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Shot Fighters Who Had One Last Great Performance Left In Them

I love those rare but big moments in boxing when the shop worn gladiator that we all thought was going to receive an unwelcoming loss manages to dig deep and give one last great performance against someone in their prime. It reminds the young guns that they still have a lot to learn and to be mindful that defeat in boxing can occur when they least expect it. And, of course, for the veteran they get to experience glory all over again. I am sure it must be a wonderful feeling for them, as it often is for the fans.

I have chosen four boxers who fought knowing, even if they would not admit it, that their best years were firmly behind them and still managed to impress themselves and everybody around them by using all of their experience and physical prowess to impress, not only themselves, but everybody else watching. And maybe even the one in the opposite corner!

Erik Morales

Myself and others thought that Erik Morales was insane for selecting Marcos Maidana to fight after looking average in three comeback fights. The Argentinian was a killer puncher, having amassed 31 KO’s in a total of 35 wins. Things looked to be going the way many predicted when the Mexican’s right eye swelled to huge proportions after being hit with an uppercut. However, the resilient Morales’s penchant for war eventually showed itself and Maidana began visibly struggling to trade and land meaningful blows on the older man. By the end, it was expected that Erik had caused an upset. But the judges did not see it that way when they voted for a majority decision against him.

Wladimir Klitschko

I see this as one of the most controversial of the picks in this article because I never really believed that Wladimir Klitschko was truly shot when he fought Tyson Fury in 2015, despite the consensus believing so.   Worry not, because that is not the fight I am thinking of when choosing Wladimir here. Instead, we will look ahead to 2017 when the Ukrainian gave Anthony Joshua the fight of his life at Wembley in England. Sent to the floor in the sixth round, Anthony found himself in unknown territory. But unfortunately for the challenger he was unable to put his foot on the pedal and finish Joshua off. Instead he would eventually find himself technically knocked out in the eleventh round. But it was a performance that the former ten year reigning champion can look back on and be proud of.

Thomas Hearns

It was largely thought that the “Hitman” had seen better days back in 1991 when he challenged Virgil Hill for the WBA light-heavyweight crown on June 3rd of that year. The then 30-0 Hill must have thought he would have an easy night. But what he got was anything but that when Tommy showed glimpses of his former self with his fast counter punches and excellent timing with his jab. Virgil would not lose for another six years after this first defeat and would eventually go on to unify the WBA and IBF titles. Unfortunately, Hearns would lose in his first defence to Iran Barkley. He eventually retired for good in 2006.

Evander Holyfield

Personally, I think it was an outright robbery that Evander Holyfield did not capture a portion of the world championship for a record breaking fifth time after looking like he had beaten Russia’s Nikolai Valuev on December 20th, 2008 in Switzerland. It appeared that the American was far more aggressive and even faster than the bigger belt holder. One judge scored the contest a draw while the other two went against one another and scored it for the opposite guy. It is difficult to even argue that the fight was a draw as Holyfield looked to have conclusively been victorious and turned back time.