By Ryan Maquiñana
Former heavyweight world champion Riddick Bowe is rumored to be making his Muay Thai debut in Thailand in May.
According to TotalMuayThai.com, the 45-year-old Brooklyn native signed a three-year contract with Thai Promotions Kokiet and Golden Glove. He will reportedly train with Kru Airr Phanthip and Kru Chan in Las Vegas.
As a boxer, Bowe went 43-1 with 33 knockouts and one no-contest, annexing the undisputed championship in 1992 by winning the first of his three battles with Evander Holyfield. At his best, a motivated “Big Daddy” was among the most talented heavyweights to ever set foot in the ring.
However, Bowe would later relinquish the WBC belt after refusing to fight mandatory challenger Lennox Lewis, and lose his remaining titles to Holyfield one year later in the infamous rematch marked by the “Fan Man” temporarily interrupting the bout.
Add legendary trainer Eddie Futch’s eventual decision to leave the corner due to his doubts about Bowe’s commitment to the sport, and the fighter was never the same. He abruptly retired in 1996 and attempted two separate short-lived comebacks in 2004 and 2008.
In 2005, Bowe declared bankruptcy despite telling the New York Times that he had amassed a $15 million fortune from his fight purses.
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.