Riddick Lamont Bowe, born August 10, 1967, Brooklyn, NY, is a retired American boxer. He is a two-time heavyweight champion and a former undisputed heavyweight champion.
As an amateur, Bowe won 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 four seconds and in the 1985 National Golden Gloves championship he lost to Ft. Worth light heavyweight Donald Stephens.
Bowe also won the Silver Medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, when he was stopped in two rounds by Lennox Lewis.
Riddick turned pro after his Olympic loss, however, his heart and dedication were brought into question. Highly regarded trainer Eddie Futch took on the job of developing Bowe, as he saw the talent. Eddie would say that Riddick had more potential than any boxer he had ever trained.
Bowe went on to fight 45 times with 43 victories and 33 of those coming by way of knockout. He suffered one defeat by unanimous decision at the hands of Evander Holyfield in their rematch in 1993, which was infamously dubbed the "Fan Man" fight.
Riddick also had one no contest against Buster Mathis Jr when Bowe hit Mathis when he was on his knees, producing a knockout in the fourth round of their fight in Atlantic City in 1994.
SaddoBoxing: What got you interested in the sport of boxing, Riddick?
Riddick Bowe: In the seventh grade I had to do an essay in class. The teacher made us talk amongst each other and a class bully named Darryl Lane thought Ali was a faggot and that Joe Frazier was a better fighter. And if I thought Ali was a better fighter, then I was a faggot as well. With my smart mouth, the first thing that came to mind was what I told him, “Well, your mama liked it” as I had just watched the movie 'Cooley High' the night before.
And I motioned (pumping) like the character, Cole Chief, did in Cooley High. Everybody in the class began to laugh at Darryl. We began to fight and he came at me like Joe Frazier and I landed an Ali jab right in his face. Then it got good to me and I fired off a left-right combination. I was on my toes then and he swung a wild right-left and then a wild left-right like Joe Frazier and then I got jiggy with it.
I did the Muhammad Ali shuffle then hit him with a three piece and down he went. I said “There he is, there he is” and he was on the floor. The teacher, Ms. Hill, said I was pretty good with my hands and would I like for her to call a couple of gyms for me and I said why certainly.
The Bed-stuy Boxing Association changed my life. I loved what I was seeing through the window. They gave me a permission slip and I took it home. My mother wouldn’t sign it and I cried. My older sister, Karen signed it and I’ve been boxing ever since.
SB: Why are you ready to make a comeback in boxing at the age of 44?
RB: I gave these guys 10 years to get it right so I have to show them how it should be done.
SB: What's the latest news on your boxing license? Have you got it or will you have any problems getting one?
RB: I'm in the process of getting my license but I don't foresee any problems getting one.
SB: What’s your view of the current heavyweight crop?
RB: Crop? Please. There is no crop. They're chumps.
SB: When will you be ready for a top level heavyweights bout?
RB: Soon. You know how soon? Soon as soon comes around.
SB: Who was the toughest opponent that you ever faced in boxing?
RB: Unequivocally, Evander Holyfield because he could match my thinking process and he always tried to counter and put himself in a better position. When we fought each other it was so great. It was a chess match on wheels.
SB: You had a great trilogy of fights against Evander Holyfield. As Evander is still boxing, could there be a fourth installment between two great champions?
RB: I would love to have that happen. I would love to make that happen but the thing is I could run away with it being 3-1 or he could tie it 2-2.
SB: One of the most bizarre things that i have seen in boxing was the fan man incident in your fight against Holyfield in 1993 when parachutist James Miller crashed into the ring apron in the seventh round. Can you recall what your thoughts were at the time and tell us more about it please?
RB: I was so bewildered. I was confused. I didn't know if the sky was falling or what, but I think it was a conspiracy because I could never get back into the fight like I wanted to.
SB: You fought Lennox Lewis in the 1988 Seoul Olympic heavyweight final where you won the Silver Medal, but why did you never fight Lewis professionally?
RB: Because he would never fight me. He wanted parity and a heavyweight champion wouldn't go for that. He knew I wasn't going for that so he took the easy way out.
SB: When you turned professional in March, 1989 you were trained by the legendary late great Eddie Futch, who said that you had more potential than any fighter he trained. Can you tell us what this was like and who will train you on your return to boxing?
RB: Eddie laid down what he expected off me from day one. He told me I had to get up at a certain time and run a course that he had wanted. One day he told me that he was leaving town for a few days and that I should carry on with my road work as normal, so I did and when I was running up a steep hill at the end of the course, there was Eddie sitting in his truck.
It was his way of testing my commitment to training so he was willing to take me on after this as he knew I was serious about boxing. Thell Torrence is my boxing trainer and Sherman M. Nelson Jr. is my performance coach for my planned comeback.
SB: Boxing recently lost a true champion and ambassador of the sport in Smokin' Joe Frazier; did you have many encounters with the late great Mr Frazier?
RB: I met him a couple of times and he was a very nice guy. It is a great loss to the sporting world, he was a great champion.
SB: Who are your favorite boxers to watch past and present?
RB: Muhammad Ali. As you know, he is the greatest and I am the latest.
SB: Have you got anything that you would like to say to your fans and our website viewers at saddoboxing.com Riddick?
RB: Put your money down on me and pray for me. If you want the best, don't settle for less. Put your money on me because I'm your best bet.