LENNOX LEWIS vs. RIDDICK BOWE
By Jim Amato
Senior Boxing Writer
This fight should have happened. At one point they were the two best heavyweights in the world. The public salivated for the prospect of these two meeting to settle who was # 1. Lennox Lewis wanted it. Riddick Bowe did not,thus this “Super Bout” never materialized.
What if Bowe and Lewis did meet ? This would have taken place after Riddick beat Evander Holyfield and Lewis had destroyed Razor Ruddock.It may go something like this. The battle begins with the two giants trading jabs. Bowe’s is quicker but the Lewis jab carries more power. When they do mix on the inside Bowe seems to have an early advantage. By the third round Bowe’s trainer Eddie Futch instructs Riddick to pick up the pace. He obliged by landing some flashy combinations to the head of Lewis. Bowe has also landed some nice uppercuts and appears to be getting off faster then Lennox.
In round four a subtle change takes place. Late in the round Riddick attempts an uppercut. Lewis counters with a hard right hand to the temple. Bowe is not wobbled by the punch but it clearly got his attention. As they go into the middle rounds Bowe is still busier but Lewis is applying constant pressure. When they do exchange it seems like the power of Lewis is beginning to turn the tide. Bowe is boxing much more defensively now. Futch is pleading with him to let his hands go but Riddick seems wary of the power in the Lewis punches.The fight is fairly even going into the eleventh round. Then suddenly Lewis catches Bowe with a tremendous overhand right and he crumbles to the canvas. Bowe gamely rises but he’s in bad shape and Lewis is teeing off on him. Mercifully the referee intervenes as Bowe sags on the ropes.
The bottom line is that Riddick never recovered from his Olympic kayo loss to Lewis years before. I believe he would have been intimidated by Lewis if they would have met. Bowe was a fine fighter but I think Lennox just had his number.