If the news being reported turns out to be correct, we can add the name Riddick Bowe to the growing list of aging former champions who want to come back in some form or another. 53-year-old Bowe has, TMZ Sports reports, signed a deal with Celebrity Boxing, and he is set to fight in Miami on October 2nd.
So far, there is no opponent named, nor is there any news on things such as length of the fight, head-gear or no head-gear, size of gloves, etc.
But Bowe himself has announced his upcoming ring return. Via Instagram, the former heavyweight king said the following:
“Hi, I’m Riddick Bowe, two-time world heavyweight champion, and I just signed a contract with Celebrity Boxing. Listen y’all; I’m ready to go. Who you think I should fight? Maybe Mike Tyson? Evander Holyfield? Shaq daddy? Or maybe Joe. Joe mama? Let me know who you want me to fight, and it’s a done deal.”
Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to see Bowe fight ANYONE, ever again, even in an exhibition bout that can be dressed up as “a chance to see a legend move around and have fun, with some of the proceeds going to charity.”
You know the spiel. Bowe, even with a massive head-guard, is running the risk of serious and permanent injury if he is hit in the head with any force. Bowe has been shot to bits for years; just listen to the man talk today.
Of all the sad fall from grace stories the great sport of boxing is sadly littered with, the Bowe story is sadder than most. There was a time when Bowe was the best heavyweight on the planet, and he had it all.
But a ballooning waistline, even in his prime, proved to be his downfall and Bowe soaked up an alarming amount of punishment in his two savage wars with Andrew Golota (Bowe winning both via DQ, when “The Foul Pole” was unable to stop himself from hitting Bowe low again and again).
It was a rapid and alarming plunge even further for Bowe after those two tough to watch fights – with Bowe being declared bankrupt, being jailed for almost two years for kidnapping his wife, and with the big man gaining even more weight.
Bowe tried a comeback in 2004, again in 2005, and then again in 2008, when the badly faded, grossly overweight ex-champ labored to victory over three fighters of limited ability.
Looking at Bowe today (and listening to him talk), it seems there is no way he will be granted permission to box, even in an exhibition. And this is how it should be. A Riddick Bowe comeback is not only a bad idea; it’s an idea that could lead to a fatality. It cannot be allowed to happen.