100 Olympic Tidbits: Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe

The super heavyweight division of the boxing competitions at the 1988 Seoul Olympics featured two future world heavyweight champions in American Riddick Bowe and Canada’s Lennox Lewis. The two were heavily favored to meet in the finals, and they didn’t disappoint, beating all but one of their opponents in abbreviated fashion. Bowe’s semifinal victory was the lone exception, although he still won by a lopsided 5-0 decision. Lewis didn’t even throw a single punch in his semifinal bout, winning by walkover over his Polish opponent. In the finals, Lewis easily defeated Bowe, winning via RSC-2 (referee stopped contest-round 2) to bag the gold medal that had eluded him four years earlier in Los Angeles.

After the Olympics, both fighters turned professional, with Lewis moving back to his native Great Britain. However, they never met in the ring as professionals, even though both would go on to win heavy weight titles. After Bowe beat Evander Holyfield in 1992 to win all three heavyweight belts, he gave up the WBC title rather than face the no. 1 challenger, who happened to be Lewis. The WBC declared Lewis the new champion, and he would lose and win back the belt twice in his career. He retired in 2003 as the WBC and IBO heavyweight champion. Bowe lost his two remaining belts  - the IBF and WBA - in a rematch with Holyfield in 1993, and afterwards only managed to win the WBO belt in 1995 before retiring in 1996 and fighting three non-descript opponents in the 2000s.

Editor's Note: To celebrate the 100-day countdown to the London Games, we will be publishing 100 tidbits about the Olympics. Come back to Yahoo! PH Sports, as we publish a new tidbit every day.


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