Riddick Bowe

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Riddick Bowe
Bowe in 1993
Real name Riddick Lamont Bowe
Nickname(s) Big Daddy
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
Reach 81 in (206 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1967-08-10) August 10, 1967 (age 49)[1]
Brooklyn, New York City
New York, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 45
Wins 43
Wins by KO 33
Losses 1
No contests 1

Riddick Lamont Bowe (born August 10, 1967)[1] is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1989 to 1996, and from 2004 to 2008. He reigned as the undisputed world heavyweight champion for eleven months in 1992, and as an amateur he won a silver medal in the super heavyweight division at the 1988 Summer Olympics.

After turning professional in 1989, Bowe went on to become a two-time world heavyweight champion. In 1992 he won the undisputed WBA, WBC, and IBF titles by defeating then-unbeaten former undisputed cruiserweight champion Evander Holyfield. Bowe was stripped of the WBC title later that year after refusing to fight archrival Lennox Lewis, to whom he lost in the finals at the 1988 Olympics. This left the undisputed championship fragmented until 1999. In a rematch with Holyfield in 1993, Bowe lost the WBA and IBF titles in what would be his only professional defeat. He later regained a portion of the world heavyweight championship in 1995, defeating Herbie Hide for the then-fledgling WBO title. In doing so, Bowe became the first boxer in history to have won the titles of all four major sanctioning bodies—the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO—and remains the only heavyweight to do so.

Bowe retired from the sport in 1996, making a low-key return in 2004, but has been inactive since 2008. In a 2010 article by BoxingScene, Bowe was ranked the 21st greatest heavyweight of all time.[2] In 2015, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.[3]

Early years[edit]

Bowe was born on August 10, 1967, the twelfth of his mother Dorothy Bowe's thirteen children.[4] Bowe was born and raised in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. His brother Henry died of AIDS,[5] and his sister Brenda was stabbed to death by a drug addict during an attempted robbery.[6]

Amateur boxing career[edit]

As an amateur, Bowe won the prestigious New York Golden Gloves Championship and other tournaments. In 1984, age 17, he knocked out opponent James Smith in just 4 seconds. In 1985, at the National Golden Gloves championships, he lost to Fort Worth Heavyweight Donald Stephens. Bowe won the silver medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where he was stopped in two rounds by future world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

New York Golden Gloves Championships[edit]

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

Amateur highlights[edit]

Amateur Record: 104-18

Professional boxing career[edit]

Bowe turned professional after his Olympic loss. Highly regarded trainer Eddie Futch took on the job of developing Bowe as he saw the talent. Eddie would say that Bowe had more potential than any boxer he had ever trained.

Bowe turned professional in March 1989, and knocked out Lionel Butler. His then 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, Bowe made his first step up in class, fighting faded ex-champion Pinklon Thomas, who he dominated until Thomas gave up after eight rounds. The following month, Bowe knocked out Bert Cooper in two rounds, which added to his reputation and high ranking.

In March 1991, Bowe knocked out 1984 Olympic Super Heavyweight Gold medalist Tyrell Biggs. In Bowe's next fight, ex-champion Tony Tubbs appeared to outbox and outsmart Bowe in a close bout, only to have the judges award Bowe a unanimous decision. In August 1991, Bowe knocked out future world heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon in one round. In July 1992 knocked out South African Pierre Coetzer in the seventh round of a world title eliminator.

Fights against Elijah Tillery[edit]

Bowe fought two interesting bouts against Elijah Tillery in 1991. Their first fight was in Washington D.C. at the Washington Convention Center was known as the 'crazy fight' 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 threw several low kicks at Bowe, who then unleashed a flurry of punches on Tillery as he lay on the ropes. Bowe's trainer Rock Newman grabbed Tillery from behind on the ring apron and pulled him over the ropes as Bowe continued to throw punches. Tillery somersaulted over the ropes, and was quickly detained by security.[7] After order was restored and the fighters returned to the ring, Tillery and Bowe continued a war of words, and minor incidents continued until the ring was cleared. Tillery was controversially disqualified for kicking Bowe, with Bowe getting the win, much to the surprise of the television announcers. The referee, Karl Milligan, had stepped between the two fighters to separate them and stepped forward as he did so, inadvertently missing the action behind him after the bell between the combatants. The fighters fought a rematch two months later at Convention Hall in Atlantic City, with Bowe dominating and stopping Tillery in four rounds.

