Exoneree boxer, 52, to enter ring as a pro

Dewey Bozella works out Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, in Philadelphia. Bozella was twice convicted of a 1977 murder; a judge ordered a new trial in 2009, and Bozella was released from prison when prosecutors said they did not plan to try him a third time. He is scheduled to make his professional boxing debut Oct. 15.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

On Saturday, there is a championship boxing match in Los Angeles. But it's a fight on the undercard that has gotten attention: A 52-year-old man will make his professional boxing debut against an opponent nearly half his age. CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker does the introductions.

At 52, facing his first professional fight, this could be the over-the-top boasting of an over-the-hill boxer.

But don't bet against Dewey Bozella. He's already won the fight of his life.

"It's wasn't easy," he said. "It wasn't easy at all."

His childhood in Brooklyn would have beaten most people down. He watched his father beat his mother to death and he lost two brothers to the streets. At 19, he was arrested and later convicted for the murder of a 92-year-old woman. He was sentenced to Sing Sing for a crime he maintained he did not commit.

"Twenty years to life," he said. "I'm a walking zombie. My name is 84A172."

When Bozella was offered release if he would just confess his crime, he refused again and again.

"You got me saying I murdered a 92-year-old woman?" asked Bozella. "You got the wrong man. I'd rather die in prison than tell you I did it."

2 years after being exonerated of murder, Dewey Bozella makes boxing debut Sat.

He found salvation in boxing. The training and discipline brought order to the chaos.

"It was my freedom," said Bozella. "That was my escape from where it was at. It helped me realize that there's a better way of living life rather than walking around angry and frustrated at people."

So he fought to become prison champ, to earn a bachelor's and master's degree, and to convince the Innocence Project to take his case. Project lawyers, who work to overturn wrongful convictions, found evidence he was innocent.

After 26 years, Dewey Bozella was released from prison.

"In life you're going to get knocked down," said Bozella. "What are you going to do? Lay down in the middle of the road like a worm? Or are you going to get back up and do something with yourself?"

He started a foundation to teach the discipline of boxing to troubled youngsters. But what he wants most --to fight just one professional match.

"I need to know what it feels like to be a pro," he said. "I need to know what if feels like to be able to say to myself, 'I did it,'" he said.

On Saturday, Bozella enters the professional ring to fight a 30-year-old opponent. Don't tell him about long odds. He's beaten them before.