Riddick Bowe vs Lennox Lewis: The fight that never happened
By Juni: I remember watching former heavyweight world champion Riddick Bowe when he first started. I followed his career and recorded over 10 of his matches. After fighting a bunch of guys to build up his confidence, it was time for him to start facing better opponents. That’s when he took on Tony Tubbs. I saw that fight and I still remember the scoring I had. I had thought Tubbs won, having it 96 to 94 for Tubbs. After the decision was announced, the crowd booed
At the time, I didn’t know who he was, but read up on him when my father would buy me boxing magazines. I remember reading that Lennox Lewis was to face Gary Mason. At the time, I had said that Lewis is going to get killed by the guy who was 35-0-32. After Lewis had knocked out Mason, I was thinking “we have a new scary guy in the division”.
The winner of Bowe vs Evander Holyfield and the winner of Donovan “Razor” Ruddock vs Lewis, was to meet for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
I never got to see the fight with Bowe and Holyfield, but when I woke up on a Saturday morning, I saw the cover of the newspaper and was so happy that Bowe had won.
Lewis vs Ruddock
This fight I saw. Ruddock was coming off of 2 straight wins after the Mike Tyson fight. I was a fan of Ruddock as well and when these guys entered the ring, Ruddock was the favorite and I was ready to see him dispose of Lewis quickly. I could not believe how Lewis knocked Ruddock out in 2 rounds. So after reading how Lewis knocked out Mason and now Ruddock, this was a guy I need to follow because he poses a threat in the division.
Now before these 2 men became pro, they had both faced each other in the 1988 Olympics where Lewis had stopped Bowe.
This is the pros now, completely different. I felt Bowe was the better fighter and was more of a complete fighter. He fought well on the outside and excellent on the inside as he was considered one of the best inside fighters.
Lewis at the time, was basic, only using jabs and straight rights. It wasn’t until when trainer Emanuel Steward came in, Lewis became a much better fighter.
Bowe’s camp had given Lewis 2 offers to fight them. Lewis did not like the offer and turned it down. But then, Lewis had changed his mind and took the offer. Bowe’s camp responded by saying they had changed their mind.
The World Boxing Council had wanted Bowe to defend the title but with Bowe refusing, he went on television and threw the WBC into the garbage and said if Lewis wants the belt, he can get it from the garbage and that we can call him “garbage picker”.
It seemed clear Riddick was afraid of Lewis. I just did not know why. I thought Bowe was by far the better fighter and would win. Even Evander Holyfield had said that he felt Bowe would have won.
Bowe goes down in history as an “underachiever”