Riddick Bowe

Riddick Bowe

Infobox Boxer
name=Riddick "Big Daddy" Bowe

realname=Riddick Lamont Bowe
nickname=Big Daddy, Sugar Man
reach=81 in (2.06 m)
nationality=flagicon|USA American
birth_date=birth date and age|1967|08|10
birth_place=Brooklyn, New York
no contests=1

Riddick Lamont Bowe (born August 10, 1967, Brooklyn, New York City) is an American boxer and former undisputed heavyweight champion. He is best remembered for his trilogy of fights with Evander Holyfield and two brutal bouts with Andrew Golota.

Early years

Bowe was born and raised in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, which at the time was one of New York City's most infamous slums. The poverty was crushing which made growing up there tough, and no easier considering the prevalent violence and gang activity in the area. However, unlike fellow Brownsville product Mike Tyson, who became infamous for a violent temper, Bowe was known for a very genial and winning personality. This, along with his skill in handling the media, would help speed along his career as an adult. Even as a young man his weight was a problem, he would eventually suffer weight swings of up to seventy pounds. It was tied to his love of Big Macs.

Amateur boxing career

Bowe had a successful amateur career, which included winning the prestigious New York Golden Gloves championship among other tournaments, (in 1984 at the age of 17 he knocked out opponent James Smith in just 4 seconds) and in the 1985 National Golden Gloves championship he lost to Ft. Worth Lt. Hvy. wt. Donald Stephens, and he also won the silver medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, stopped in 2 rounds by Lennox Lewis.

Amateur Highlights

Amateur Record: 104-18
*1983 at United States Junior Championships, as a Middleweight, lost to Adolpho Washington by 2nd round TKO
*1985 Junior World Champion as a Light Heavyweight, in competition in Bucharest. Defeated Péter Hart of Hungary in final.
*1987 Heavyweight Bronze Medalist at Pan-American Games in Indianapolis. Lost to Jorge Luis Gonzalez on points
*1988 Super Heavyweight Silver Medalist at 1988 Seoul Olymic Games. Results were:
**Defeated Biko Botowamungu (Zaire, Congo) KO 2
**Defeated Peter Hrivnak (Czechoslovakia) TKO 1
**Defeated Alex Miroshnichenko (Soviet Union) points
**Lost to Lennox Lewis (Canada) TKO by 2
**Lost to Taraz Motsny

New York Golden Gloves Champion

Riddick Bowe won four New York Golden Gloves Championships. Bowe won the 1985 178lb Novice Championship, 1986 178lb Open Championship and the 1987 and 1988 Super Heavyweight Open Championship. Bowe trained at the Bed-Stuy BA.

Professional career

Bowe turned pro after his Olympic loss however his heart and dedication were brought into question. However highly regarded trainer Eddie Futch took on the job of developing Bowe as he saw the talent.

Bowe turned pro in March 1989, knocking out novice (but future #1 contender) Lionel Butler. His manager Rock Newman kept Bowe active, fighting 13 times in 1989, beating journeymen, the most notable being Garing Lane, whom he beat twice. In September 1990 he made his first step up in class, fighting faded ex-champ Pinklon Thomas, who he dominated until Thomas was pulled out after 8 rounds. The following month he knocked out the dangerous Smokin' Bert Cooper in two rounds, which added to his reputation and high ranking. By the end of 1990 he had fought 8 times.

In March 1991 he overcame some rocky opening rounds to knock out the 1984 Olympic Super-Heavyweight Gold medallist Tyrell Biggs, however his image suffered when in his next fight, slick boxing ex-champ Tony Tubbs, whose own career had suffered with drugs and weight issues, appeared to outbox and outsmart Bowe, only to have the judges award Bowe with a unanimous decision that was jeered loudly by the crowd. In August 1991 he knocked out future champ Bruce Seldon in one round, and in July 1992 fought Pierre Coetzer in an eliminator, knocking out the durable South African in 7 rounds.

