Former two-time world heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe has apologised after using Twitter to wish death on Liverpool fans:
The 46-year-old was hounded with abuse after his admission, before asking Everton fans if he should apologise to their Merseyside rivals.
Bowe expressed his regret and then suggested his original tweet was meant to be seen as a bit of fun, as noted on his official account:
Do my EFC family want me to apologize to LFC fans? Evertonians have a say in what i say we a team partner. thats whats up.— Riddick Bowe (@riddickbowe) February 26, 2014
Sincere apologise to any LFC fans i offended. Take a joke partners! We all die in the end. Aint u see my second tweet! GO BLUE! Love to all— Riddick Bowe (@riddickbowe) February 26, 2014
Bowe subsequently changed his Twitter background to the Everton logo and proceeded to goad rival fans, who continued to launch insults his way:
The Brooklyn-born brawler, known as "Big Daddy" throughout his career, was the first man to beat Evander Holyfield in 1992. He later lost a majority decision to Holyfield in their '93 rematch at Caesars Palace, before becoming the first fighter to knock "The Real Deal" out in '95, per BoxRec.
Although Bowe has never officially retired from boxing, he last stepped into the ring in a 2008 victory over Gene Pukall. His record stands at 43-1, with the Holyfield loss the lone blemish on an otherwise dominant career.
Bowe entered the world of Muay Thai in March 2013, but the 6'5" behemoth was soundly beaten by Levgen Golovin in his debut.
The American was due to begin a professional wrestling career at Preston City Wrestling this year, but the UK-based firm revealed the deal was off after Bowe's new management team asked for "an additional $4000," per the firm's official statement.
He attempted to end his spat with Liverpool fans once and for all with a tweet signalling the clubs' joined battle to bring justice for the 96 fans who lost their lives during the Hillsborough disaster:
Even if Bowe's original tweet was meant in good jest, he must find a better way of expressing himself on Twitter.
Liverpool fans are unlikely to forget his message and will continue retaliating against his every word across social media. While the boxer has attempted to draw a line under the incident, such forgiveness is rarely afforded with the anonymity of the Internet.