Freed Bowe ponders ring return

Attorney says ex-champ is `force to be reckoned with'

Boxing

May 18, 2004|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe was released yesterday at 5:30 a.m. from Cumberland Federal Corrections Institute after serving 17 months for kidnapping his first wife and their five children in 1998.

The Fort Washington resident will be on home detention until June 8, when his sentence is lifted, and could be considering a return to the ring, his attorney said yesterday.

The 36-year-old former champion, once deemed unfit mentally to return to the ring, is "mentally as crisp as he's been since I've known him" said his Baltimore-based attorney Steve Silverman.

"There had been an issue in his federal case in North Carolina where his attorneys at the time raised the issue of a diminished mental capacity and ... the federal judge had banned Riddick from boxing for health issues," Silverman said. "But that ban has now been lifted. ... Riddick has been examined by the Mayo Clinic and has been given a clean bill of health. He's in top-flight condition, mentally and physically."

Silverman said Bowe (40-1, 32 knockouts), who has not yet hired a manager, "would be a force to be reckoned with" should he return to the ring for the first time since winning his second of two bouts by disqualification over Andrew Golota in 1996.

"He ran three miles a day ... and he obviously did a lot of pushups, situps. He dropped about 100 pounds," said Silverman, adding that Bowe weighs about "250 or 275."

"He looks five years younger," Silverman said. "He looks and sounds great."

Bowe is younger than former champions Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, whose retirement in February left the division without a dominant, name champion.

Chris Byrd is the International Boxing Federation champ, Vitali Klitschko owns the World Boxing Council title, Lamon Brewster is the World Boxing Organization king and John Ruiz is the World Boxing Association titlist.

Bowe won two of three fights with Holyfield during their trilogy from 1992 to '95. He was the first man to KO Holyfield, which he did in their third fight.

The division's already depleted talent pool took another potential hit last weekend, when Antonio Tarver flattened former pound-for-pound king Roy Jones in two rounds.

NOTE: Wladimir Klitschko recently was ordered by the German Boxing Federation to take six months off. The younger Klitschko claimed he was drugged during his loss to Brewster, but that assertion has been dismissed by Nevada boxing officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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