Riddick Bowe vs. Larry Donald
1994-12-03 : Riddick Bowe 241 lbs beat Larry Donald 228 lbs by UD in round 12 of 12
- Location: Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Referee: Mills Lane
- Judge: Art Lurie 118-109
- Judge: Bill Graham 118-110
- Judge: Dalby Shirley 120-108
- Ring Announcer: Michael Buffer
- Aired On: HBO (Main Event)
- WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Title (2nd defense by Donald in 1st reign)
Riddick Bowe was forced to chase Larry Donald through 12 rounds in a fight that left him frustrated but the winner for the first time since losing his heavyweight title 13 months prior. Bowe overcame Donald's efforts to move and fight in flurries by wearing him down to take a lopsided and unanimous decision. The former champion, who marked Donald's face and nearly put him down in the final round, won every round on one judge's scorecard.
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. He bounced on the balls of his feet most of the night, throwing punches only in short flurries and tying Bowe up on the inside.
- Riddick Bowe 34-1 (29 KOs) vs. Larry Donald 16-0 (12 KOs)
- Bowe entered ranked as the IBF # 5 and WBA # 8 heavyweight contender. He was unranked by the WBC. Donald was ranked the IBF # 8, WBC # 5, and WBA # 11 contender.
- At a press conference five days before the fight, Bowe infamously punched Donald with a left and right 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." In the New York Post, a paper from Bowe's hometown, the heading labeled him, "The punk from Brownsville", "Bowe-zo", and suggested that his behavior was created by his manager Rock Newman.
- It was the first loss of Donald's professional career.
- The ring size for the bout was 18 feet, which was thought to favor the less mobile Bowe.
- Riddick Bowe earned $1 million for the fight.
- Bowe entered the ring to "U Will Know" by Black Men United and Donald to "The Greatest Love of All" by George Benson.
- HBO's Harold Lederman scored the bout 117-111 in favor of Bowe.
- By the end of the fight, Donald had significant swelling to his right eye.
- "Although the landed on the head, those were the lowest blows I have ever seen by far in boxing. 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 ban spontaneous combustion. Which doesn't excuse it all. Will is affect him in the long run? Maybe, if the fans turn on him and many reporters expect the fans to turn on him tonight." - Larry Merchant on HBO prior to the bout.
- "There's always been an invisible line that as a boxer you never cross. Riddick Bowe crossed over that line. 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 this in this sport. It 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." - George Foreman
- "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