Article on former HW Champ Riddick Bowe

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Article on former HW Champ Riddick Bowe

Post  Frank on Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:09 am

The following article appeared today on ESPN's web site.

PATTAYA, Thailand -- Riddick Bowe now understands why people warned him that Muay Thai is a dangerous sport.

"I would have to say, they have a valid point," said Bowe, after his debut in Thai kickboxing ended with a thud in the second round. "It's much harder than boxing."
The former world heavyweight boxing champion had hoped to prove his critics wrong and show that he could comeback from retirement into an entirely new sport and revive some of his past glory.

But Bowe is now 45 and weighs 300 pounds, and he looked it Friday in his first fight since 2008.
Slow and out of shape, the fighter known as "Big Daddy" took a big beating from his 30-year-old unheralded Russian opponent Levgen Golovin, who attacked with repeated kicks to the shins that knocked Bowe off his feet five times. The bout ended with a technical knockout after his last fall when Bowe sat on the ground clutching his legs, wincing in pain.

"You can recover from a head shot or a body shot, but when you get kicked in the leg it lasts a long time," Bowe said, as his trainer iced his left shin. "My leg is still hurting. I don't know how long it's been -- 15 minutes?"

Not once during the brief fight, which ended 2 minutes into the second round, did Bowe land a punch or a kick. But he was happy to trade barbs with reporters afterward showing the wit that made him one of boxing's charismatic personalities during his brief reign as champion two decades ago.

"This ain't a setback it's a getback," Bowe said, referring to his comeback. "I had a lot of fun. I'm going to do it again. Next time it's going to be different."

Like so many boxers, Bowe lost the struggle to stay out of the ring. He had his reasons: He's bored with retirement; his millions are gone and he needs the money; he misses the adoration of fans; he loves to fight -- and knows little else.

Bowe said he was inspired by the comeback of George Foreman, who won a heavyweight title at age 45. But the comebacks of aging champions don't always go so well. Think of Muhammad Ali, at 38 and two years after retirement, taking punishment round after round from Larry Holmes. There was onetime heavyweight champion Greg Page coming back and nearly losing his life for a few thousand dollars. Heavyweight great Joe Louis paid dearly for his attempt to come back at an advanced age.

Bowe escaped without serious injury and made $150,000 for his Muay Thai debut, organized by Thai promoters trying to increase the international appeal of Thailand's national sport. The money is a far cry from the millions he earned by beating Evander Holyfield in 1992 to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.

In his heyday, Bowe fought on boxing's grandest stages in Las Vegas and New York.
His return to fighting took place at an outdoor ring set up beside the beach in Pattaya, a Thai town best known for its sprawling seaside red-light district.

Surveying the scene before the fight started, Bowe shook his head sadly.

"I should be moving up, but I'm moving backwards here," he said.

His fight was one of a dozen at the venue, which had the atmosphere of a village fairground with loud music and amusement park rides nearby. Promoters had said they hoped to draw about 20,000 people, but a crowd closer to 1,000 turned up even though admission was free.

On a sweltering night, Bowe sat and sweated for hours as he waited his turn to fight. The venue had no changing rooms, so Bowe and other fighters stripped down and changed in open air tents beside the stage.

"I've never seen anything like this," Bowe said, his spirits lifted by fans who came up to ask for autographs and wish him luck.

One American fan stared in awe at Bowe.

"He was such an underrated and great champion," said Jerry Mathison, a former fighter turned songwriter who lives in Thailand. "I can't believe he's here, in Pattaya."
In some ways, Friday's fight is the latest bizarre episode for Bowe, whose life in and out of the ring was marked by drama.

One of his three fights against Holyfield was interrupted by a parachutist who landed beside the ring. A fight against Andrew Golota in 1996 set off a riot in the ring at Madison Square Garden. Bowe left boxing later in 1996 at 29 for a career in the U.S. Marines, but that lasted only a few days. He then served 17 months in prison for interstate domestic violence after going to North Carolina to haul his now-former wife and their five children back home to Maryland.
Despite his loss, Bowe was optimistic before limping away into a car.
"
Hey, we're going to do this again. I'll be back soon," he said. "I'm not a quitter. I want to do it until I get it right."

Bowe's opponent shook his head in disbelief when told the aging boxer plans to return to Muay Thai.

"It would be a big mistake. It's not for him," said Golovin, a trim and fit 220 pounds. "He's too slow and a bit too old."

Frank

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Re: Article on former HW Champ Riddick Bowe

Post  Frank on Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:35 am

This is quite a disturbing article, however I didn't want to suffer this sadness alone.

On a brighter note, it's stated in this piece that he made 150,000 dollars. I can't understand that but that's what's written. I'll go on and believe it. Hell, sometimes bullshit works better than the truth.

I can say that Bowe was a clean fighter and a credit to the game. He always gave us the excitement that we looked for. If Riddick could've stayed in shape during his prime, it's always been my opinion that he would've had his own era.

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Re: Article on former HW Champ Riddick Bowe

Post  Soonermark890 on Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:45 am

Thats sad. Bowe was one of my favorite fighters. One of the biggest men I have ever met in person. I agree Frank he would have been the best of his era if he kept his head on straight.

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Re: Article on former HW Champ Riddick Bowe

Post  captainanddew on Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:57 pm

make as much money as you can.  Don't live extravagantly.  Buy a decent house, a decent car, and save the rest.  If you don't do that, then it will come back to get you.

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Re: Article on former HW Champ Riddick Bowe

Post  Frank on Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:59 pm

Agreed Captain...and don't forget about the tax man. LOL

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Re: Article on former HW Champ Riddick Bowe

Post  captainanddew on Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:02 pm

I am trying to understand how they forget about the tax man.  When you make 2 million dollars yourself for a fight, it is pretty simple.  Any accountant that is legitimate can calculate the tax liability.

So the fighters need a legitimate lawyer, a legitimate accountant, and a legitimate investment advisor at a big investment firm.  Get rid of all the hangers on.

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Re: Article on former HW Champ Riddick Bowe

Post  Frank on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:28 am

Captain, you're speaking for people with common sense.

Often times, young athletes who come into money spend like teens on spring break.

They buy houses, cars, etc...and then the tax man comes. This is the way a lot of them go broke.

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Re: Article on former HW Champ Riddick Bowe

Post  NJBeatdown86 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:45 pm

Bowe shouldn't even be in the gym. It's a story that's been told over and over, but fighters are usually not the type of people who learn.

...and he should have trained with us at Advanced Martial Arts/B-52 Muay Thai!!! Laughing
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Re: Article on former HW Champ Riddick Bowe

Post  dbudge on Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:11 am

He is the pattaya. Trust me guys, he is having the time of his life

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