World heavyweight champion[edit]

In November 1992 he fought reigning champ Evander Holyfield for the undisputed heavyweight title. With his heart and dedication still in question, Bowe won a unanimous decision in an entertaining fight, flooring Holyfield in the 11th round. However, it was the tenth round most boxing fans will remember. The epic brutal back and forth exchanges helped make it Ring Magazine's "Round of the Year." Commentator Al Bernstein exclaimed, "That was one of the greatest rounds in heavyweight history. Period!"

A couple of weeks earlier in London, Bowe's old Olympic rival, Lennox Lewis, knocked out Canadian Donovan "Razor" Ruddock in two rounds, establishing himself as the World Boxing Council's number one contender. The Bowe-Holyfield and Lewis-Ruddock fights were part of a mini-tournament, whereby all four fighters agreed the two winners would meet each other for the undisputed world heavyweight championship. Bowe's manager Rock Newman made a proposal: the $32 million purse HBO was offering should be split 90-10 in Bowe's favor, an 'absurd' offer which Lennox Lewis rejected.[8] Lewis's manager, Frank Maloney, rejected another offer of two million for Lewis to fight on a Bowe undercard, citing his distrust of the Bowe camp after the aforementioned financial negotiations. Bowe responded by holding a press conference in which he dumped the WBC world heavyweight championship belt into a trash can rather than fighting Lewis.[9]

Bowe's first defense of his remaining titles came on February 6, 1993, when he fought 34-year-old former champion Michael Dokes at Madison Square Garden and knocked him out in the first round. In Bowe's next fight, May 22, 1993 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., Bowe knocked out Jesse Ferguson in the second round to retain the title. This set up a rematch with Evander Holyfield.

In the rematch with Holyfield, Bowe looked overweight. He had entered training camp at a 266 lbs and weighed in at 246 lbs, eleven pounds heavier than in the first fight with Holyfield.[10]

Bowe and Holyfield exchanged hard punches. Bowe ended up losing the belts to Holyfield by a majority decision. This fight was also known for a bizarre stunt in which parachutist James "Fan Man" Miller dropped into the open air arena, landing in the ropes by Bowe's corner. This surreal scene delayed the fight in the seventh round by nearly a half-hour. Bowe stated afterwards he thought the bout should have declared a 'technical draw' or a 'no contest' owing to the unfair delay.

After title loss[edit]

In August 1994, Bowe fought two comeback fights. He faced the much smaller Buster Mathis Jr and, after struggling to connect with his bobbing and weaving target, hit Mathis while he was down with what was ruled an accidental blow, and the bout was ruled a 'No Contest' by referee Arthur Mercante, Sr. In December 1994, Bowe punched Larry Donald at a prefight press conference, later beating him by 12 round unanimous decision for the WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title, giving the 16-0 heavyweight contender Donald his first loss.

WBO title and Holyfield rubber match[edit]

In March 1995, Bowe won the WBO version of the world heavyweight championship by knocking down England's Herbie Hide six times en route to scoring a sixth-round knockout.

In June 1995, after a heated build up, Bowe defended the WBO heavyweight title against his archrival in the amateurs, Jorge Luis González, At the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The prefight hype contained bizarre trash talk, which included Gonzalez declaring a desire to eat Bowe's heart and likening himself to a lion which making Bowe out to be a hyena. Bowe won by sixth-round knockout over Gonzalez. He vacated the WBO championship soon after. After the Gonzales fight, Bowe fought a rubbermatch with Evander Holyfield, their third and final meeting. Holyfield knocked Bowe down during the fight, but Bowe maintained his composure, and persevered to score an eighth round stoppage victory.

