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Mike Tyson sparked debate when it was revealed he'll fight Jake Paul at the age of 58… but he isn't the oldest boxer ever. Meet Brit Steve Ward – who was still fighting at 60!

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While fight fans are in awe of boxing legend Mike Tyson gearing up to fight at 57, Iron Mike is not the oldest to step into the ring at the professional ranks.

On Thursday, a fight between Tyson and influencer-turned-boxer Jake Paul was announced for July 20 at AT&T stadium in Texas. The blockbuster showdown will also be the first boxing event to stream on Netflix.

Known as a ferocious knockout artist in his prime, Tyson will be fighting Paul, who is 30 years his junior, about three weeks after turning 58 on June 30. However, Tyson will be younger than British boxer Steve Ward, who fought well into his sixties.

A native of Stanton Hill in Nottinghamshire, 67-year-old Ward had his first professional fight in 1977. Nearly 45 years later, he scored a knockout win and earned his first world title at the age of 64 – the perfect swan song for a career that spanned a lifetime.

According to Wales Online, Ward tallied 137 wins and 72 stoppages across 150 fights. Additionally, he holds three Guinness World Records as the ‘world’s oldest active pro boxer’.

Boxing legend Mike Tyson will return to the ring on July 20 three weeks after his 58th birthday

Boxing legend Mike Tyson will return to the ring on July 20 three weeks after his 58th birthday

On Thursday, it was announced that Tyson will fight Jake Paul who is 30 years his junior

On Thursday, it was announced that Tyson will fight Jake Paul who is 30 years his junior 

While fans rave about Tyson fighting at 58, British boxer Steve Ward fought until his sixties

While fans rave about Tyson fighting at 58, British boxer Steve Ward fought until his sixties 

Alongside his father Bernard, Ward was nine years old when he picked up the gloves for the first time at the Nottingham School of Boxing. He continued to work on his craft before making his professional debut at age 20.

Ward stepped away from the squared circle in 1986 to travel around China. However, he felt that he had unfinished business in the sport.

That became a recurring theme in his career as Ward seemingly struggled to leave the sport for good. Aside from his never-dying love for boxing, Ward pursued a world title to fulfill a promise to Bernard, who passed away in 1978.

But tragedy struck when an industrial accident resulted in complex regional pain syndrome in 2006. 250kg (551lbs) fell on Ward’s foot and momentarily kept him away from training. However, Ward recovered and stepped back into the ring with the help of a surgeon from Hong Kong.

‘A Chinese doctor managed to fix my foot and I started training again and had a chance to fight for a world title again,’ he shared.

Ward returned to action in 2010 by defeating Gregg Scott-Briggs to win the Midlands Area Cruiserweight title. He also defended the title against Pete McJob in March the following year.

Ward was recognized as the world’s oldest professional boxer in 2011 at the age of 54. After briefly losing the title to American Mike Palmer (57) in 2015, Ward stepped back into the ring to regain his distinction.

A native of Stanton Hill in Nottinghamshire, Ward learned how to box at the early age of nine

A native of Stanton Hill in Nottinghamshire, Ward learned how to box at the early age of nine 

Ward (R) was a student at the Nottingham School of Boxing where his father Bernard trained

Ward (R) was a student at the Nottingham School of Boxing where his father Bernard trained

Ward fought as an amateur boxer from 1967-1997 before entering the professional ranks

Ward fought as an amateur boxer from 1967-1997 before entering the professional ranks 

This time, however, he admitted struggling against younger fighters and wanting to fight men closer to his age. The realization came after a third-round loss to Jody Meikle – who was 35.

‘The best guy won on the day – he was too strong for me, but at least I got the record,’ Ward said after the fight.

‘I got put down a few times, but I kept getting up,’ he continued. ‘I am alright – a slight bruise on my left ear, but what really hurts me more than anything is my left arm.

‘I always fight younger guys, but now I am going to go for boxers who are closer to my age.’

Ward retired in 2017 after losing the WBC veteran heavyweight title to Adreas Sidon. Despite a tough loss, his determination withstood the defeat better than his retirement.

A new door opened for his world title aspirations in 2020 when he had the opportunity to fight for a veteran’s equivalent of a world championship. Ward announced that he planned on fighting in the Gold Division – a new sector created for senior fighters.

Furthermore, he had the opportunity to set the bar for his world record higher.

‘In 2017, I had that chance but lost because I had a shoulder injury so it was back to the gym to try again.

‘I trained eight to ten hours a day for eight weeks and lost three stone and I felt like Superman. I was in really good shape.’

Almost 45 years later, Ward fought his last boxing match and won a world title at 64-years-old

Almost 45 years later, Ward fought his last boxing match and won a world title at 64-years-old 

Ward finished Armenian boxer Adrian Parloguea in the first round at Mansfield Rugby Club

Ward finished Armenian boxer Adrian Parloguea in the first round at Mansfield Rugby Club

Ward kept boxing to fulfill a promise to his late father that he would win a world championship

Ward kept boxing to fulfill a promise to his late father that he would win a world championship

Ward holds three Guinness world records as the world's oldest active professional boxer

Ward holds three Guinness world records as the world’s oldest active professional boxer

On August 6, 2021, a week before his 65th birthday, Ward faced Romanian Adrian Parloguea at Mansfield Rugby Club in Nottinghamshire. Ward, a grandfather of three at that point, made quick work of his opponent by scoring a finish within three minutes from the opening bell.

Aside from scoring his third world record, Ward finally fulfilled his promise to his father in spectacular fashion.

‘The fight itself could not have gone better. I was hitting him from every angle, I felt so good.

‘I did not give him any breathing time to get into any type of rhythm, if I had let him do that the outcome of the fight might have been far different to what it was. I was thinking of my father and I did it for him.

‘I’ve gone out in style, finally winning a world title and I did it for my father.

‘I always told my dad I would win a world title and now I have. I am going to visit his graveyard with my belt to show him what I have achieved.’