Lamar Odom vs. Riddick Bowe Fight Denounced by Association of Boxing Commissions

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 18, 2021

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

The Association of Boxing Commissions condemned Riddick Bowe's upcoming fight with former NBA star Lamar Odom and other events that involve aging boxers.

"It makes for a hot topic just to talk about fighters' age—Evander [Holyfield], [Mike] Tyson, Riddick Bowe—but age discrimination is not what the discussion should be about," ABC President Michael Mazzulli said. "The discussion should be about safety."

Kevin Iole @KevinI

The Association of Boxing Commissions released a statement condemning the planned Lamar Odom- Riddick Bowe bout and others like them. <a href="https://t.co/y7dAEeVQdq">pic.twitter.com/y7dAEeVQdq</a>

After Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. helped generate more than 1.6 million pay-per-view buys for their November exhibition, boxing promoters quickly learned there's a market for fans looking to feel nostalgic.

However, Mazzulli's statement underscored the inherent risk in long-retired fighters stepping back inside the ring.

Holyfield's fight with former UFC star Vitor Belfort was widely criticized after the 58-year-old legend was stopped in the first round after offering almost no offense. That he was allowed to fight in the first place became a point of criticism toward the Florida Athletic Commission.

Bowe, 54, hasn't fought since 2008, and his run as a regular competitor effectively ended in 1996. He also briefly entered the world of Muay Thai, suffering a second-round TKO to Yevgeniy Golovin in 2013.

The state of Bowe's health has been a source of concern for years. Even as his career was winding down in the mid-'90s, he started looking like a shell of the boxer who beat Holyfield twice during their epic trilogy of fights.

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Nevertheless, Bowe and Odom are scheduled to cross paths Oct. 2 at James L. Knight Center in Miami.

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