He retired from boxing 20 years ago. Now, at age 51, ‘Pappy’ Herrod wants to prove he has a few more rounds left

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NORMAN, Okla. -- He's just another guy working out at the Quest Grappling Gym.

Doors are open on a hot July evening, and there's no air conditioning inside the four walls.

There are few distractions for the fighter whose fiercest opponent is himself.

"I'll tell anybody," he explains. "It doesn't matter what your art, discipline, or what sport you're in. You don't know what fatigue is until you try boxing."

This boxer's name is Dave Herrod.

He put on the gloves in his teens and had a long amateur tenure.

"I turned professional in '92," he recalls. "My last professional record was 7-1-1."

Then life took over. Time can pass as quickly as a rattling speed bag, moving so fast you can hardly keep up.

Dave went to work. Kids came along.

The young boxer who friends used to call 'Pappy' turned into a pappy four times over but he could still move.

Herrod even thought he might be a better fighter than his younger self.

"Instead of all that bouncing around and burning all that energy like I did when I was in my twenties, I learned to slip and coming inside, and move without the other guy hitting me," he said.

So a few months ago, he re-applied for his professional license with the Oklahoma Boxing Commission.

At the age of 51, and with the permission of his wife and kids, he wants to fight for prize money against anyone who might dare to challenge him.

He smiles, "Somebody might say, 'hey, I can whip that 51-year-old. I'd say, 'hey, let's find out. There's only one way to find out."

He is one of the oldest boxers in Oklahoma with a license to fight professionally.

Dave had to submit to some extra medical tests but he passed with flying fists.

His kids come to some of his workouts now. They crowd around for a look through a different lens to see what dad the fighter might look like.

Like us, they want to cheer him on for a little while longer.

"The time is now," says Herrod. "I'm not getting any younger. Someday there won't be another tomorrow."

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