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Thread: How High Should We Rate Riddick Bowe?

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    How High Should We Rate Riddick Bowe?

    How High Should We Rate Riddick Bowe?
    By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer/DMBoxing.com

    Hopefully the one time heavyweight champion of the world Riddick Bowe will never fight again. His post career problems have been well documented.

    The question now is, where does Bowe rank among the great heavyweights of all time? How would he have fared against Louis, Marciano, Frazier or even dream fights in his own time against Lewis or Tyson? Here is a boxer who may have never realized his full potential. When he was near it his career declined due to his own self-indulgence.

    After Lennox Lewis stopped Riddick in the 1988 Olympics, Bowe was considered a risky project. Rock Newman took the risk of managing Bowe and convinced the skeptical but astute Eddie Futch to undertake the task of molding Riddick. The rest is history. Bowe progressed nicely thru the ranks, turning pro in 1989 by halting future contender Lionel Butler in two rounds. In 1990 he stopped faded ex-champion Pinklon Thomas in nine. He also destroyed Bert Cooper in two.

    In 1991 he kayoed Tyrell Biggs in eight and outscored ex-champ Tony Tubbs. He later kayoed future titleholder Bruce Seldon in one round. In 1992 he cemented a shot at the title by halting South African Pierre Coetzer in seven rounds.

    Finally Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe was in the ring facing heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. The well-schooled and well-conditioned Bowe won a hard fought but convincing decision and the crown. Was this the turning point of his career? Was it the beginning of the end? The night Bowe won the title from Holyfield he could have arguably competed with any heavyweight who ever lived. He was that good.

    So where did it all go wrong? Did Riddick believe he was unbeatable? Easy defenses against ex-champ Michael Dokes and shopworn journeyman Jesse Ferguson did little to sharpen his skills. His weight as well as his ego began to swell. By the time he met Holyfield in their rematch he had become a different fighter. So had Evander who had totally dedicated himself in training. Their second bout is mainly remembered for the “Fan Man” incident but in reality it was a highly entertaining fight. Even at the height of his skills against an ill prepared Bowe, Evander had all he could do to win the decision and regain the title. Without the championship, Riddick had become an enigma to himself. Would he rededicate himself or let the talent he had slip through his fists.

    Riddick began his march toward reclaiming his crown. He would beat once highly regarded Herbie Hide and knock out overrated Jorge Luis Gonzalez who had beaten Riddick in the amateurs. He would again meet a now ex-champion Holyfield in a rubber match. He would pick himself off the canvas to knock out Evander and it appeared Riddick was still a prime player in the heavyweight sweepstakes. All that came crashing down following two brutal and highly controversial bouts against Andrew Golota.

    Golota was a native of Poland. He was big, strong, talented and white. He was dubbed the next “White Hope” and a victory over Bowe would put him back in the thick of the title picture. Bowe was still considered too good for the upstart but things changed abruptly when the fight started. Riddick lost too much weight too fast in training. He was weak and lethargic. Golota outboxed, outslugged and outfought Bowe but he also landed repeated low blows. Finally the foul punches cost Golota the bout as he was disqualified in round seven.

    In their rematch Riddick vowed to be in condition. It did not matter, Golota was again the dominant fighter and he was again guilty of repeated low blows that led to his disqualification in round nine. The Riddick Bowe who “won” dubious disqualification victories over Golota was only a shell of the Bowe who had won the crown from Holyfield.

    That Bowe may have been able to beat the Liston who destroyed Patterson or the Dempsey that ravaged Luis Firpo. He may have beaten the Louis who crushed Schmeling or the Marciano who rendered Jersey Joe Walcott unconscious. He may have defeated the Joe Frazier who whipped Ali or the Ali who drubbed Foreman or the Foreman who bounced Frazier around like a rubber ball. Maybe he could have even beaten the Clay who humbled Liston.

    Could he have defeated his amateur nemesis Lennox Lewis? Could he have handled the pressure of neighborhood rival Mike Tyson? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

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    Re: How High Should We Rate Riddick Bowe?

    Riddick Bowe
    (Riddick Lamont Bowe)
    ("Big Daddy")

    BORN August 10 1967; Brooklyn, New York
    HEIGHT 6-5
    WEIGHT 218-280 lbs
    MANAGERS Rock Newman, Jimmy Adams
    TRAINER Eddie Futch, Joe Goossen
    Bowe was a big, strong "Super" Heavyweight who moved well and hit hard; His stamina was good for a very large man and he was game; During his career, he won the Heavyweight Championship of the World

    As an amateur, he won the Junior Light Heavyweight Championship of the World, Olympic Light Heavyweight Silver Medal and several Golden Gloves Competitions

    He is most famous for his three bout series with Evander Holyfield and his two wild bouts with Andrew Golota; During his career, he defeated such men as Holyfield, Golota, Pinklon Thomas, Philip Brown, Pierre Coetzer, Michael Dokes, Larry Donald and Herbie Hide

    Bowe is a likely candidate for the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the future


