrested the WBC super bantamweight crown with a decision triumph over Hector Acero-Sanchez in November 1995.
Azumah Nelson was a few months past 37 when in December 1995 he stopped Gabe Ruelas in five rounds to win the WBC super featherweight title.
"The Greatest" Muhammad Ali was eight months past 36 in September 1978 when he avenged his defeat against Leon Spinks to regain the WBA heavyweight title in a 15-round rematch.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.
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