Best Damn Heavyweight Comeback? I don’t think so!
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (April 11, 2005)  
Photo © Pat Orr
Former heavyweight champion Riddick ‘Big Daddy’ Bowe, 42-1 (33), earned his second victory in seven months on his comeback tour with an unimpressive and somewhat controversial split decision win over Billy Zumbrun, 17-6-1 (9). The two squared off in front of the Temecula crowd for a ten round heavyweight match-up on ‘The Best Damn Sports Show Period’. It has been eight years since Bowe fought in front of a television crowd and with the night’s performance it could have been a bit longer.

The former undisputed heavyweight champ made his way to the ring dancing and singing for the crowd on hand seemingly unfocused for his return but in a joyful mood. Round one was a slow paced round with Zumbrun holding and hitting but in the second landed the first good shot of the night that prompted a showboating signature move from Riddick. The two made their way around the ring with Bowe putting together his jab but missing repeatedly with the right hand but dropped Billy ‘The Kid’ in the fourth with a beautiful left hook to the body. Bowe followed Zumbrun warming up the jab but in the fifth was stunned by a right hand that sent Bowe to the ropes while Zumbrun pounded away until the sound of the bell, which saved Bowe. It was clear that this wasn’t the Riddick Bowe that stormed the division and won two out of three meetings with Evander Holyfield in the nineties, that was over ten years ago and it showed.

By round six Bowe established his jab which was making its way to his opponent time and time again who seemed to slow down in his pace but once again in the ending seconds of round seven Zumbrun staggered Bowe. Bowe seemed to be stunned a few times in the fight but the mostly passive Zumbrun slipped and moved from out of Bowe’s reach. After more of the same and a point deduction suffered by Billy Zumbrun for utilizing the shoulder, Riddick Bowe was the winner by the score of 93-95, 96-92 and 96-92, but in his victory received boos from the dismayed crowd on hand.

Zumbrun was a tough test for the washed up fighter giving him the rounds he needed, and even with this Bowe earnestly feels he can be the heavyweight champion once again, whether you feel Bowe can or cannot be heavyweight champ again, you will have to agree he won’t get it this way.

Ward remains undefeated with ugly win.

2004 Olympic Gold medallist Andre Ward, 3-0 (1), kept his unbeaten record intact with a disqualification win over the angry Roy Ashworth, 3-2. The highly touted super middleweight prospect came out confident and willing to put on a show for the boxing fans but what they received was more of a wrestling match.

Louisiana native Roy Ashworth came out looking to brawl but instead delivered dirty tactics instead of a slugfest. Missing wild shot after wild shot Ashworth was getting picked off by the much better boxer Andre Ward and Roy got riled up and continued his dirty ways getting penalized for hitting after break. Ashworth’s roughhouse tactics didn’t phase the focused fighter and in the third a hard combination dropped Ashworth, and out of frustration that showcased rabbit punching and hitting Ward in the back of the head when Andre fell on the canvas it was clear Roy was looking for a way out. At 2:56 in the third round Ashworth got his way out, referee Ray Corona had seen enough of Ashworth’s transgressions and stopped the fight giving Ward a well deserved win by disqualification.

After the bout when asked about his opponent’s constant fouling Ward simply stated, “He wanted a way out.” Wards promoter Dan Goossen said after the fight that Andre would be fighting once to twice a month, and with Ward’s skill he can easily make his mark on the boxing world.

Un-televised Results

Vassiliy Jirov defeat Forrest Neil via 3rd round KO
Travis Walker defeated Carl Davis via 6 round UD
Steve Forbes defeated Sergio Macias via 1st round KO
Daniel Gonzales defeated Sean Rogers via 3rd round KO
Lorenzo Reynolds defeated Oscar Ortiz via 4 round UD.
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