From Pacquiao to Couture: 6 sporting legends who prove you can still win big in your 40s (VIDEO) Manny Pacquiao rolled back the years on Saturday night to defeat unbeaten WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman and capture his ninth world title at the age of 40. We look at six sporting legends who excelled into their 40s.
MANNY PACQUIAO – BOXING
Pacquiao proved that, despite his advancing years and his increasing commitment to his role as a senator back home in the Philippines, he can still do the business inside the ring as he outboxed, out-maneuvered and out-toughed Thurman to claim a split-decision victory.
‘Pac-Man‘ didn‘t look like he‘d missed a beat as he delivered a display that saw him defeat a man 10 years his junior as he captured his ninth world title and further cemented his legacy as one of boxing‘s all-time greats.
TOM BRADY – AMERICAN FOOTBALL
New England Patriots quarterback Brady was never expected to succeed in the NFL. Repeatedly passed over in the 2000 NFL Draft, he was eventually selected with the 199th overall pick by the Patriots, and the chip on his shoulder has helped power him to the greatest career ever compiled by a quarterback in NFL history.
Six Super Bowl titles, four Super Bowl MVPs, three NFL MVPs and 14 Pro Bowl selections have proved that Brady is, in terms of pure achievement, the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.
He captured his sixth Super Bowl this past season at the age of 41, and is showing no signs of slowing down as he bids to win a seventh Lombardi trophy with the Pats this season.
GEORGE FOREMAN – BOXING
Heavyweight boxing legend Foreman had a glittering career that spanned an incredible 81 fights as he finished his career with a remarkable 76-5 record that included a staggering 68 knockouts.
But even more remarkable is the fact that Foreman‘s last 20 career bouts all occurred after he had turned 40.
His career record as a 40-something is an incredible 17-3 with 11 wins coming inside the distance and, during that time, Foreman captured the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles when he stopped Michael Moorer on November 5, 1994. He was 45 years, 299 days old.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA – TENNIS
Czech-born American tennis legend Navratilova‘s status as one of the game‘s all-time greats was already secure when she turned 40 in October 1996. But despite having to scale back her singles play, she was far from finished when it came to winning titles.
Navratilova focused on her doubles play, and claimed three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2003, then claiming the final Grand Slam title of her career at the US Open in 2006, just days before her 50th birthday.
In all, Navratilova‘s career between her first and last Grand Slam titles spanned an incredible 32 years of excellence, proving that age was no barrier when it came to her success on the court.
ROGER MILLA – FOOTBALL
The Cameroonian striker was already 38 years of age when he burst onto the world stage at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, scoring four goals as the ‘Indomitable Lions‘ went all the way to the quarter-finals of the tournament. But he wasn‘t finished there.
Incredibly, four years later at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, Milla returned as part of the Cameroon squad and became the oldest man to score a goal in a World Cup Finals tournament when he netted against Russia in the group stages.
RANDY COUTURE – MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
Remarkably, UFC legend Randy ‘The Natural‘ Couture‘s biggest achievements in the punishing sport of mixed martial arts all came after he turned 40.
He won the UFC light heavyweight title as a 40-year-old by defeating Tito Ortiz at UFC 44, but he was far from finished there. He then lost, then reclaimed, the title after swapping wins with Brazilian Vitor Belfort, then stunned the martial arts world when Couture made a dramatic return from retirement to stun seven-foot-tall heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia and capture the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 68 at the age of 43.
He would defend his title and go on to fight six more times after that as he registered his last professional win against former world boxing champion James ‘Lights Out‘ Toney before retiring after a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida. That fight set the bar pretty high for anyone looking to match Couture‘s longevity, his last fight came when he was 47 years of age.
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