Humanitarian Activities[edit]

Shortly after winning his first title against Evander Holyfield, Bowe saw a news story on television that revealed a million dollars worth of medicines donated to the Somali refugees and orphans were not able to be transported to the war-torn region due to a lack of funds to pay for the charter aircraft needed. Bowe immediately had his representatives reach out to AmeriCares, the NGO leading the effort, and pledged the 100,000 dollars need to fund the trip[11] - on the condition he could go to the country with the goods, and make sure they got to their intended recipients.[12] While in Somalia, he visited U.S. Marines and an orphanage on the Kenyan border. He was accompanied by several members of his management team, including manager Rock Newman and Head of International Sales Alexis Denny (CEO of an independent media distributor).

Bowe also took action when he heard news of other tragedies. In 1995, when Alexis Denny was in Indonesia on other business, she read Asian news coverage of Rodolfo Yap, a young man in the Philippines who was electrocuted while positioning his antenna so his family could watch a Riddick Bowe fight. She relayed this news to the Bowe, and explained to the media at the time 'The heavyweight champion was very moved by the story and having lost a brother and a sister earlier in life, decided to make a financial contribution to the family of Mr. Yap." [13] Bowe authorized her to fly to the Philippines and try to locate the man's family, make a contribution to their expenses, and also provide funds to support the Philippine boxing Team training for the Olympics (in the name of the deceased).

Bowe vs. Golota I and II[edit]

After defeating Holyfield in the third bout of their trilogy, Bowe was matched against undefeated heavyweight contender Andrew Golota at the Madison Square Garden in an HBO Boxing event. Bowe's weight problem again resurfaced, as the favorite entered the ring at a career high of 252 lbs.[14] Though ahead on points, Golota was penalized several times for low blows, and was finally disqualified in the seventh round after a volley of punches to Bowe's testicles. Seconds after Golota was disqualified, Bowe's entourage rushed the ring, attacked Golota with a two way radio (Golota traded punches with one of them, requiring 11 stitches to close the wound caused by the radio) and assaulted Golota's 74-year-old trainer Lou Duva, who collapsed in the ring and was taken out of The Garden on a stretcher. The entourage began rioting, fighting with spectators, staff and policemen alike, resulting in a number of injuries before they were forced out of the arena in what evolved into a lengthy televised ring spectacle.

The fight made many sports shows, including SportsCenter, and there was a good amount of public interest in a rematch. The rematch was on Pay Per View. Golota, after dropping Bowe in the second round, and being dropped himself later, was leading on the scorecards, only to be disqualified in the ninth round, once again for repeated shots to the testicles.[15] Despite not having another riot, this fight also proved to be controversial, with an unsuccessful protest filed by Golota's camp to try to overturn the fight's result.

This fight was featured on HBO's documentary Legendary Nights: The Tale of Bowe-Golota.

Joining the Marine Corps[edit]

After the Golota fights, Bowe retired from boxing and decided to join the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He said he made the decision both to make his mother proud and to rededicate himself to training, with the intention of returning to boxing shortly after.[16] On his first day of recruit training, however, Bowe discussed leaving the Corps with Marine commanders, and quit after 3 days of training with his platoon at the recruit depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.

Legal troubles[edit]

Bowe was convicted of the February 1998 kidnapping of his estranged wife Judy, and their five children.[17] Thinking it would reconcile his marriage, Bowe went to his wife's Cornelius, North Carolina 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, Maryland home. During the kidnapping, Bowe stabbed his wife in the chest.[17] Police captured Bowe in South Hill, Virginia, freeing his family.[17] Bowe agreed to a plea bargain of guilty to 'interstate domestic violence', and was sentenced to 18 to 24 months in prison.[17] Despite the agreed sentence, on February 29, 2000, the judge sentenced Bowe to only 30 days, due to a claim of brain damage by Bowe's defense.[18][19] This sentence, counter to the plea agreement, was later overturned. Bowe served 17 months in Federal prison.[20] On February 8, 2001, Bowe was arrested in Long Island after a domestic dispute with his new wife.[17] Bowe allegedly dragged his wife and left her with cuts on her knees and elbows.[19]

Return to boxing[edit]

Riddick Bowe in Kaiserslautern, Germany

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, an overweight Bowe narrowly defeated journeyman Billy Zumbrun by ten round split decision.

