Riddick Bowe fires up Fire Lake Casino fans with first win of his comeback tour
Ringside Report by Benny Henderson Jr. (September 28, 2004) 
Photo © Pat Orr
Benny's ringside report contains questions asked to and answered by Riddick Bowe

On a night when most of the boxing world was glued to their television sets witnessing the dismantling of Roy Jones Jr., an overly excited crowd was ringside at Fire Lake Casino in Shawnee, Oklahoma to observe the return to the ring of the former undisputed heavyweight champion Riddick 'Big Daddy' Bowe.

The former champion headlined a seven bout card after an eight year layoff from boxing. As expected Bowe was suffering from some ring rust in the very early going, but he quickly made adjustments and started to put together his combinations. With less than ten seconds remaining in the first round, Bowe showed the punishing power that made him a fan favourite in the early-to-mid 90's when he floored his less than spectacular opponent Marcus Rhode, sending the parochial crowd into an uproar.

In round two Rhode tasted the canvas two more times before Bowe finished him off. The beginning of the end came courtesy of a stunning uppercut, followed by three more punches concluding with right hand that sent his outclassed opponent to the mat once again.

After a total of four knockdowns in under two rounds Rhode’s corner stepped in to save their beaten fighter from sustaining any more punishment. Riddick Bowe now joins his arch nemesis Andrew Golota along with Vitali Klitschko, Shannon Briggs, Lamon Brewster, Tommy Morrison and even Butterbean as boxers who share easy victories over the now 29-26-1 (25) club fighter.

Bowe improves his career record to 41-1 (33), with the only loss coming at the hands of Evander Holyfield back in 1993 in the second fight of their unforgettable trilogy.

Immediately after his victory the boxing reporters stormed the ring and began to ask Bowe multiple questions concerning his thoughts and his future.

Bowe was his usual playful self, poking some fun at members of the press and me in particular. During the questioning Bowe asked my name and naturally I responded. It was then that he decided that I would now be known as 'Tubby' – and with thirty-three knockouts in forty-one wins, I decided that was fine by me.

When asked if he would fight Holyfield again, Bowe responded by saying “In a heartbeat, I love Evander and I think Evander brings out the best in me. So yes, I will fight him for a fourth time and I think that is how we will make history. Evander called me and wished me good luck and things of that nature.”

Bowe then stated that he plans on fighting every two to three weeks but pointed to his manager Jimmy Adams when pressed for more information on the matter.

When Bowe was told that he should fight Holyfield every two to three weeks, he responded by saying “It ain’t going to work cause I think I already whopped him three times and the fourth time will be a charm and I don’t think you would want to come to that fight every other week. And why would I want to fight an old man every week? After I whopped him for the title the first time, the very next day he told me it was a good fight and to watch out for the wolf, but they didn’t tell me the wolf was right there with me.”

Bowe never explained who the wolf was.

As far as the fight with Rhode goes, Bowe stated that he was a bit excited and tight during the fight but his jab came to play and that he would be ready to bust another one in his face.

Eight years ago Riddick Bowe retired from boxing after taking a massive beating from Andrew Golota that at the time appeared to have left the fighter with brain damage. After a long stint of a non-boxing life and after serving an eighteen-month prison term for kidnapping, the 37-year-old Brooklyn-born banger decided to try his hand at the heavyweight division one more time and came under massive criticism for doing so.

I asked the former champ what he thought about the fans who supported his decision in his comeback and he stated that he loved them and he appreciated them. Riddick told the press that he will have to continue to train and run and do the things that are necessary to acquire the heavyweight championship of the world, and that he feels that when he gets more relaxed with his performance he will be better.

Then I asked him if he will be heavyweight champion again and he simply responded with “Does a frog bump his ass?”

I told him it was good to have him back and he stated that it was good to be back. Bowe then said he will catch up to us later and proceeded to his dressing room.

Will Riddick Bowe be champion once again? I asked the loyal Doghouse Boxing readers this question in a recent article on Bowe and the responses where absolutely fantastic. Three readers' opinions stand out more than any I received.

Bowe fan Sakom S. feels that with the heavyweight division wide open the boxing world shouldn’t count out a determined Riddick Bowe. And with all the recent upsets in the boxing world lately we could be set for one more.

Gary from England states that Bowe will defiantly win a belt! And Gary feels with Bowe’s punching power, footwork and jab, Riddick is the guy to be watching out for.

Gordon M. says the fans shouldn’t get their hopes up on this comeback and that Bowe’s return will make him look terrible. He feels that he will beat a few non-contenders but will be pounded by any decent ranked fighter. Bowe naturally is not the same fighter he was ten years ago, but the future and his chances to be heavyweight champion once more remains to be seen.

I want to thank all the Doghouse Boxing readers who took the time to email me their thoughts.

Undercard results:

Cruiserweights – 8 rounds
Darrin Humphrey 18-3 (10) UD Peter O’Kaine 13-3-1 (4)

Super-middleweight – 6 rounds
Tracy Sneed 18-1 (14) SD Anthony Greeley 5-10-1 (1)

Women’s featherweight – 6 rounds
Franchesca Alcanter 13-5-1 (7) TKO #5 Crystal Bolles 2-9 (2)

Heavyweights – 8 rounds
Oliver McCall 40-7 (30) TKO #3 Vernon Woodward 7-9 (6)

Lightweights – 6 Rounds
Wes Ferguson 7-0 (3) UD Derrick Moon 5-4-1(1)

Middleweights – 6 rounds
Verdell Smith 41-49-2 (17) UD Brooke Wellby 31-11-1 (10).
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