By Kevin “The Voice” Kincade
The last thing to leave a fighter is his punch. That’s one of the more popular chestnuts in the world of fisticuffs; and, it’s probably one of the truest. When fighters pass their prime, they, like all of us, succumb to the ravages of time. First the reflexes, then the hand speed and foot speed, the head movement, the ability to take a punch; it’s like watching someone age in double time. To a professional athlete, time is of the essence, for a career in that field, especially boxing, doesn’t last long in the great scheme of things, so they have to make it count. A friend of mine once told me the ideal decade of life is the 40’s. You’ve got far more wisdom and experience than you did in your teens or twenties; but you’ve still got enough good health before things start “breaking down” to enjoy life to the fullest. Well, while most men very well could be considered in their “prime” in their 40’s, in the hurt or get hurt business, where a man has to be a finely tuned machine, 40 might as well be 60; and by March 23,1979, both Ken Norton and Earnie Shavers had already crossed the top of the hill.