Bowe declared bankruptcy in 2005.[21] On December 13, 2008, with the help of new manager Bob Bain, Bowe, 41, returned to the ring for the first time in over three and a half years on the undercard of the Wladimir Klitschko versus Hasim Rahman world heavyweight title bout in Mannheim, Germany and won an eight-round unanimous decision over Gene Pukall.

His current boxing record stands at 43-1 with 33 knockouts. In his autobiography "Let's Get It On" famed referee Mills Lane, who had officiated at some of Bowe's fights, professed that Bowe could have been one of boxing's greatest fighters but foolishly squandered the opportunity through immaturity and lack of discipline.

In March 2013, Bowe announced his Muay Thai début, having trained under Kru Airr Phanthip and Kru Chan in Las Vegas.[22] He faced Levgen Golovin for the WPMF Super Heavyweight World Title in Pattaya, Thailand. On June 14, 2013, Bowe was knocked down five times from kicks to his leg. The championship match was called to a stop halfway through the second round.[23][24]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
45 fights 43 wins 1 loss
By knockout 33 0
By decision 7 1
By disqualification 3 0
No contests 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
45 Win 43–1 (1) Germany Gene Pukall UD 8 Dec 13, 2008 Germany SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany
44 Win 42–1 (1) United States Billy Zumbrun SD 10 Apr 7, 2005 United States Pechanga Resort and Casino, Temecula, California, U.S.
43 Win 41–1 (1) United States Marcus Rhode TKO 2 (10), 2:45 Sep 25, 2004 United States Fire Lake Casino, Shawnee, Oklahoma, U.S.
42 Win 40–1 (1) Poland Andrew Golota DQ 9 (10), 2:58 Dec 14, 1996 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Golota disqualified for repeated low blows
41 Win 39–1 (1) Poland Andrew Golota DQ 7 (12), 2:37 Jul 11, 1996 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Golota disqualified for repeated low blows
40 Win 38–1 (1) United States Evander Holyfield TKO 8 (12), 0:58 Nov 4, 1995 United States Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
39 Win 37–1 (1) Cuba Jorge Luis González KO 6 (12), 1:50 Jun 17, 1995 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBO heavyweight title
38 Win 36–1 (1) United Kingdom Herbie Hide KO 6 (12), 2:25 Mar 11, 1995 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won WBO heavyweight title
37 Win 35–1 (1) United States Larry Donald UD 12 Dec 3, 1994 United States Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title
36 NC 34–1 (1) United States Buster Mathis Jr. NC 4 (10), 2:11 Aug 13, 1994 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. NC after Mathis Jr. was unable to continue from a Bowe foul
35 Loss 34–1 United States Evander Holyfield MD 12 Nov 6, 1993 United States Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Lost WBA, IBF, and lineal heavyweight titles
34 Win 34–0 United States Jesse Ferguson KO 2 (12), 0:17 May 22, 1993 United States Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, D.C., U.S. Retained WBA and lineal heavyweight titles
33 Win 33–0 United States Michael Dokes TKO 1 (12), 2:19 Feb 6, 1993 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBA, IBF, and lineal heavyweight titles
32 Win 32–0 United States Evander Holyfield UD 12 Nov 13, 1992 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won WBA, WBC, IBF, and lineal heavyweight titles
31 Win 31–0 South Africa Pierre Coetzer TKO 7 (12), 2:59 Jul 18, 1992 United States The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
30 Win 30–0 United States Everett Martin TKO 5 (10), 2:28 May 8, 1992 United States Riviera, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.
29 Win 29–0 Canada Conroy Nelson KO 1 (10), 1:16 Apr 7, 1992 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
28 Win 28–0 United States Elijah Tillery TKO 4 (10), 1:14 Dec 13, 1991 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
27 Win 27–0 United States Elijah Tillery DQ 1 (12) Oct 29, 1991 United States Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C., U.S. Won vacant WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title;
Tillery disqualified for kicking
26 Win 26–0 United States Bruce Seldon KO 1 (10), 1:48 Aug 9, 1991 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
25 Win 25–0 United States Philipp Brown TKO 3 (10), 2:47 Jul 23, 1991 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
