Former heavyweight king Riddick Bowe gave an interesting interview with iD Boxing over the festive holiday period, with “Big Daddy” ranking the three best heavyweights of his era (not including himself). Bowe said he places Evander Holyfield at number one, Lennox Lewis in the second slot, with Mike Tyson his pick for third place.
The list is sure to generate some debate – with a good many fight fans feeling Lewis ranks as the best heavyweight of that era, from 1992 to 2002. But it was what Bowe had to say about today’s heavyweight number one, Tyson Fury, and how he himself would have beaten him, that proved most interesting.
Bowe, who was a fine inside fighter, especially for such a big man, would have given Fury a hellish time of things; if the Brooklyn man was in the kind of shape he was in when he fought Holyfield in their first, epic rumble. Bowe says nobody goes to Fury’s body the way they should.
“I think he is a great fighter. I think he’s the best of them all [today],” Bowe said of current WBC heavyweight ruler Fury. “There are things he does that if [he was fighting] in my era – that jerky-jerky style. The thing is, if he jerky-jerky with me, I’m going to pop him and guys aren’t doing that. If they would do it they would beat him. I’d have jabbed him, then I’d have stepped in and broken a rib or two. Guys aren’t going to his body. They’re letting him stand strong, he’s keeping his posture and, as the rounds go on, they aren’t breaking him down. They’re not busting his heart, stopping his liver [from functioning] or things of that nature. You’ve got to do the things that will make him tied – they’re not doing that.”
Listening to Bowe break down how he would have tackled Fury is somewhat like hearing the kind of stuff Joe Frazier had to say before his fights with Muhammad Ali. Like Bowe, Joe spoke of going to Ali’s body, of slowing his man down, of hitting him to the body so as to make sure “his organs can’t function.”
Bowe would not have been at all intimidated by Fury, that’s for sure. And as far as matching Fury physically, Bowe would not have been dwarfed in any way. And as for Bowe’s excellent left jab and his brilliant combination punching, the latter most damaging and effective in close, Bowe would have tested Fury’s chin and his midsection. Hearing a fighter from yesteryear stating how he would beat the best fighters around today is of course nothing new. However, this particular Dream Fight does get a fight fan thinking.
Bowe had enormous heart, as he showed in numerous fights (Holyfield I, II, III, Andrew Golota I and II), he had superb skills, he had a fine chin and, most importantly, Bowe had a genuine ‘I’ll smash you down’ attitude and belief. Bowe was a wrecking machine when he got going. Fury would really have to dig deep to beat him. But would Fury beat a prime Riddick Bowe?
What do YOU guys think? It’s Bowe on points for me.