    *** SOME AMATEUR BOUTS (104-18) ***
    1983
    Adolpho Washington LT 2
    -This bout was part of the United States Junior
    Middleweight Championships
    1985
    -Bowe won the 178 lb Novice Championship

    Peter Hart Bucharest, Hungary W
    -Junior Light Heavyweight Championship of the World
    1986
    -Bowe won the 178 lb Open Championship

    1987
    -Bowe won the Super Heavyweight Open Championship

    Jorge Luis Gonzalez Indianapolis, In L
    -Pan American Games Heavyweight Competition;
    Bowe won a Bronze Medal
    1988
    -Bowe won the Super Heavyweight Open Championship

    Biko Botowamungu Seoul, Korea KO 2
    Peter Hrivnak Seoul, Korea TK 1
    Alex Miroshnichenko Seoul, Korea W 3
    Lennox Lewis Seoul, Korea LT 2
    -Bowe won the Olympic Super Heavyweight Silver Medal


    *** PROFESSIONAL BOUTS ***

    1989
    Mar 6 Lionel Butler Reno, Nv TK 2
    Apr 14 Tracy Thomas Atlantic City, NJ TK 3
    May 9 Garing Lane Atlantic City, NJ W 4
    Jul 2 Antonio Whiteside Fayetteville, NC TK 1
    Jul 15 Lorenzo Canady Atlantic City, NJ TK 2
    Sep 3 Lee Moore Pensacola, Fl KO 1
    Sep 15 Anthony Hayes Brooklyn, NY KO 1
    Sep 19 Earl Lewis Jacksonville, Fl TK 1
    Oct 19 Mike Acey Atlantic City, NJ TK 1
    Nov 4 Garing Lane Atlantic City, NJ TK 4
    Nov 18 Don Askew Washington, DC TK 1
    Nov 28 Art Card Buffalo, NY TK 3
    Dec 14 Charlie Woolard St. Joseph, Mo TK 2

    1990
    Feb 20 Mike Robinson Atlantic City, NJ TK 3
    Apr 1 Robert Colay Washington, DC TK 2
    Apr 14 Eddie Gonzalez Las Vegas, Nv W 8
    May 8 Jesus "Manny" Contreras Atlantic City, NJ TK 1
    Jul 8 Art Tucker Atlantic City, NJ TK 3
    Sep 7 Pinklon Thomas Washington, DC TK 8
    Oct 25 Bert Cooper Las Vegas, Nv KO 2
    Dec 14 Tony Morrison Kansas City, Mo KO 1

    1991
    Mar 2 Tyrell Biggs Atlantic City, NJ TK 8
    Apr 20 Tony Tubbs Atlantic City, NJ W 10
    Jun 28 Rodolfo Marin Las Vegas, Nv KO 2
    Jul 23 Philip Brown Atlantic City, NJ TK 3
    Aug 9 Bruce Seldon Atlantic City, NJ KO 1
    Oct 29 Elijah Tillery Washington, DC WF 1
    -WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championship
    Dec 13 Elijah Tillery Atlantic City, NJ TK 4

    1992
    Apr 7 Conroy Nelson Atlantic City, NJ KO 1
    May 8 Everett "Big Foot" Martin Las Vegas, Nv TK 5
    Jul 18 Pierre Coetzer Las Vegas, Nv TK 7
    Nov 13 Evander Holyfield Las Vegas, Nv W 12
    -WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World;
    WBA Heavyweight Championship of the World;
    IBF Heavyweight Championship of the World;
    CBZ Lineal Heavyweight Championship of the World

    1993
    Feb 6 Michael Dokes New York, NY TK 1
    -WBA Heavyweight Championship of the World;
    IBF Heavyweight Championship of the World
    May 22 Jesse Ferguson Washington, DC KO 2
    -WBA Heavyweight Championship of the World
    Nov 6 Evander Holyfield Las Vegas, Nv L 12
    -WBA Heavyweight Championship of the World;
    IBF Heavyweight Championship of the World;
    CBZ Lineal Heavyweight Championship of the World

    1994
    Aug 13 Buster Mathis, Jr. Atlantic City, NJ NC 4
    Dec 3 Larry Donald Las Vegas, Nv W 12
    -WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Championship

    1995
    Mar 11 Herbie Hide Las Vegas, Nv KO 6
    -WBO Heavyweight Championship of the World
    Jun 17 Jorge Luis Gonzalez Las Vegas, Nv KO 6
    -WBO Heavyweight Championship of the World
    Nov 4 Evander Holyfield Las Vegas, Nv TK 8

    1996
    Jul 11 Andrew Golota New York, NY WF 7
    Dec 14 Andrew Golota Atlantic City, NJ WF 9

    1997
    Apr 20 -Bowe announced his retirement from the ring (only to return later)

    2004
    Sep 25 Marcus Rhode Shawnee, Ok TK 2

    2005
    Apr 7 Billy Zumbrun Temecula, Ca W 10

    2008
    Dec 13 Gene Pukall Mannheim, Germany W 8

    Record courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization

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