Riddick Bowe is a living true American success story. Bowe was born the twelfth child of his mother Dorothy Bowe's thirteen children. Bowe was born and raised in poverty in the notoriously tough Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. His upbringing was harsh in life, which saw him experience a brother's death and later a sister who was murdered during a robbery. Despite the odds stacked against him as a youth, Riddick Bowe went on to represent the USA as an Olympian, a World Champion, and eventually renowned as one of the greatest boxers in history.
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. Bowe 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 was selected to the 1988 USA Boxing Team and he went on to win the silver medal at the Seoul Olympics. Bowe turned professional after the Olympics. Highly regarded trainer Eddie Futch took on the job of developing Bowe as he saw his rare talent. Eddie would say that Bowe had more potential than any boxer he had ever trained. Bowe turned professional in March 1989, and knocked out Lionel Butler. His then manager Rock Newman kept Bowe active, fighting 13 times in 1989.
In November 1992 he fought reigning champ Evander Holyfield for the undisputed heavyweight title. In what would eventually be voted as one of the Top 5 All-Time greatest fights in heavyweight history, Bowe won a unanimous decision in an entertaining fight, flooring Holyfield in the 11th round. However, it was the tenth round most boxing fans will remember. The epic brutal back and forth exchanges helped make it Ring Magazine's "Round of the Year." Commentator Al Bernstein exclaimed, "That was one of the greatest rounds in heavyweight history. Period!"
Bowe would defend his title easily with knockouts in title defenses before re-matching with Holyfield. Again, the fans and sports world were not disappointed. Going the distance, this time it was Holyfield the victor.
In August 1994, Bowe fought two comeback fights. He faced Buster Mathis Jr and Larry Donald, later beating him by 12 round unanimous decision for the WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title, giving the 16-0 heavyweight contender Donald his first loss.
In June 1995, after a heated build up, Bowe defended the WBO heavyweight title against his archrival in the amateurs, Jorge Luis González, At the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bowe won by sixth-round knockout over Gonzalez.
After the Gonzales fight, Bowe fought a rubbermatch with Evander Holyfield, their third and final meeting. Holyfield knocked Bowe down during the fight, but Bowe maintained his composure, and persevered to score an eighth round knockdown stoppage victory. Bowe was the first and only man to ever knock-out the lion-hearted and iconic Holyfield.
Bowe is ranked #19 in Greatest Heavyweights of All-Time by Ring Magazine. A huge honor since professional boxing's creation in 1891. In 2015, Riddick Bowe's legacy was further cemented as he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Riddick Bowe's boxing career started from 1984 as a junior fighter, and lasted till his retirement as a professional in 2008. He retired as the reigning undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World.