Riddick Bowe returns to the ring once again
By Dave McKee: Riddick Bowe, the former lineal world heavyweight champion who publicly deposited his WBC strap into a garbage bin rather than face challenger Lennox Lewis, has announced that he intends to lay waste to the heavyweight division.
In a conference call that included his agent, Allen Ellison and his new publicist, Guernica Williams, Bowe announced he is putting himself through his paces at home, getting in shape before formally entering training. He says that he will be ready in about three months to begin taking challengers. After a few tune-ups? Well, he would he be ready to remind Holyfield who is boss, settle old scores with Golota and take on the Klitschko brothers.
According to a source close to the promotion of the upcoming Roy Jones Jr. vs Dennis Lebedev fight on December 10, Bowe was slated to fight Gabe Brown, a reasonable choice for a tune-up, who has lost 10 of his last 13 and scored draws in the other three. For unknown reasons Bowe pulled out of the fight. Ellison, Bowe’s agent, insists there was a better known, but at this time unnamed opponent slated for the same night. Bowe prefers to exercise patience and wait until he is in the best shape possible before making his return to the ring.
Bowe was recently honored by inclusion in the inaugural class of the New York Boxing Hall of Fame. He was inducted with such luminaries as Sugar Ray Robinson, Mike Tyson and the mighty Harold Lederman. When asked about the distinction Bowe replied, “I’m doing pretty good for myself.”
In addition to having been the lineal heavyweight champion, Bowe has only one loss to his record. His reputation has taken hits from the perception he avoided the best fights when he was at the top, but, aside from Golata, who suffered apparent meltdowns and lost by disqualification twice while leading the scorecards, few have seriously threatened Bowe in the ring. The one 1993 loss to Holyfield was avenged two years later via seventh round TKO.
Bowe has threatened comebacks in recent years, even stepping into the ring once each in 2004, 2005 and 2008. His last outing, against Gene Pukall (18-14-2, 16 KO) resulted in a unanimous decision win for Bowe. Bowe’s agent says that, despite the low quality of recent opponents and the lack of inactivity over recent years, Bowe can be ready for the best opponents in the heavyweight division in six months. Bowe’s approach to the matter is practical: “I don’t want to procrastinate. I want to do whatever I need to do to become a champion.”
November 1, 2011