Recently, I had the TV on and a classic episode of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air came on. It was the one where former heavyweight champion Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe was guest starring.
You see back in 1993, Will Smith was one of the hottest television stars in the world and Riddick Bowe was also one of the most famous athletes in the world. He was the heavyweight champion at the time and the only boxer who had defeated Evander Holyfield in his prime.
Will and cousin Carlton were on a road trip to a college party weekend getaway. They came onto some car trouble, which landed them at a low-end casino where Carlton became addicted to a particular slot machine.
Carlton becomes so obsessed with the slot machine that he loses all his money, only to have the jackpot won by the next man to play it, Riddick Bowe. The crowd cheers instantly as Bowe comes onto the scene. Carlton accidentally rips Bowe’s shirt provoking him to fight Carlton.
Will comes back to help defend Carlton and ends up having to fight Bowe himself. It is a quick, painful fight ending with one devastating blow as Bowe lands a big left hand to the chin of Will, sending him down for the count.
Later that year, Bowe lost the heavyweight title back to Evander Holyfield in what would be to this day his only career loss. Then after winning the title back two years later, Bowe goes onto what he may be unfortunately more notoriously known for and that is his painful disqualification, repeat losses to Andrew Golota. He was intentionally punched in the testicles repeatedly by power shots of the heavy-handed Golota.
Although Bowe only has one career loss to a prime Evander Holyfield, unfortunately many tend to overlook the great record of this former champion and only remember him for his lack of conditioning and overeating lifestyle, which ultimately overshadowed his accomplishments.
Bowe in his prime gave us probably the last great American heavyweight trilogy with Evander Holyfield. Three amazing fights where two American prime heavyweights stood toe to toe and fought to hell and back, something we have not seen since the 1990s.
So lets hear it for the former heavyweight champion of the world, Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe 43(33)-1.
Oh yeah and this Will Smith guy is doing somewhat okay these days, from what I hear he still acts and does some movies from time to time.