Fans fear for Riddick Bowe amid worrying footage ahead of boxing comeback
The 54-year-old former world heayweight champion is returning to the ring for a celebrity boxing match with former NBA winner Lamar Odom next month, and his supporters are concerned
Boxing fans have expressed serious concerns over former world heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe's return to the ring next month.
The former world champion, 54, hasn't fought for over 13 years, but he will make something of a comeback against two-time NBA winner Lamar Odom, who fought singer Aaron Carter earlier this year, on October 2 in Miami.
The event will also feature a bizarre mismatch between former world champion Paulie Malginaggi and Tik Tok star Corey B.
But the return of Bowe, less than a month after Evander Holyfield's brutal loss to Vitor Belfort on the second Triller Fight Club 'legends' event, has many of his fans concerned for his safety.
Since retiring in 2008, the boxer hasn't been in ring shape for very long, and looked slow and laboured in recent training footage shared on social media. Bowe can be seen shadow-boxing unimpressively, and told he's doing a great job his coaches.
"Please don't let this go ahead," one user replied to the post. "We don't want to see our boxing idols like this. When will it stop?"
Legendary promoter Lou DiBella was one of the event's harshest critics, saying in a tweet that it was "unacceptable" that nobody has stepped in to stop these fights happening.
"No," Di Bella replied when made aware of the show. "Just NO! This is barbaric and beyond dangerous. The fact that no regulatory body has already put the kibosh on this is shocking and unacceptable.
"This isn’t sport. This isn’t boxing. This is a human train-wreck waiting to happen."
Odom, much more spritely at age 41, most recently stepped into the ring in June against pop star Aaron Carter.
He brutally stopped the singer inside two rounds of their exhibition bout, and was confirmed over the summer to be Bowe's next opponent.
With the event taking place at the James L Knight Centre, it falls under the same Athletic Commission as the Holyfield vs Belfort card.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Belfort took on 58-year-old Holyfield after the American took the fight on just a few days' notice to replace Oscar De La Hoya.
Holyfield was visibly hurt as soon as the MMA star landed a punch.
He was soon dropped by the Brazilian and the referee had to wave the fight off before any serious harm was done to the former two-weight world champion.
It was the latest in a string of boxing comebacks that were kicked off with Mike Tyson fighting Roy Jones Jr last year in a massive pay-per-view event.