LAS VEGAS -- Unbeaten Riddick Bowe helped regain some of his luster as a heavyweight title hope last night by knocking out Rodolfo Marin of Puerto Rico at 1 minute, 45 seconds of the second round of their scheduled 10-round bout on the Mike Tyson-Donovan "Razor" Ruddock under card.
Bowe was a controversial winner over former heavyweight champion Tony Tubbs in his previous fight, two months ago in Atlantic City, N.J. He needed to re-establish himself as a knockout artist.
Marin may not have been a formidable foe, but Bowe could not be faulted for his convincing performance. The native of Brooklyn, N.Y., who now fights out of Fort Washington, Md., jarred Marin with an uppercut. He followed with a right cross, and Marin sagged to the canvas.
Marin tried to raise himself but did not beat referee Carlos Padilla's count.
At first, the finishing blow did not appear that powerful. But Marin, helped to his corner, was bleeding from the mouth. A ring physician said he had suffered a broken jaw.
Bowe, who raised his record to 24-0, including 21 knockouts, is rated fifth in the world by the International Boxing Federation and sixth among the heavyweights by both the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council.
With the Tyson-Evander Holyfield championship negotiations at an impasse, Bowe, 24, could be in line for a title shot this fall, if that is what his trainer, Eddie Futch, wants.
With Bowe's manager Rock Newman now with promoter Don King, who handles Tyson, a Tyson-Bowe match seems likely.
"I see improvement in Riddick every day," said Futch, who has trained several world champions. "He has a lot of qualities that remind me of [former heavyweight king] Larry Holmes, but others that are strictly Bowe."
Bowe seemed more than satisfied with his effort.
"I knew it was just a matter of time, and I just tried to stay relaxed and focused," said the 1988 Olympic silver medalist. "Marin went 10 rounds with Tyrell Biggs, so I think this says a lot for my punching power.
"The right behind the ear shook him up. He tried to duck it, but I finished him with the uppercut. I said before the fight that he was too slow for me and I'd knock him out. I wasn't just boasting."
It was the second straight loss for Marin (17-2). He had suffered his first defeat against Biggs in Atlantic City last December.
Bowe, at 225 pounds, gave away 7 pounds to Marin.
Newman did not name Bowe's next opponent, but he has a fight scheduled in Atlantic City in August.