Fights against Elijah Tillery

Bowe fought a duo of interesting bouts against journeyman Elijah Tillery in 1991. Their first fight is known for its bizarre conclusion. Bowe dominated the first round and dropped Tillery. After the round ended, Tillery walked toward Bowe and taunted him, and Bowe responded by punching Tillery. Tillery then landed several kicks on Bowe, and Bowe then unleashed a flurry of punches on Tillery as Tillery lay on the ropes. Bowe's trainer, Rock Newman, then grabbed Tillery and pulled him over the ropes as Bowe continued to throw punches. Tillery somersaulted over the ropes and was quickly detained by security. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE6D91F3FF933A05753C1A967958260 BOXING; Bowe Gets the Boot, but Wins - New York Times ] ] After order was restored and the fighters returned to the ring, Tillery and Bowe continued a war of words, and there continued to be minor incidents as the ring was cleared. Tillery was disqualified for the fracas with Bowe getting the win, much to the surprise of the television announcers.

The fighters rematched two months later, with Bowe dominating and TKO'ing Tillery, dealing Tillery his first TKO loss.

World title

In November 1992 he fought reigning champ Evander Holyfield for the Undisputed title. With his heart and dedication still in question, Bowe punched out a unanimous decision in an entertaining fight, even flooring Holyfield in the 11th.

Only a couple of weeks earlier in London, Bowe's old Olympic rival Lennox Lewis knocked out the feared Jamaican Donovan "Razor" Ruddock in 2 rounds, establishing himself as the WBC's #1 contender. In a move that would hurt Bowe's image, he held a press conference and dumped the WBC belt in a bin rather than fight Lewis.

In February 1993 Bowe defended the title against 34 year old ex-champ Michael Dokes, who he bombed out in 1 round. On the undercard Olympic heavyweight gold medallist Ray Mercer blew his proposed world title challenge to Bowe as ex-contender Jesse Ferguson outpointed him. In May 1993 Ferguson was granted Mercer's shot, however was knocked out in 2 rounds.

In the rematch with Holyfield, Bowe looked overweight. Even so, Bowe and Holyfield exchanged Earth shattering punches, but Bowe ended up losing the belt to Holyfield by a split decision. This fight was also known for a bizarre stunt in which a parachutist dropped into the open air arena, landing in the ropes by Bowe's corner. This surreal scene delayed the fight in the 7th round.

After title loss

In 1994 Bowe's overeating was getting out of control. Two comeback fights were not overly impressive, in August he faced the much smaller Buster Mathis Jr, and after struggling to connect with his bobbing and weaving target, hit him illegally whilst he was down, knocking him out yet escaping with a 'No Contest' verdict thanks to referee Arthur Mercante Sr, whereas the crowd, commentators, and boxing press felt a disqualification was necessary.

In December 1994 he punched Larry Donald at a press conference, however the fight was less exciting as Bowe outpointed the 1992 Olympian in a dull fight serving the 16-0 Donald his first loss.

WBO title and Holyfield Rubbermatch

In March 1995 Bowe picked up the less regarded WBO belt by knocking down England's Herbie Hide some 6 times en route to a 6th round KO.

In June 1995, after a heated build up, he defended the title against his hated arch rival in the amateurs, Jorge Luis Gonzales in Las Vegas. Bowe exposed Gonzalez for his limitations and lack of development, savagely pounding the Cuban before knocking him clean out in the 6th round. Bowe vacated the WBO title, soon after.

After the Gonzales fight, Bowe had his highly anticipated rubbermatch against Evander Holyfield. Holyfield knocked Bowe down with a single left hook but Bowe prevailed, by a knockout in eight. Holyfield would later claim that contracting Hepatitis A weakened him in the ring.

Bowe vs. Golota

After his rubbermatch with Holyfield, Bowe was matched up against the undefeated yet unproven heavyweight contender Andrew Golota at the Madison Square Garden, on an HBO Boxing event. Though ahead on points, Golota was disqualified in the seventh round after Bowe went down following the last in a series of shots to Bowe's testicles. What ensued was a dramatic riot that left a large number of spectators and policemen injured, including Golota himself, who was hit by a Bowe entourage man's two-way radio and required 11 stitches to close a cut on his head. Golota's trainer, Lou Duva, who has a heart condition, was taken to a doctor as a precaution.

The fight made all the sports shows, including "SportsCenter", and the public immediately wanted to see Bowe and Golota go at it again. The rematch was on Pay Per View and Golota, after dropping Bowe in the 2nd round and being dropped himself later, was leading on the scorecards only to be disqualified in the ninth round, once again due to repeatedly punching Bowe below the belt. Despite not having another riot, this fight also proved to be controversial and a protest was filed by Golota's camp to try to overturn the fight's result. The two Bowe fights earned Golota the derisive nickname "Foul Pole".

