Riddick Lamont Bowe (born
august 10, 1967) 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 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 vacated the WBC title
later that year in protest, instead of defending the title against
their number one contender, Lennox Lewis. This left the undisputed
championship fragmented until 1999. In a rematch with Holyfield in
1993, Bowe narrowly 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 win the tiltes of all four major sanctioning bodies,
the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO, and remains the only heavyweight to do
so. Later that year, Bowe vacated the WBO title in order to fight
Holyfield for a third time, and won decisively by being the first
boxer to stop Holyfield. 1996 saw Bowe engage in two brutal slugfests
with Andrew Golota, both of which ended controversially when Golota
repeatedly hit Bowe with low blows.
Bowe retired from the sport
after the Golota fights, 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. In 2015, he was
inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
was born on August 10, 1967, the twelfth of his mother Dorothy Bowe's
thirteen children. Bowe was born and raised in the Brownsville section
of Brooklyn. His brother Henry died of Aids, and his sister Brenda
was stabbed to death by a drug addict during an attempted robbery.
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, losing
a controversial match in the finals to future world heavyweight champion
Lennox Lewis. Bowe had a dominant first round, landing 33 of 94 punches
thrown (34%) while Lewis landed 14 of 67 (21%). In the first round
the referee from East Germany gave Bowe two cautions for headbutts
and deducted a point for a third headbutt, although replay clearly
showed there was no headbutt. Commentator Ferdie Pacheco disagreed
with the deduction, saying they did not his heads. In the second round,
Lewis landed several hard punches. The referee gave Bowe two standing
eight counts and waved the fight off after the second one, even though
Bowe seemed able to continue. Pacheco disagreed with the stoppage,
calling it "very strange."
New York Golden Gloves Championships
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
Professional Boxing career
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.
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.