Exclusive Interview: Riddick Bowe

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Riddick Bowe

GL: How's everything Riddick?

RB: "Everything has been good. This is just a blessing for me. I've waited for eight years and I'm just thrilled and excited about things finally getting ready to take place. Once they (the Oklahoma State Commission) cleared me to do what I want to do I felt like I just. I've been waiting for eight years to do the damn thing, and I guess there's always people out there blocking you with nonsense. But when you know what you could do and you are who you are, it makes things that much better, and easier. I know there's a lot of people who are going to be rooting against me being successful, but that's going to do nothing but make it much sweeter to me."

GL: What do you know about your opponent?

Riddick Bowe: "Not much, but I'm going to tell you this right now, I'm looking at every fight like it's a championship fight. I'm not going to be taking anyone and I'm training hard for everyone. Once that bell rings whoever's on the other side of it it going to catch hell. I'm thinking somone needs to tell this guys he should raise his insurance."

GL: I spoke with Rock Newman recently and he was pretty negative about your comeback...

RB: (cutting in) "That's always the case with him because Rock Newman might be worried about me doing better the second time around than I did the first time around. Of course he's going to be negative, but the thing is, Riddick Bowe and Jimmy Adams are doing the damn thing. Some people thought I would never fight again, now I'm coming back and he's totally against it. Why? I do not know. Jealousy is a big part and he might not want to see me succeed."

GL: What did you think about Brewster Vs. Meehan?

RB: "I could beat both of those guys on the same night. One wouldn't fight and one couldn't fight, that's what I saw...you tell me what you think. At some points the fight was exciting like when the guy had Lamon Brewster in trouble, but other than that the fight was boring to me.

GL: Even though this is your first fight back in over eight years, how do you feel about being under the microscope from day one? Do you feel people are going to expect to see you in prime-form right away?

RB: "They're going to get that naturally and then going be able to see I still have this. I expect that, but they have to know I'm a little bit older now and this is my first fight back in over eight years, so they could only expect so much, at first. Right now my biggest concern is to go out there, start boxing and getting my swagger back. We're going to let the chips fall where they may, but I figure in 18 months I'm going to be fighitng for the championship."

GL: What weight will be coming into the ring at?

RB: "I'll probably come in around 255-260. Let me explain something to you, in the past my biggest mistake was trying to please the media. If they felt like I should be 235, I would try to make 235. I realize listening to the media was not in my best interest, I'm a big guy so my thing is to get strong, get in shape and whatever I come in at, that's what it's going to be."

GL: What has your sparring been like?

RB: "I've been working with a bunch of guys who live out here in Oklahoma and so far they're doing really good. I've been putting in some real good work."

GL: Have you sparred with a heavyweight yet?

RB: "I'm working with a couple of cruiserweights right now, but I'm not trying to let those big guys start banging on me just yet."

GL:  How many fights will you have before the end of the year?

RB: "I want to have fifteen fights before I pick my game up. After those fifteen fights, I want to see what the #5 guy looks like, what the #3 guy looks like and then fight for the championship."

GL: In regards to the WBO title fight between Brewster and Meehan, you said, 'one wouldn't fight and one couldn't fight' and 'I'll beat both of those guys on the same night' Does watching some of these heavyweight title fights make you want to slice your fifteen fight comeback plan in half?

RB: "Right now I'm going to stay the course and be patient. Take a guy like Mike Tyson, Mike Tyson just came back and fought Danny Williams, and I think that's a fight he should have avoided because Danny Williams trained hard and he was in great shape and he was more than ready for Mike. Right now I'm going to be patient, take my time, beat the brakes off a couple of these guys and then go for it."

GL: What do you think about the recently announced Klitschko Vs. Williams fight?

RB: "He has a tremendous chance against Klitschko. Danny's big, he's not that tall but he's got good size to him. I think Klitschko cuts easy and I think if Danny comes in to fight the same way he did with Mike Tyson, Klitschko has his work cut out for him. I must say that it is my ultimate dream to fight Klitschko for the championship. It's my job now to bring the championship back to America."

GL: Who do you like in Byrd-McCline?

RB: "Byrd. Byrd is too slick for McCline and I think he's got the hand speed. Byrd is a boring fighter because he moves so much, but he gets the job done. After I knock out Klitschko I want to get Pecan Tan."

GL: Who's Pecan Tan?

RB: "Lennox Lewis. I think we could do something unheard of, I want to fight him not only with the heavyweight championship on the line, but our gold medals on the line as well. I'm going to get this guy to come back and then I'm going to knock him out."

GL: In the early 90's, everyone was saying Riddick Bowe was avoiding Lennox Lewis, that's the fight he doesn't want to take. Can you clarify that situation?

RB: "When I won the championship Lennox Lewis was the #1 contender. I wanted to make the fight but Lennox Lewis, while being the challeneger, wanted to get parity with me. What constituted him getting parity with me? With that being the case the fight never happened, if he would have taken the 75-25 split the fight would have happened. He knew that the WBC was trying to get me out of the picture anyway and that's why I threw the belt in the garbage. Unfortunately, Rock Newman was behind that as well. If I knew then what I know now, I would have just fought Lewis and kept the belt, because I truly believe that it hurt me in the long run. I was young and I was with Rock Newman, Rock told me that was in my best interest and me being inexperienced I listened to him, but I regret that now. Because if I would have fought him I would have knocked him out because he has a glass chin. And anyone who puts some hands on him is going to get him out of there. Look at Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman. Rahman is not known for being a big puncher, I know at heavyweight any one punch can get you out of there, but I never thought too much about Rahman."


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