Joining the Marine Corps

After the Golota fights, Bowe retired from boxing and attempted to join the Marine Corps. He made the decision to join the Corps to both make his mother proud and re-dedicate himself to training, with the intention of returning to boxing shortly after. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9804E4D8143DF932A05752C0A961958260 Hut, 2, 3, 4! Bowe Is Joining U.S. Marine Corps - New York Times ] ] On his first day of Boot Camp, Bowe discussed leaving the Corps with Marine commanders, and left after 11 days of Basic Training. The Marine Corps has been criticized for compromising their traditional recruiting measures and accommodating Bowe's request. [ [http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/71065989.html Limitations in "Realistic Recruiting" and Subsequent Socialization Efforts: The Case of Riddick Bowe and the United States Marine Corps ] ]

Legal Troubles

Following Bowe's failure to become a Marine, his life was marred with legal incidents. Three months after leaving Marine Boot Camp he was accused of battering his sister. Three months after that, assault and battery on his wife. [cite web|url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A01E4DD153EF936A35754C0A96E958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all|title=BOXING: A Dream Destroyed; Bowe Won Championships, but He Lost His Family - New York Times|publisher=query.nytimes.com|accessdate=2008-06-24|last=Smith|first=Timothy W.] Bowe then was convicted of kidnapping his wife and children after Bowe went to his wife's Charlotte home and threatened her with a knife, handcuffs, duct tape and pepper spray. He forced her and their children into a vehicle and set out for his Fort Washington, MD, home.cite web|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_15_97/ai_61487245|title=Boxer Riddick Bowe Sentenced To 30 Days In Jail For Kidnapping Wife And Kids - Brief Article | Jet | Find Articles at BNET|publisher=findarticles.com|accessdate=2008-06-24|last=|first=] Bowe was initially sentenced to only 30 days as a result of a lenient sentence due to brain damage claimed by Bowe's defense. Indeed, tapes of Bowe talking before and after his brutal fights with Golota show a man with very slurred speech. This sentence was later overturned and Bowe served 17 months in federal prison. [cite web|url=http://boxing.about.com/b/2005/10/17/riddick-bowe-files-for-bankruptcy.htm|title=Riddick Bowe Files for Bankruptcy|publisher=boxing.about.com|accessdate=2008-06-24|last=Eisele|first=Andrew]

Return to Boxing

On September 25 2004, after seven and a half years away from boxing, Bowe returned with a second round knockout over Marcus Rhode. In a second comeback fight, in April 2005, Bowe narrowly defeated journeyman Billy Zumbrun, in a fight in which Bowe was badly overweight and absorbed many heavy blows from Zumbrun.

The truth behind Bowe's rationale for returning to the ring despite his brain injuries was revealed late in 2005 when he declared bankruptcy, punctuating his personal and financial demise. [cite web|url=http://www.theage.com.au/news/sport/exchamp-bowe-seeks-bankruptcy-protection/2005/10/18/1129401254509.html|title=Ex-champ Bowe seeks bankruptcy protection - Sport - theage.com.au|publisher=theage.com.au|accessdate=2008-06-24|last=|first=] He has not fought since the fight with Zumbrun. It is unknown whether he will permanently retire now or not.

In July 2008, Boxrec.com reported that Bowe might return to the ring after three years on September 12 2008 in Győr, Hungary against Hungarian journeyman Zoltán Petrányi. But he didn't show up for the fight [ [http://www.hotboxingnews.com/NEWS2008/news091208euro.htm Latest Euro News, September 12, 2008] ] .

