Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe in awkward meeting at PBC Pay Per View

Lennox Lewis Riddick Bowe

Ray Flores

Former heavyweight rivals Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe engaged in an awkward meeting on New Year’s Day as the Pay Per View cameras rolled.

Lewis and Bowe, who harbor over three decades of bad blood stemming from an Olympic final in 1988 and a failed WBC title fight five years later, were captured at the Luis Ortiz vs. Charles Martin fight.

Reporter Elie Seckbach was ‘Johnny on the Spot’ as his eagle eyes recorded the incident as it happened.

It seemed to show Lewis looking very unsure about the advances of Bowe at first. Eventually, Lewis posed for a picture after they spoke which got shared by ring announcer Ray Flores.

Almost thirty years on from the World Boxing Council ordering Bowe to defend his green and gold belt against Lewis, the number one contender at that time, things still don’t seem one hundred percent with the pair of legends.

Bowe was friendly enough as they chatted away and looked respectful of Lewis. However, the Briton certainly had his game face on for ‘Big Daddy.’

‘The Pugilist Specialist’ was robbed of his crowning night by Bowe, having been favored to topple the undisputed champion. Lewis had already beaten Bowe in 1988 at the Seoul Games when promising to knock him out at a previous meeting.


In an appearance on Drink Champs just last year, Lewis opened up on what originally went down in South Korea.

“Nobody knew (about 1988). It was a secret between us guys. When he boxed Holyfield and came out of the ring, he walked past me for some reason.

“I don’t know if it was on purpose, but he was saying, “you’re not right.” And I was like, “what the hell are you talking about?

“Anyway, (I said in 1993) I’m going to knock you out (again, like the Olympics in 1988). Because he remembered the first one, I said it to him again.

“Then he got all heated. Then, he never fought me. He never fought me. He put the belt, the WBC belt, in the garbage, which is a disrespect.”

The fight never happened to the detriment of the sport. Since then, Lewis and Bowe have both gotten linked to exhibitions.

Rumors persist that Lewis will fight Mike Tyson in a move-around event. Meanwhile, Bowe canceled his return at 52 after being denied a license.

Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.