Riddick Bowe vs. Larry Donald

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HBO Punchstats
Total Punches Bowe Donald
Landed 219 103
Thrown 473 233
Pct. 46% 44%

1994-12-03 : Riddick Bowe 241 lbs beat Larry Donald 228 lbs by UD in round 12 of 12

  • Unofficial AP scorecard: 118-111 Bowe
  • Ring Announcer: Michael Buffer
  • WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Title (2nd defense by Donald)
  • Program Cover

From the Associated Press:

Riddick Bowe was forced to chase Larry Donald through 12 rounds Saturday night in a fight that left him frustrated but the winner for the first time since losing his heavyweight titles 13 months ago.

Bowe overcame Donald's efforts to move and fight in flurries by wearing him down to take a lopsided and unanimous decision in his bid to return to the top of the heavyweight ranks.

The former champion, who marked Donald's face and nearly put him down in the final round, won all 12 rounds on one ringside scorecard in handing the 1992 Olympian his first defeat in 17 professional fights.

Donald fought much in the style of his hero, Muhammad Ali, but didn't throw enough punches nor land any hard ones in a fight he seemed more happy to survive than win.

Donald bounced on the balls of his feet almost the entire fight, throwing punches only in short flurries before either moving out of range again or tying Bowe up on the inside.

"Come one, come on," Bowe implored Donald throughout the fight.


  • Riddick Bowe 34-1 (29 KOs) vs. Larry Donald 16-0 (12 KOs)
  • Bowe entered ranked fifth by the IBF and eighth by the WBA. He was unranked by the WBC. Donald was ranked eighth by the IBF, fifth by WBC and eleventh by the WBA.
  • Bowe's purse was $1 million and Donald's was $490,000.
  • At a press conference five days before the fight, Bowe infamously punched Donald with a left-right combination on the chin before the two were separated. Donald, who had his arms behind his back at the time, kept his feet and was uninjured aside from a cut inside his mouth. He filed charges against Bowe the day before the fight for assault and battery. Bowe later said of the incident, "I realize it was wrong. It was wrong." Headlines in the New York Post, a newspaper in Bowe's own hometown, labeled Bowe "THE PUNK FROM BROWNSVILLE" and "A BOWE-ZO." The articles suggested that his behavior was being masterminded by his manager, Rock Newman.
  • The fight aired live on HBO.
  • The fight took place at the Caesars Palace Sports Pavilion before a crowd of 3,574.
  • The ring size for the bout was 18 feet, which was thought to favor the less mobile Bowe.
  • Bowe entered the ring to the song "U Will Know" by Black Men United and Donald entered to "The Greatest Love of All" by George Benson.
  • By the end of the fight, Donald had significant swelling above his right eye.
  • HBO's Harold Lederman scored the bout 117-111 in favor of Bowe.


  • "Although they landed on the head, those were the lowest blows, by far, I have ever seen in boxing, and that's the best thing I have to say about them. Why did he do it? Riddick Bowe has been depressed since he lost the title, he's frustrated that his road back to the title has been blocked, and then he's confronted by a lippy newcomer who won't get out of his face and BANG!—spontaneous combustion, which doesn't excuse it at all....Will this affect him in the long run? Maybe, if the fans turn on him, and many reporters expect the fans to turn on him tonight." - HBO commentator Larry Merchant prior to the bout.
  • "There's always been an invisible line that you never should cross. Riddick Bowe crossed over this time. You don't allow pit bull dogs anywhere, nor do you allow renegade boxers. They can really hurt someone. Riddick Bowe has done something unheard of. We would never do that in this sport. This is should never be tolerated, and it should never happen again....Whether he (Donald) wins, loses, or draws tonight, this man will be a champion because he did nothing but back away, which is what a professional fighter should do." - HBO commentator George Foreman prior to the bout
  • "I needed a fight....I know I won pretty easy. I can't do any better. I trained hard for this fight and so did Donald." - Riddick Bowe after the bout


  • "Bowe wins decision against Donald" (1994, Dec. 4) Ocala Star-Banner p. 12C. Article
  • "Bowe leaves town... just ahead of law" (1994, Dec. 5) Sun Journal p. 17. Article