Riddick Bowe timeline

*August 10, 1967: Born in Brooklyn, New York City, United States
*1988: Lost to Lennox Lewis for the Olympic gold medal in Seoul, South Korea.
*March 7, 1989: Debuted as a professional, beating Lionel Butler
*July 8, 1990: Beat Art Card in first nationally televised bout
*October 21, 1991: Declared winner by disqualification over Elijah Tillery who began kicking Bowe until he was grabbed around the neck and thrown outside the ring by Bowe's manager, Rock Newman. A melee ensued. It would not be the last time things went chaotic before or during a Bowe fight.
*November 13, 1992: Won the world Heavyweight championship, beating Evander Holyfield. Bowe and Holyfield slugged it out for 12 rounds, with Bowe having a slight edge. A knockdown in the 11th round sealed Holyfield’s fate, and Bowe would win by unanimous decision.
*Early 1993: He and his manager "Rock Newman" visited Pope John Paul II in the Vatican City, offering him the autographed gloves that Bowe used to beat Holyfield. The Pope accepted the gift.
*February 6, 1993 Bowe knocked out former WBA Heavyweight champion Michael Dokes in the first round, in his first title defense.
*May 22, 1993 Bowe knocked out Jesse Ferguson in the second round, in what his trainer Eddie Futch called his greatest performance.
*November 6, 1993: Lost the title to Holyfield, by decision in 12, after a man named James Miller parachuted into the ring and caused a mini-riot in round seven, in "the fan man fight". The fight itself was very close, and some felt Bowe deserved the decision.
*August 13, 1994: His fight with Buster Mathis Jr. declared a no contest after Bowe hit his opponent while Mathis Jr. lay on the canvas.
*December, 1994: In the final pre-fight conference before their fight, he sucker punched Larry Donald twice. He beat Donald by decision in 12.
*March 11, 1995: He won the WBO world Heavyweight championship, knocking out Herbie Hide in six rounds.
*Summer of 1995: He and Jorge Luis Gonzalez engaged in a series of violent press conferences across the United States before their fight. Their last pre-fight conference was held behind protective glasses. Bowe won by knockout in six.
*November 4, 1995: He and Holyfield, who was suffering from Hepatitis A, fought the last fight of their classic trilogy. Bowe seemed to dominate the early rounds, and the ailing Holyfield was struggling in the fight, a fight that commentator George Foreman was notably concerned about, repeatedly saying the fight should be stopped. Holyfield however had a spurt of energy early in the sixth round, and knocked Bowe down. Bowe recovered from the knockdown and went on to win by knockout in round eight.
*July 11, 1996: He defeated Andrew Golota by a disqualification in round seven after being hit repeatedly in the testicles throughout the fight. The ensuing riot became breaking news across the United States, and an infamous night in the history of boxing. Golota was hit in the head by a member of Bowe’s entourage with either a large mid-90s cellphone or walkie-talkie, bloodying him.
*December 14, 1996: He defeated Golota in their extremely bloody rematch, again by disqualification. Golota was ahead on all three scorecards, but at the end of the ninth round, Golota unleashed a flurry of three successive brutal punches to Bowe's mid-section. It turned out to be Bowe's last fight until 2004. Bowe declared there would not be a rematch. For a long time after Golota was disqualified Bowe lay unmoving in the ring with his eyes closed, which prompted fears from some about his condition. His slurred speech during the post fight interview did little to alleviate those fears.
*December, 1996: Bowe announced he would leave his wife and children and large fleet of cars in Fort Washington, MD to join the United States Marine Corps. He dropped out of boot camp soon afterward.
*1999: He kidnapped his wife and children at her parent's community in North Carolina. They were released unharmed, after an interstate drive.
*January, 2001: Bowe applied for a presidential pardon from President Bill Clinton stating, "I became the heavyweight champion of the world from hard work. I was able to provide certain necessities to my large family. Many people depended on me and still depend on me to this very day for certain necessities," Bowe wrote. "If I am not given back my livelihood, we might just lose everything." President Clinton denied his request but granted 140 other pardons and 36 commutations.
*May 18, 2004: Bowe was released from federal prison after serving 18 months for kidnapping. He announced his intention to return to boxing and attempt to reclaim the world Heavyweight championship.
*September 25, 2004: After seven and a half years away from boxing, Bowe returned with a second round knockout over Marcus Rhode. In a second comeback fight in April 2005, Bowe narrowly defeated journeyman Billy Zumbrun, in a fight in which Bowe was badly overweight and absorbed many heavy blows from Zumbrun.
*On October 17, 2005 he declared bankruptcy.
*On November 9, 2007, Riddick Bowe announced that he will enter the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), fighting exclusively for the promotional outfit Xcess Entertainment, with his first fight being December 12 2007, against an opponent to be named later.

Bowe has a record of 42 wins and 1 loss, with 1 no-contest, with 33 knockouts.

See also

* List of heavyweight boxing champions

* List of WBC world champions

External links



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