“I will kill you.” – Jorge Luis Gonzalez
“Well, I will kill you back” – Riddick Bowe
As you can read in the statements above, Riddick Bowe and Jorge Luis Gonzalez were not the best of friends. The angle for this fight was whether Bowe still had the pedigree to regain the heavyweight crown he lost to Evander Holyfield in 1993. His bouts since then against Buster Mathis Jr., Larry Donald and Herbie Hide had been lackluster. On the other hand, the towering, 6’7 Gonzalez was playing Ricardo Mayorga before Mayorga, cursing Bowe out in Spanish and promising to end his career.
“I’m the lion and Bowe is the hyena. I want to eat his heart,” Gonzalez told Sports Illustrated. “His death is coming. He will regret the day his mother gave him birth.”
At 6’5 and over 240 pounds, Bowe was a super heavyweight himself and not the least bit intimidated by his opponent’s words. In fact, he taunted Gonzalez on fight night by having a hyena embroidered on his trunks.
Riddick Bowe was the lion and sneaky hyena from round one. He constantly had Gonzalez running into and back-pedaling from ramrod jabs to the face. Once cornered, Bowe punished Gonzalez with hayemaker overhand rights.
Gonzalez fared no better when he attempted to hold. An excellent inside fighter, Bowe worked hooks to the body with his free hand and launched uppercuts whenever he broke free.
Bowe flirted with a disqualification at the end of round four. He knocked Gonzalez across the ring with a left hook just as the bell sounded. Ignoring it, Bowe calmly walked over and launched an overhand right and left hook, prompting both corners to jump in the ring.
The carnage ended in the sixth following the umpteenth overhand right, causing Gonzalez to fall forward for the first knockdown of his career. Bowe gave Gonzalez a another left and right hook on his way down for good measure, ensuring the Cuban giant would not be getting up anytime soon.
This beatdown would earn Riddick Bowe a third fight with Evander Holyfield five months later. Bowe would win that knockdown-filled shootout by TKO in eight rounds.
Jorge Luis Gonzalez suffered the first defeat of his career and would be knocked out three more times over the next two years by Tim Witherspoon, Ross Puritty and Michael Grant.