Monday, 12 August 2013 01:57

Floyd Mayweather | Can He Continue to Dominate In His Mid to Late 30s?

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While fighters in their late 30s and early 40s have found some success in a few of the heavier divisions, boxing has not been kind to welterweights and junior middleweights over the last 20 plus years.
In fact, some great champions of these divisions have suffered some of the most humbling defeats of their careers.

This is probably due to losing the slightest of step in speed and in reflexes, which are two traits that are needed more at these weight classes than the heavier weight classes.

(Images courtesy of Showtime)

This is what makes what Floyd Mayweather Jr. is doing at the age of 36 that much more impressive.

Since turning 34, Mayweather has knocked out Victor Ortiz, and has two decisive unanimous decision victories over Miguel Cotto and Robert Guerrero.

mayweather-punches-guerrero

If Mayweather is able to defeat Canelo Alvarez on September 14th, not only will he improve to 45-0, but his legacy will continue grow as he succeeds where others have failed at this point in their careers.

Here's a look at how some Hall of Fame and future Hall of Fame fighters faired in their mid-30s in the welterweight and junior middleweight divisions.

Sugar Ray Leonard- In 1991 Sugar Ray Leonard at the age of 34 challenged Terry Norris for the WBC Junior Middleweight title. Despite being a 3-1 favorite, Leonard was soundly defeated by Norris. Norris knocked Leonard down twice on his way to a unanimous decision on scorecards of 120-104, 119-103, and 116-110. Immediately afterwards Leonard would announce his retirement.

Pernell Whitaker- On February 20th 1999, 35 year old Pernell Whitaker took on undefeated Felix Trinidad for the IBF Welterweight title. Whitaker is perhaps the most elusive fighter or all time, but on this night Trinidad and father time were too much for him as he lost a lopsided decision on scorecards of 117-111, 118-109, and 118-109. Whitaker would only fight one more time following his defeat against Trinidad.

Oscar De La Hoya- In 2008 at the age of 35, De La Hoya took on Manny Pacquiao in a welterweight matchup. Despite Pacquaio being considered the #1 fighter pound for pound, De La Hoya was a huge favorite going into the fight because of his size. De La Hoya would was dominated from the opening bell and the fight was stopped after the 8th round. This would be the final fight of De La Hoya's career.

Sugar Shane Mosley- Mosley had some success in his mid-30s in knocking out Ricardo Mayorga and Antonio Margarito. But after his win over Margarito he lost a lopsided decision to Mayweather, which was followed by a draw against Sergio Mora, and two more lopsided decisions against Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez.
 
Jason Leach

I was born in Queens NY, but currently reside in Hackensack NJ. Became a diehard boxing fan in the 1980’s watching Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson.

I’ve enjoyed watching and talking about sports for as long as I can remember. In late 2012 I began to pursue a sports writing career with the Harlem Times. Within a few months I was covering events such as the Big East Tournament and the Adrien Broner vs. Paulie Malignaggi fight at the Barclays Center.

Love boxing because of the Sweet Science, the history of great champions, and knowing at any moment a fight can be over with one punch.

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