When pondering this article. I wasn’t exactly sure who it’d be based off of. Boxing holds many warriors near and dear although view can actually chip through as a world-class boxer as long as Silvio Branco (62-11-5 37 KO’s) has.
At age 46 the Civitavecchia based Italian Crusierweight as a 25 year professional boxer. His heart combined with his ingenious boxing ability is obsolete in modern boxing. During his prolonged strafe against boxing’s best he has held the WBA Light Heavyweight championship, Italian national Middleweight title, WBU Middleweight championship and WBU Super Middleweight championship. Through this time he has taken participation in some blockbuster European battles including fights with Robin Reid, Stipe Drews, Vicenzo Rossitto, Agostino Cardamone, Manny Siaca, Richie Woodhall, Glen Johnson, Verno Phillips and most recently a duo of fight-of-the-year candidates against fellow countryman Giacobbe Fragomeni.
This very fighter brings up an interesting point; how do fighters extend their careers? How can stylistic and technical adjustments be made to allow a fighter to give his very best in the ring for a long period of time?
For example, Erik Morales (age 36) is a former four division champion. You can easily say his career was much more successful than “Il’Barbaro” through a similar amount of time. At age 36, an entire decade younger than Branco (to the month) Morales is drained. He can no longer make it in the lower weight division and has gotten torn to shreds at Light Welterweight.
In comparison to Branco, Morales, took many more punches through his career. Silvio Branco has been known to use his height of nearly 6’1 to effectively lean back and avoid fighting on his smaller opponent’s more comfortable turf. You can commonly find him doubling, tripling or even quadrupling his stiff jab just to keep his range and back up his opponents. This factor always gave him a foothold in dominating his opponents through the distance.
Morales was willing to square up to the height of his opponent. He had exceedingly good boxing skills but couldn’t resist the temptation to out-muscle his opponents. This is one ingredient to be retired at 35 — from boxing, that is.
Branco was also willing to take breaks, heal up, recuperate. Whenever a defeat had struck him he remained optimistic and after a short break he climbed back through the ropes to climb up into the world-title rankings again. Morales on the other hand went from fight-to-fight with little time for rest and constantly took on fights which involved him dealing and receiving hard physical punishment. In this scenario you could argue Branco was handled much better than Morales throughout his career.
When it comes to “what the fans want” Branco has always listened. He fought in some great fights throughout his career. He also remained acting with a certain caution in the back of his head which has allowed him to develop through such a long physical prime. At this point, he won’t be stopping anytime rather soon. He fights again on July 6th in Italy against Finnish contender Juho Haapoja. This will be a WBC title eliminator with the WBC Silver belt on the line. Hopefully you can tune in.