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31 years ago

Riddick Bowe vs Jesse Ferguson

Riddick Bowe vs Jesse Ferguson

Date: 22nd May 1993

Venue: RFK Stadium, Washington, DC

Title: WBA World Heavyweight Title

Promoter: Rock Newman


Riddick Bowe
( 33 - 0 - 0 )
Weight: 244 lbs

Jesse Ferguson
( 19 - 9 - 0 )
Weight: 224 lbs

On May 22, 1993, Riddick Bowe defended his WBA and lineal heavyweight titles against Jesse Ferguson at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The event, billed as "The Heavyweight Debate," featured Bowe's second title defence since winning the championship from Evander Holyfield in November 1992.

Ferguson, a journeyman fighter who had never competed for a world title, earned his shot at Bowe after scoring an upset victory over rising contender Ray Mercer three months earlier on the undercard of Bowe's first title defence against Michael Dokes. Despite his underdog status, with odds of 40-1 against him, Ferguson remained confident in his ability to defeat Bowe by knockout.

The IBF, however, refused to sanction the fight because it did not consider Ferguson a worthy contender. As a result, only the WBA and lineal championships were at stake in the bout.

Bowe dominated the fight from the opening bell, using his left jab effectively to keep Ferguson on the defensive. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the first round, Bowe landed a left hook that sent Ferguson into the ropes. Ten seconds later, he landed another left hook that dropped Ferguson to the canvas. Ferguson barely managed to beat the referee's count, rising at the count of nine just as the round ended.

The second round began with Bowe landing an eight-punch combination that again sent Ferguson to the canvas. Ferguson could not recover this time, and just 17 seconds into the round, Bowe was declared the winner by knockout.

CompuBox statistics revealed the fight's one-sided nature. Bowe landed 65 of the 94 punches thrown, while Ferguson connected with only 19 of 43.

The Bowe-Ferguson fight was the main event of a card that also featured Roy Jones Jr. defeating Bernard Hopkins by unanimous decision to capture the vacant IBF middleweight title. The event drew an approximately 8,500-person crowd and was televised live on HBO.

Following his two successful title defences against less-than-stellar opposition, Bowe's much-anticipated rematch with Evander Holyfield was announced for November 6, 1993. In contrast to their first meeting, Holyfield emerged victorious in the rematch, handing Bowe the only defeat of his professional career and regaining the heavyweight championship.

Riddick Bowe vs Jesse Ferguson on YouTube

Riddick Bowe vs Jesse Ferguson

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