Riddick Bowe was an undisputed heavyweight champion with wins over Evander Holyfield, Pinklon Thomas and Tony Tubbs.
With 43 wins and two stints as top dog, he’s widely regarded as a big man who wouldn’t be out of place in any era. He was recently asked by Dr Beau Hightower who else – as he puts himself at number three – makes his all time top five heavyweight list.
Known simply as ‘The Greatest’, fans would be hard pushed to find a top heavyweight list that doesn’t feature this man. Formerly Cassius Clay, Ali became as famous for his actions outside of the ring as those in it.
In boxing, the Louisville fighter was famous for his movement, charisma and confidence, holding the undisputed heavyweight title from 1974 to 78 and retiring with 56 wins from 61 fights, names like George Foreman, Sonny Liston and Joe Frazier filling that record.
Bowe knows Holyfield better than any other fighter. The pair engaged in the greatest heavyweight trilogy of all time, with a unanimous decision and TKO in Bowe’s favour against Holyfield’s one majority decision win.
Still the only man to be undisputed at both cruiserweight and heavyweight, ‘The Real Deal’ had an incredible 57 fight career that saw him heavyweight champion on four seperate occasions.
‘Big Daddy’ Bowe puts himself at number three. With one loss to Holyfield which he countered with two of his own, only a brave man would argue with him, but the omission of Lennox Lewis – someone Bowe was criticised for not fighting – will raise some eyebrows.
Bowe and Tyson never faced off, but did attend the same school. Both from Brownsville, their upbringing in an infamous area translated to aggression in the ring. Tyson is still the youngest man to ever become world heavyweight champion, and often won fights through fear alone before the first bell. If his opponents wanted to stand and trade, it more often than not ended early in ‘Iron’ Mike’s favour.
One example when a fight didn’t go Tyson’s way is against Buster Douglas. His win there is widely regarded as one of the greatest upsets the sport has ever seen, but Douglas also had wins over former world champions in Oliver McCall, Trevor Berbick, and Greg Page.
After becoming undisputed by beating Tyson, he would lose the belts to Evander Holyfield in his next outing. Douglas retired in 1999 with 38 wins from 46 fights.