Michael Rosenthal

10 fighters who had productive post-40 careers

Bernard Hopkins has become one of the most-accomplished post-40-year-old fighters in the history of boxing.

And a victory in his rematch with RING light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal on Saturday in Montreal, for which he would surpass George Foreman as the oldest man ever to win a major title, would only enhance that reputation.

The Executioner isn't the best 40-plus fighter of all time, though, at least not yet.

Here are 10 fighters who had productive careers after turning 40 (in order of their accomplishments; including post-40 record):

 

 

10. WILLIE PEP

Fights: 10

Wins: 9

Losses: 1

Draws: 0

Title fights: 0-0

Summary: George Foreman wasn’t the first to come back from a long layoff and find some success. The great Will o’ the Wisp, a two-time featherweight champion, was 42 and had been out of boxing for more than six years when he made his comeback.

Pep also laid the groundwork on how to fight your way back into shape, fighting nine times in seven months. He defeated journeymen in each of those fights, four by knockout.

However, in the 10th fight of his comeback, he was outpointed over six rounds by relative unknown Calvin Woodland and then retired for good. He was still pretty good but clearly no longer had what it took to beat elite opponents.

Pep went on to become a referee and lived to be 84.

Around the web