Former Champ Riddick Bowe Shows Only Flashes Of His Former Greatness As He Out-Points Gene Pukall

Riddick Boweby James Slater- Tonight in Germany, on the under card of the Klitschko-Rahman heavyweight title fight, former champ Riddick "Big Daddy" Bowe also made an appearance. Winning an 8-round UD over local trial horse Gene Pukall - a 33-year-old with an average at best pro record - 41-year-old Bowe looked both fleshy and slow. A sad shell of the once-great fighter who dominated the division in the early '90s, Bowe showed only glimpses of his former talent.

Weighing a rotund 271-pounds, which, considering his inactivity and age, wasn't such a bad weight for Riddick, the former star won most of the 8 rounds tonight but was easy to hit and struggled pulling the trigger. Bowe was also breathing heavily by the 6th round. Pukall was having things tough himself, though, and he seemed happy to make it to the final bell.

There were occasional reminders of how special Bowe once was, notably via his still useful left jab. Pumping it out in a reasonably fluid manner, Bowe scored with the punch often and he blackened Pukall's right eye with the weapon. Aside from a tasty-looking knockdown he got at the mid-way stage of the fight - a knockdown that came from a good right uppercut/left hook combo - the jab was all Bowe was able to show.

When one considers how Pukall had been stopped in just one round in his previous fight, and how he'd been stopped in three of his last four, the fact that the once formidable Bowe had to go the distance tells you something. Maybe the 41-year-old who was having his first fight since April of 2005 wanted to get some rounds in, but he got hit quite easily in doing so - which is never a good thing.

Amazingly Bowe, who was wearing a full beard tonight, has still only lost once - to Evander Holyfield. But as much as his record looks impressive on paper, "Big Daddy" risks his health by continuing to box these days. Put blankly, if he cannot get a journeyman he out-weighs by over forty pounds out of there, what chance will he have against anyone close to a top ranked heavyweight?

Riddick found time to smile on occasion during tonight's fight, but it's hard to see what he found amusing. A likeable person, it is hoped Bowe does not get hurt in a comeback he seems determined to carry on.

For the record, the victorious Bowe improved to 43-1(33). While Pukall fell to 14-13-2(12).

Article posted on 14.12.2008

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