Riddick Bowe’s admission on his Olympic clash with Lennox Lewis gives an insight into the mindset of the heavyweight over their fallen fight.
“Big Daddy” remains adamant that his tournament finale battle with the British superstar should never have been stopped.
Despite being happy with his coveted silver medal from the 1988 Olympic Games, Bowe still thinks of what might have been.
Riddick Bowe vs Lennox Lewis
Controversy surrounded his championship fight against future undisputed world heavyweight champion, [at the time a] Canadian super heavyweight Lennox Lewis, who returned home with the Olympic gold medal.
During his fight with Lewis, Bowe got deducted a point for a “ghost” head butt that never happened. The referee gave Bowe a pair of disputed standing eight counts, the last of which resulted in the stoppage of the fight in Lewis’ favor.
Bowe remains disappointed at how events went down. This could have had a detrimental effect on his feelings toward facing Lewis again in the future,
“That fight should never have been stopped,” Bowe commented. “I’m still happy about winning a silver medal. I still have it. And then I turned pro.
“My mother had thirteen kids. I wanted to make my mother happy. I wanted to buy her a house. That’s what inspired me to box.”
Ripping through the heavyweight division, Bowe won the WBC crown and was ordered to face his nemesis. However, four years after their grudge match, Bowe put the green and gold in the bin rather than fight.
It seems the hurt from 1988 was too intense for the American puncher.
But by any standards, an Olympian and former unified World heavyweight champion, Bowe is inarguably one of the all-time greatest boxers, amateur and professional.
He was born and raised in the infamous Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. This melting pot also produced fellow World heavyweight champions, Mike Tyson and Shannon Briggs.
Taking his inspiration from Muhammad Ali, Bowe started boxing at thirteen in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Boxing Association Gym.
“I wanted to do everything Ali did,” Bowe explained why he got into boxing. “He was my idol.
“I wanted to join the Marines, but I fell in love with boxing and stayed with it. I forgot about the Marines.”
Bowe developed his craft and became an outstanding boxer, compiling a 104-18 amateur record. His controversial silver-medal-winning performance at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, highlighted this.
Bowe was a four-time New York Golden Gloves champion and captured top honors at the 1986 Junior World Championships. He also claimed a bronze medal at the 1987 Pan American Games. That’s despite fighting in his final match with a fractured hand he hid from his coaches.
Rivalry with Salters
Bowe had a rivalry with Robert Salters, with whom he split four matches.
He defeated Salters, 3-2, in the U.S. Box-Offs to qualify for the 1988 USA Boxing Olympic Team.
His Olympic teammates included Roy Jones, Jr., Ray Mercer, Kennedy McKinney, and Andrew Maynard.
“Bowe’s success as an amateur and professional has made him a household name amongst USA Boxing Alumni,” said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Director.
“His combination of power and skill, along with his legendary battles with other USA Boxing Alumni at the pro ranks, establishes him as one of the greatest fighters that USA Boxing has ever produced.”