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Home Boxing Who will have a long career? Who will not have a long career?
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Who will have a long career? Who will not have a long career?

 

boxing-championsWho WILL NOT have a long career:

Brawlers - This one is obvious, if someone is taking a ton of punishment, they will age faster.  When they start feeling for the canvas as they step backwards, neurological damage has been done.  There have been exceptions to this, but even most of them were only part-time brawlers, who still had easy wins from time to time.
Men who turned pro young - Again, exceptions such as Orlando Salido are out there, but most who start fast burn out fast.  This could have to do with both absorbing punishment on an unfinished skull, as well as overall wear and tear.  People forget that Hopkins was a late starter, and a man who scored most of his early victories by 1st round KO, until he was 30, and had a much improved defense.Men who balloon in weight between bouts - Duran is the big exception, but he had to adjust his style as a result of his hard-partying ways.  Ricky Hatton, Carlos Baldomir, and many others watched their prime years shrunk down because of their in-between fights weight fluctuations.
 
Who WILL have a long career:

Defensive specialists - True, they rely on reflexes, one of the first things to go for most men, however a defensive master is usually very fundamentally sound, and will retain many tricks as his reflexes diminish.  He also will not absorb as much punishment as others, no matter how long his fights go.Big punchers - Mike Tyson took 3 hard beatings in his career: Lewis, Douglas, Holyfield 1, but most of his other fights were over to soon to see any real damage.  This is why the champ doesn't seem too mentally or physically diminished after a 20 year pro career.  His late-career lethargy was more an issue of lack of desire than anything else.

George Foreman is another example of a puncher never having to take much punishment, as his fights are usually over quickly.  Exceptions like Diego Corrales are out there, but his high-level of opposition and desire for brawling accounted for his longer fights more than anything.  Power is also one of the last things to go for most fighters, especially among the bigger men of boxing.Men who stay at or near their fighting weight - There is something to be said for not overusing your body, or overtraining.  Hopkins himself does less gym-work now than he used to, but his lifestyle lends itself to year-round health.  Those who do not tax the internal organs with bad habits will usually have a longer career.

Chris Strait
www.fightnews.com.au

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