The nineties were a glorious era for boxing, in part due to the heavyweight division trilogy between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield. The three-part dance they did made history and left Bowe the victor in two of the three bouts, but none was more memorable than their initial fight in 1992.
The Fight Games looks back on the first Evander Holyfield-Riddick Bowe showdown, 25 years after the start of their epic trilogy. Subscribe to the HBO Boxing YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Instagram: http://instagram.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBOboxing HBO Boxing Podcast on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/hboboxing HBO Boxing Official Site: http://www.hbo.com/boxing HBO Sports on HBO GO http://itsh.bo/ij8oqS.
The 25-year-old Bowe, who had won a silver medal in the 1988 Olympics in the Super Heavyweight division, shocked the world when he successfully challenged the undefeated Holyfield.
Holyfield was the scariest man in boxing at the time. He knocked out Buster Douglas in three rounds to win the WBA, WBC, IBF and lineal heavyweight titles, and then went on a tear, running through a returning George Foreman, Bert Cooper, and Larry Holmes before giving Bowe the chance at the title.
Bowe had been on a knockout spree that hit 24 victims going into his 32nd fight, and the Brooklynite was ready to make a huge statement at the expense of the 1984 Olympic bronze medlaist. From the outset, the two engaged in a classic heavyweight battle of attrition, with neither giving an inch.
Holyfield made the mistake of slugging with the younger Bowe, who was fully prepared for a war and had nothing to lose except his undefeated record, but could gain immediate stardom as the champion of the world.
After an immense back and forth battle, the tenth round proved that each was a true warrior. Named the 1992 “Round of the Year” by Ring Magazine, Bowe and Holyfield unleashed a fury upon one another that would rock the confines of the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas and make history.
In the eleventh round, Holyfield began to show the impact of the damage as he was finally knocked down. After continuing to brawl with Bowe instead of using better defensive tactics and footwork, Holyfield took the first loss of his career in a 12 round unanimous decision.
Celebrated as two of the world’s best heavyweights that cemented the era, Bowe vs. Holyfield I is now a symbol of a time when pugilism was at its best with the big men at the helm.