24 Win 24–0 Puerto Rico Rodolfo Marin KO 2 (10), 1:45 Jun 28, 1991 United States The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
23 Win 23–0 United States Tony Tubbs UD 10 Apr 20, 1991 United States Caesar's, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
22 Win 22–0 United States Tyrell Biggs TKO 8 (10), 2:17 Mar 2, 1991 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
21 Win 21–0 Jamaica Tony Morrison KO 1, 2:20 Dec 14, 1990 United States Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
20 Win 20–0 United States Bert Cooper KO 2 (10), 3:09 Oct 25, 1990 United States The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
19 Win 19–0 United States Pinklon Thomas RTD 8 (10), 3:00 Sep 7, 1990 United States UDC Physical Activities Center, Washington, D.C., U.S.
18 Win 18–0 United States Art Tucker TKO 3 (10), 1:41 Jul 8, 1990 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
17 Win 17–0 United States Jesus Contreras KO 1 (10), 1:18 May 8, 1990 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
16 Win 16–0 United States Eddie Gonzales UD 8 Apr 14, 1990 United States The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
15 Win 15–0 United States Robert Colay TKO 2 (6), 0:49 Apr 1, 1990 United States D.C. Armory, Washington, D.C., U.S.
14 Win 14–0 United States Mike Robinson TKO 3, 1:58 Feb 20, 1990 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
13 Win 13–0 United States Charles Woolard TKO 2, 2:46 Dec 14, 1989 United States St. Joseph, Missouri, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 United States Art Card RTD 3 (8), 3:00 Nov 28, 1989 United States Alumni Arena, Buffalo, New York, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 United States Don Askew TKO 1, 2:21 Nov 18, 1989 United States Coolidge High School, Washington, D.C., U.S.
10 Win 10–0 United States Garing Lane TKO 4 (6), 1:50 Nov 4, 1989 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 United States Mike Acey TKO 1 (4), 2:26 Oct 19, 1989 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 United States Earl Lewis TKO 1 (6), 1:26 Sep 19, 1989 United States Veteran's Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States Anthony Hayes KO 1 (6), 1:21 Sep 15, 1989 United States Gleason's Arena, New York City, New York, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Lee Moore KO 1 Sep 3, 1989 United States Pensacola, Florida, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 United States Lorenzo Canady RTD 2 (6), 3:00 Jul 15, 1989 United States Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Antonio Whiteside TKO 1 (6), 1:19 Jul 2, 1989 United States Cumberland County Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States Garing Lane UD 4 May 9, 1989 United States Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Tracy Thomas TKO 3, 1:57 Apr 14, 1989 United States Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Lionel Butler TKO 2 (4), 1:55 Mar 6, 1989 United States Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S. Professional debut

Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

Professional wrestling[edit]

In 2013, Riddick Bowe announced his intentions to start training to be a professional wrestler. He was to make his debut for the UK-based Preston City Wrestling organisation on March 1, 2014.[25] On December 14, 2013, Preston City Wrestling announced on their Facebook Page that Bowe would no longer be appearing due to a disagreement with Bowe's new agent.

Career timeline[edit]

  • 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.
  • 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 threw a one-two combo at Larry Donald. He beat Donald by decision in 12.
  • March 11, 1995: He won the lightly regarded 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, 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 disqualification in round seven after being repeatedly punched in the testicles. 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 rematch, again by disqualification. Golota was ahead on all three scorecards, but at the end of the ninth round, Golota landed three brutal shots to Bowe's testicles. 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."
  • 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 lanky Philadelphia journeyman David R. Stec.

