Herbie Hide vs Riddick Bowe
Bowe Stops Battered Hide in 6th to Win W.B.O. Title
Riddick Bowe, who wasted the world heavyweight championship by overeating and not training hard enough, became a major player in the tangled boxing game tonight by smashing his way over Herbie Hide to win the World Boxing Organization version of the crown.
It was a game performance by the overmatched Briton, who was knocked down seven times and finally was counted out at 2 minutes 25 seconds of the sixth round.
But Bowe recovered from early confusion and started sending Hide to the canvas in the third round. In all, Hide hit it 10 times, including 3 slips. By the time Bowe started slamming his heavy left jab into Hide, the contest began to turn.
Hide went down twice in the third, twice more in the fourth, once in the fifth and twice in the sixth. If he were stronger, he could have done the same to Bowe. Each fighter landed half his punches, and Hide often caught Bowe with looping rights and uppercuts.
Bowe had already signed to fight his longtime nemesis, Jorge Luis Gonzalez, and planned to see Mike Tyson on Monday. But he wanted to -- needed to -- look good tonight.
Bowe's gloves did not fit, and the fight was delayed 20 minutes. He did not land a punch in the opening minute, as Hide swatted once with a combination, punching up to reach Bowe. Hide outpunched the stalking Bowe, easily winning the round.
Despite Bowe's reach advantage, Hide got in jabs with his quicker hands. Bowe said he was butted in the eye, and complained to the referee, Richard Steele, in the second.
Bowe landed his first solid punch in the third, a left, then took a wild right swing that Hide countered with a barrage of shots to the head. Suddenly, Bowe connected with a left just when it appeared they would break. Hide went down, pulled by Bowe, and Steele ruled it no knockdown.
Bowe was now shaking Hide even with jabs in the fourth, and he went down with a series of shots. Bowe finally clubbed him with a left, to the canvas, but Steele again waved off the knockdown. Exhausted, Hide hit the canvas again late in the fourth.
Tonight's smallish crowd was a stunning reminder of how Bowe's acclaim had faded. It was only November 1992 when he won the unified title from Evander Holyfield -- a crown he held for 51 weeks, in the interim disposing of two challengers within three rounds.
Since losing the title back to Holyfield, Bowe had fights that never came off, injuries that delayed other fights, and a pair of appearances against undistinguished opponents. Yet, he is only 27 years old and brought in a record of 35 victories, 1 loss and a no-contest. He had knocked out 29 opponents.
At 241 pounds, Bowe outweighed the 23-year-old Hide by 27 pounds, and had a 3-inch height advantage over the 6-foot-2-inch Nigerian-born champion.
Hide, who came in undefeated, had knocked out 25 opponents in 26 bouts.
"He was very courageous," Bowe said. "I must admit that I do not think tonight was one of my best performances. I can't wait to face Gonzalez; he talks too much."
Hide, meanwhile, conceded he had made a tactical mistake: "I tried to fight, I didn't want to run. I hurt him and I tried to finish him off. That was my downfall."
The 6-7 Gonzalez, meanwhile, is angry. He is on the verge of seeing his obsession realized: the chance to fight Bowe for a world championship June 17.
Thus, he needed less than two rounds to halt Bryan Scott of Kansas City, whose bride of 24 hours, Tina, was at ringside taking pictures of his face being battered.
Gonzalez, 30, strutted into the ring in a red sequined outfit made in California, costing $2,500, draped around his 239-pound frame. He wore tassled red shoes, size 15. His head was shaved except for the ponytail that makes him look like a genie with a Fu Manchu mustache.