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31 years ago

Evander Holyfield vs Riddick Bowe

Evander Holyfield vs Riddick Bowe

Date: 13th November 1992

Venue: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

Title: WBC, WBA & IBF World Heavyweight Titles

Promoter: Main Events

Tv: Showtime PPV

Evander Holyfield
( 28 - 0 - 0 )
Weight: 205 lbs

Riddick Bowe
( 31 - 0 - 0 )
Weight: 235 lbs

The first meeting between Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe on November 13, 1992, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, is remembered as one of the most significant heavyweight bouts of the early 1990s. Coming into the fight, Holyfield was the undisputed heavyweight champion, having successfully defended his titles against a range of opponents, from George Foreman to Larry Holmes, and overcoming challenges such as his near-defeat against Bert Cooper. Bowe, on the other hand, had solidified his position as the number one contender by defeating Pierre Coetzer, setting the stage for a showdown with Holyfield that was eagerly anticipated by boxing fans and pundits alike.

The fight was a testament to both fighters' skill, heart, and determination, with Compubox statistics illustrating the intensity of the contest. Bowe landed 357 of 711 punches thrown (50%), outperforming Holyfield, who landed 242 of 475 (51%). Particularly notable were Bowe's jabs, with a 53% success rate, and his power punches, where he landed 225 out of 463 (48.5%). These statistics underscored Holyfield's challenge against the taller, heavier, and younger Bowe.

Bowe's unanimous decision victory was achieved through superior reach, strategic use of power punches, and effective counterpunching. The judges scored the bout 117-110, 117-110, and 115-112 in favour of Bowe, reflecting his dominance in the ring that night. The fight was marked by several memorable moments, including a ferocious 10th round that saw Holyfield badly hurt by a Bowe uppercut, yet demonstrating incredible resilience to finish the round strongly. This round was later named Round of the Year by The Ring magazine, epitomising the fight's intensity and the warriors' spirit displayed by both men.

Some saw Holyfield's loss to Bowe as an opportunity for the champion to legitimise his reign and gain the respect of critics who questioned the quality of his previous title defences. Indeed, the fight did much to enhance the reputations of both Holyfield and Bowe, with The Ring magazine naming it Fight of the Year, further cementing its place in boxing history.

In the fight's aftermath, Bowe was embroiled in a contractual dispute with Lennox Lewis, eventually leading to Bowe vacating the WBC heavyweight title. This act, symbolised by Bowe discarding the WBC belt into a garbage can, ignited controversy and began a new chapter in the heavyweight division's evolving landscape.

Bowe and Holyfield would meet twice more in the ring, with their trilogy contributing significantly to the narrative of 1990s heavyweight boxing. However, the first bout's legacy remains intact as a testament to the era's competitiveness and the high calibre of its champions, a period when the heavyweight division was arguably at its most compelling and globally captivating.

Evander Holyfield vs Riddick Bowe on YouTube

Evander Holyfield vs Riddick Bowe

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