Muay Thai Champion... Riddick Bowe??
Former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe (43-1, 33 KO) wants to try his hand in the ring... The Muay Thai ring."Those who enjoyed my fights 10 years ago will again enjoy my Muay Thai fight," said the 45 year old Bowe as quoted by Bangkok Post.
Bowe will face Russia's Levgen Golovin for the WBC and WPMF super-heavyweight titles on June 14.
"I want to make history as the first fighter who wins the heavyweight titles in both professional boxing and Muay Thai."
A 1988 Olympic Silver Medalist, Riddick Bowe turned pro in 1989 and is best remembered for his trilogy of fights with Evander Holyfield and two brutal bouts with Andrew Golota.
Riddick Bowe had the potential to be great... What happened?
The 6'5" fighter dubbed "Big Daddy" won the undisputed championship in 1992 by defeating Evander Holyfield in what many consider one of the greatest fights in heavyweight championship history. His only official defeat came via a majority decision to Holyfield in their first rematch. However, many consider the two 1996 disqualification wins over Andrew Golota unofficial losses as the Polish star was winning both fights and seemingly had Bowe badly hurt at the time of the disqualifications.
Bowe last fought in December 2008, winning an 8 round unanimous decision over Gene Pukall (then 14-12). The former champ, who usually weighed between 235 -245 lbs for his bouts, tipped the scales at 271¼.
Boxing vs Muay Thai
Although Muay Thai and boxing have many similarities, there are glaring differences.
Some in MMA would argue that because Muay Thai incorporates strikes such as elbows, kicks and knees (in addition to punching) the practitioners of that art form have more weapons at their disposal. However, others insist because Muay Thai is so offense-heavy, there are more openings and their fighters find themselves in more vulnerable positions more often than their fellow pugilistic combatants.
Can a seemingly sluggish 45 year old Riddick Bowe, who is literally 19-21 years past his boxing prime, become a force in Muay Thai?
If he's in need of money, many will ask: Why doesn't he box? But Bowe is confident he has enough boxing skills to excel in the Thai sport and, perhaps, be a big fish in a smaller pond.
"I have watched Muay Thai bouts but actually I was only introduced to it three months ago," said the 'Big Daddy', who will return to the ring for the first time since 2008.
"Muay Thai and boxing are close to each other and I can kick and use elbows."
The former boxing champion, who considers himself a Muay Thai ambassador for the U.S., landed in Bangkok last week and will have about 4 weeks of preparation for his opponent. "I will give my all because this is my second career," he said. "Don't miss my fight."
Somphob Singhasiri, the promoter of the Muay Thai Superfight Champions said the Bowe fight will be televised live worldwide and that "All fights in the event will be competitive."
"With its support, everything is going well and many sponsors are coming to us. We target both local and international audiences," Somphob said.
"It is a good start with Bowe in our tournament," he added.
The promoter allegedly asked Evander Holyfield, 50, to compete but the boxing legend either declined or didn't reply.
Riddick Bowe Facts
- 1988: Lost to Lennox Lewis via TKO for the Olympic gold medal
- Had 3 epic fights with Evander Holyfield; Bowe won two.
- Bowe was never KO'd
- Refused to fight top contender Lennox Lewis in 1993 under 'fair' terms and relinquished the WBC title as a result.
- December, 1996: Bowe announced he would leave his wife and children and large fleet of cars in Fort Washington, MD to join the United States Marine Corps. He dropped out of boot camp soon afterward
- In a second comeback fight in April 2005, Bowe narrowly defeated journeyman Billy Zumbrun in a fight in which Bowe was badly overweight and absorbed many heavy blows
Significant Wins (His last significant win was 18 years ago)
- TKO 8 Evander Holyfield - 1995
- UD Evander Holyfield - 1992
- KO 6 Jorge Luis GonzaleZ - 1995
- UD 12 Larry Donald - 1994
- TKO 1 Michael Dokes - 1993
- TKO 7 Pierre Coetzer - 1992
- KO 1 Bruce Seldon - 1991
- TKO 8 Tyrell Biggs - 1991
- KO 2 Bert Cooper - 1990