When age defies logic: Five fighters who overcame the odds and returned to the top

Planet Sport has decided to take a look back at the golden oldies of the sport...

Bernard Hopkins

The American broke his own record in 2013 to become the oldest world champion in boxing history at the age of 48.

"B-Hop" defeated Tavoris Cloud to win the IBF light heavyweight strap in 2013 and made two successful defences of his crown before relinquishing it to Sergey Kovalev a year later.

He had previously held the record after shocking the world with a victory over Canadian Jean Pascal.

George Foreman

Unranked, and coming off a defeat, "Big George" was seen as washed up at the ripe age of 45 in the heavyweight division.

However, his legendary profile saw Michael Moorer offer him another shot at world glory.

Foreman - wearing the same red trunks from the night he lost to Muhammad Ali 20 years ago - stopped Moorer in the tenth round to regain the title he lost to Ali in 1974.

He is still the oldest heavyweight world champion in history although Wladimir Klitschko could be tempted to return and break it next year.

Roberto Duran

The Panamanian is one of the greatest fighters of all-time and at 38, he reminded us there was still life in the old dog with victory over Iran Barkley.

Duran had retired after back-to-back defeats to Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns but reversed his decision and was soon fighting again a year later in 1986.

It would be another three years until he challenged for a world title and his win over Barkley was significant, especially when you consider Barkley's stunning upset over Hearns in his previous fight to win the WBC middleweight strap.

He eventually retired for good at 50.

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Thulani Malinga

Known as Sugar Boy, the South African had an incredible amateur career with 185 wins from 195 fights.

Malinga surrendered the WBC middleweight title after just one defence following his sensational win over British legend Nigel Benn.

However, in 1997, he became a two-time world champion with a surprise points win over Robin Reid in Millwall, London.

It was a belated birthday present for Malinga, who had turned 42 a week before the bout.

Bob Fitzsimmons

Most famous for beating "Gentleman" Jim Corbett in 1897, Fitzsimmons won world titles at middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, "Ruby Robert" is the lightest heavyweight champion in boxing history at 165lbs.

One month short of his 40th birthday, the Freckled Wonder overcame George Gardiner to win the light heavyweight title and in doing so, become the first three-division world champion.

Read more: Five things you never knew about Floyd Mayweather

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