1995-06-17 Riddick Bowe w co 6 Jorge Luis Gonzalez, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBO
1995-06-17 Riddick Bowe w co 6 Jorge Luis Gonzalez, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBO. Referee: Mills Lane. Making his first defence Bowe (243) dominated the fight from the opening bell, getting close to the 6’ 7” Gonzalez (237) where he could measure him with heavy punches from both hands while giving him no room to work. The fourth round was so one-sided that one of the judges scored it as though there had been a knockdown. At the end of the fifth Gonzalez walked back to his corner with the air of a beaten man, but when he was sent out for the sixth everyone watching could see that it was a pointless exercise. It came as no surprise when Gonzalez was counted out at 1.50 of the session after Bowe had toppled him with a crunching right immediately followed by a left hook and another right.
In late July Bowe relinquished the title in order to take a fight against Evander Holyfield for what was loosely termed the ‘People’s Championship’. Contested at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas on 4 November, Holyfield, who had not wanted to fight under the jurisdiction of the WBO, was stopped by Bowe in round eight after both men had been on the floor. Following the fight Bowe reclaimed the WBO title as if by agreement, but after a dispute with HBO, the television company, he relinquished it again in May 1996.
To decide the vacancy the WBO organised a contest between Henry Akinwande, the former undefeated Commonwealth and European champion, and Alexander Zolkin, the NABF champion , who would eventually be replaced by Jeremy Williams.