Re: Riddick Bowe vs Vitali Klitschko
Riddick Bowe was indeed a very good fighter who was never stopped and was truly only beaten once by a fighter whom he defeated twice. The problem I have with giving him an automatic "W" against a man like Vitali Klitschko, was that as many good attributes that Bowe had as a fighter, he also had a fair number of weaknesses that I think could have been exposed by such a man.
Riddick's tendency to get tagged repeatedly by a strait left jab is often over stated by people here, but it is a valid observation to make. Tony Tubbs found a home for that jab, and fought Bowe to a virtual standstill. Evander Holyfield fired Lou Duva after his first defeat to Bowe, hired Steward for the rematch, and used the jab to box his way to a victory. And finally, Andrew Golata was able to beat him from pillar to post, and at one point left me wondering if Bowe was even going to leave that ring alive.
Unfortunately, Riddick Bowe's durable chin and desire to brawl in close, had the tendency to over compensate for his poor defense and pattern for getting hit with certain kinds of punches. Against Vitali Klitschko, I could see this as being problematic for a variety of reasons. First, Klitschko may have very conceivably been the largest foe Bowe ever faced, along with being one of the hardest hitting. For a man who was well accustomed to facing smaller foes, as well as a number who were past prime, this would be a different paradigm. On top of that, Klit had every bit as good of an effective strait jab as Golata and Tubbs, only with more power to back it. In addition, despite what anyone says of Vitali's durability issues, his chin was still well tested, and unless he succumbs to the unlikely event of a freak torn rotator cuff twice in one career, or a huge gash over his eye, his ability to take Bowe's best has my full confidence. Lastly, these two men had a very different approach to fight preparation when contrasted to one another. One of them was not exactly a glutant for hard training and dietary awareness, while the other basically treated his body like a temple even well into middle age. In the sport of boxing, such differences can always have a huge impact.....
I say this with no real conviction, but I think I'll favor Vitali Klitschko by late stoppage or a decision, in a war that would could potentially ruin both fighters.