Re: If Riddick Bowe had the dedication of Marciano? Would he be one of the best?
I honestly see no reason why Bowe couldn't have established himself as a great Heavyweight. Good jab, decent power, could shorten up his punches inside, and perhaps more importantly than anything else, we later found out that he could take a beating. Golota beat the ever-loving shit out of Bowe in their rematch but he refused to stay down, he refused to give in, and in the end it was the Polish fighter that went looking for a way out. Bowe never fought a Lennox Lewis or a Mike Tyson, two great Heavyweights in their own right, but if he had then we can say for absolute certainty that it would have taken more than one shot from either of them to have finished Bowe. I know he caught a lot of flack for throwing his title in the trash, but Bowe wasn't a coward. He had big, brass balls. If you have those on top of world class ability, good size, and decent punch resistance, you can go very far in this sport. Riddick Bowe looked like a world beater against Evander Holyfield in '92.
Edit: I don't go along with the idea that Bowe burnt out quickly due to his style. Bowe was known to get hit, sure, but he never really took a beating until he fought Andrew Golota by which time he was already a shell. No, Bowe faded quicker than most due to his attitude and work ethic rather than anything else. Eddie Futch, the man who trained him, has talked about on more than one occasion of Bowe's out of ring habits.