In popular culture[edit]

In 1993, a video game entitled Riddick Bowe Boxing was released for various platforms. Also in 1993, Bowe appeared as himself in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, entitled "You Bet Your Life".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Branch, John (June 13, 2009). "Fighter Remains a Champion Optimist". The New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Top 25 Heavyweights of All-Time – Top Ten". Boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2016-02-25. 
  3. ^ "Riddick Bowe and Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini highlight International Boxing Hall of Fame selections". ESPN.com. 
  4. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110807054426/http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1004598/index.htm. Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20081220090843/http://www.boxing-monthly.co.uk/content/9810/three.htm. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved November 6, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20120428201546/http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1136084/2/index.htmr. Archived from the original on April 28, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Berger, Phil (October 30, 1991). "BOXING; Bowe Gets the Boot, but Wins". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Memory Lane: When Bowe Ducked Lewis - BoxingInsider.com". BoxingInsider.com. 
  9. ^ "Lennox Lewis lays rumors of return to rest once and for all". ESPN.com. 
  10. ^ "Video". CNN. November 15, 1993. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Sports People: Boxing: Bowe Visits Somalia". The New York Times. Feb 23, 1993. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Blockus, Gary (Jan 15, 1993). "Bowe Hopes to Feed World a New Breed". Morning Call. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Gift for Dead Philippines Boxing Fan". UPI. June 28, 1995. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Video". CNN. August 19, 1996. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Oldies trying to prove they're still good". ESPN.com. 
  16. ^ Sandomir, Richard (January 31, 1997). "Hut, 2, 3, 4! Bowe Is Joining U.S. Marine Corps". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "Riddick Bowe Facing 2 Years in Prison". ABC News. 2001-07-13. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  18. ^ "PLUS: COURT NEWS -- BOXING; Bowe Sentenced To 30 Days". The New York Times. 2000-03-01. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  19. ^ a b "Bowe arrested for assault after domestic dispute". CNN. 2001-02-08. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  20. ^ Eisele, Andrew. "Riddick Bowe Files for Bankruptcy". boxing.about.com. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  21. ^ Greenbelt, Maryland (October 19, 2005). "Ex-champ Bowe seeks bankruptcy protection – Sport". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  22. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130324020614/http://www.muaythaiauthority.com/2013/03/riddick-bowe-to-make-muay-thai-debut-in.html. Archived from the original on March 24, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130618025740/http://fightsportasia.com/2013/06/14/riddick-bowe-brutalized-in-muay-thai-debut-video/. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130618093733/http://www.muaythaiauthority.com/2013/06/muaythai-superfight-results-bowe-tkod.html. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130918110902/http://www.prestoncitywrestling.com/news/2013/09/14/making-his-pro-wresting-debut-in-2014. Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Marcelo Victor Figueroa
WBC Continental Americas heavyweight champion
October 29, 1991 – December 1991
Title next held by
Alex García
Title last held by
Larry Donald
WBC Continental Americas heavyweight champion
December 3, 1994 – March 11, 1995
Title next held by
Jimmy Thunder
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Evander Holyfield
WBA heavyweight champion
November 13, 1992November 6, 1993
Succeeded by
Evander Holyfield
WBC heavyweight champion
November 13, 1992 – December 14, 1992
Succeeded by
Lennox Lewis
awarded title
IBF heavyweight champion
November 13, 1992 – November 6, 1993
Succeeded by
Evander Holyfield
Undisputed heavyweight champion
November 13, 1992 – December 14, 1992
Titles fragmented
Title next held by
Lennox Lewis
Lineal heavyweight champion
November 13, 1992 – November 6, 1993
Succeeded by
Evander Holyfield
Preceded by
Herbie Hide
WBO heavyweight champion
March 11, 1995 – November 1995
Title next held by
Henry Akinwande
Robert Quiroga vs. Akeem Anifowoshe
The Ring Fight of the Year
vs. Evander Holyfield

Michael Carbajal vs. Humberto González
Inaugural award Best Boxer ESPY Award
Evander Holyfield