He might be 73 years young, but George Chuvalo is still going the distance.
The Canadian heavyweight icon, who was never off his feet in 93 professional bouts between 1956-79, laced up the gloves for charity on Monday in Toronto, treating an overflow crowd to a lot of laughs in a scripted three-round bout with comedian Rick Mercer, host of CBC's The Mercer Report.
Sponsored by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the bout was taped for telecast on an upcoming episode of Mercer's hit series, with proceeds going to the United Way and Chuvalo's Fight Against Drugs Foundation.
"It was a lot of fun ... and, of course, Rick went down like he'd been shot after I gave him a little tap," Chuvalo said after filming the segment in a ring set up in the atrium of a downtown office building. "He acted very well, and the crowd seemed to really enjoy it."
Chuvalo joked that this play fight went a lot smoother than the last one he took part in, which was at the first World Wrestling Federation card ever held at Montreal's Molson Centre, in 1996.
"I was a cornerman for a boxing match between the late Owen Hart and Raymond Rougeau, and after the fight Owen was supposed to get mad at me and push me out of the ring ... at which time I was supposed to pretend to whack him.
"Well, things got a little carried away when he really shoved me. I reacted instinctively by throwing a hook that laid him out cold.
"I felt terrible for the kid; I was 57 years old and hadn't thrown a real punch for years, but I just forgot to pull it."
As for Mercer's skill level, the champ was charitable. "He moved pretty well. With a little work, Rick could be the hardest-punching comedian who has his own show on the CBC," he quipped.
Speaking of former Canadian champs getting back in the ring, 46-year-old Donovan (Razor) Ruddock is reportedly training in Jamaica with an eye on challenging current CBF titleholder Neven Pajkic.
Ruddock, who will be 47 on Dec. 21, stopped Edmonton's Ken Lakusta to claim the Canadian title vacated by Willie deWit in 1988. He won the crown again in his last fight, a 10th-round knockout of Egerton Marcus in 2001.
Ruddock's 38-5-1 record includes KO losses to Tommy Morrison, Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson and a distance loss to Tyson, whom he fought twice in a three-month span in 1991 -- two years after their ill-fated Cold War fight in Edmonton was cancelled.
His other loss was to journeyman Dave Jaco, in 1985.
"I feel so good after training for two years and I figured that I'd like to have a personal challenge to become the oldest heavyweight champion in history," Ruddock told theboxingexaminer.com" George Foreman did it at 44, and I want to outdo George."