Is 35 / 40 too old to start boxing?

Age and sports have a complicated relationship and one inevitable question everyone asks himself after a certain age is am I too old for this. The question becomes even more difficult when you decide to start a new journey and you choose a rough sport like boxing.  Is 35 / 40 too old to start boxing?

No, it’s not. It’s far from it, you will get a great workout, learn new skills, create new friends and reap countless other benefits. You may however, have to fix your expectations and goals within the sport. 

Continue reading to understand more why it can actually be a good idea to start boxing in your mid 30’s, what you get from it and what may be a problem.

Benefits of boxing

The benefits of boxing for any age are countless and can fill a full article by themselves. We will highlight just a few of them that are especially important for an adult.

A very effective workout– Obviously boxing develops the body in many ways. Boxing training will turn back the clock a few years and make you faster, stronger, and more durable. You will not only be in great shape, but you will do so in one of the most enjoyable, fun, and yet challenging ways possible. 

Self-defense– Everyone needs to know at least some level of self-defense, especially a full-grown man in his 30s. Boxing is simple to pick up, but hard to master. But the basic techniques are the foundation of stand up fighting and are cold and effective in a real-life situation.

Socialization- Boxing competition is an individual sport, but training is definitely not. The bonds that are created in the boxing gym are special and can only be built by people who overcome the same challenges and help each other do it.

You can train at your own pace– Boxing training can be done at your own pace. If you are already fit, you can progress very quickly, and if you are just getting into shape, boxing training can be easily adjusted according to your own needs- something that is not possible in team sports, for example.

Reasons why you should start boxing in your 30s/40s

There are actually some advantages to starting boxing later in life. 

Strength– If you’ve participated in other sports or led a reasonably active lifestyle up to this point, an adult man’s body is usually much stronger and sturdier than a teenager’s, even if the teen is actively training. 

Discipline– When you get to 35, you’ve inevitably had to overcome some hurdles and obstacles in life. Life teaches you discipline the hard way, and this is one very necessary quality you need for boxing.

Determination– Knowing that you have less time, you will try and make the best of it. Older people are better at keeping their determination and concentration, unlike most kids who want to try something different too often.

Choose your goals

Most people start sports when they are very young. This is great, but it does not mean that after a certain age you’ve missed the last train. The physical and mental demands of combat sports and boxing in particular are steeper than many other sports, but still, with the right mindset, people of any age can thrive in the boxing gym or even in the ring.

If you decide to pursue a career, however, the answer is not so clear. Starting from when you first put the gloves on, you will probably need at least 7/8 years of training before you become a pro. After that, many external factors come into play-managers, fight promotors, injuries, opponents, and so on. If we are realistic, it’s highly unlikely that you will get to the top if you become a pro in your 40s.

Older successful boxers

Do not let the above statement discourage you, though. There have been many world class boxers fighting at the highest level later in life.

  • After knocking out Michael Moore in 1994, Big George Foreman became a heavyweight world champion at 45. Bernard Hopkins topped his record in 2011 when he became the oldest fighter to win a major championship at 46 years of age, and he defended his IBF title when he was 49.
  • The legendary Rocky Marciano started fighting at 25 and went on to finish his career at 49-0, and let me remind you that this was way before the modern ways of training and recovery were possible. And even earlier than that, Archie Moore was active until he was 47 years old.