Riddick Bowe, a retired American professional boxer, has a net worth of $30 thousand. Despite being a former two-time world heavyweight champion and earning $80 million during his career, Bowe encountered financial difficulties later in life. By 2009, all of his money had vanished, despite retiring with $15 million “in the bank.”
Bowe’s boxing career was marked by significant achievements. In 1992, he became the undisputed heavyweight champion by capturing the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), and International Boxing Federation (IBF) titles in a victory over Evander Holyfield. This accomplishment led to him being named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine and the Boxing Writers’ Association of America.
However, Bowe’s reign as champion was short-lived, as he lost the WBA and IBF titles in a close rematch against Holyfield in 1993. He later regained a portion of the world heavyweight championship in 1995 by defeating Herbie Hide for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) title. Bowe made history by becoming the first boxer to hold titles from all four major sanctioning bodies: WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO.
Following intense battles with Andrew Golota in 1996, which were marred by controversy due to low blows from Golota, Bowe retired from boxing. He made low-profile comebacks in 2004 and 2008 but ultimately stepped away from the sport. In recognition of his accomplishments, Bowe was ranked the 21st greatest heavyweight of all time by Boxing Scene in 2010 and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2015.
Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:
|Net Worth:||$30 Thousand|
|Monthly Salary:||$120 Thousand|
|Annual Income:||$10 Million|
|Source of Wealth:||Professional Boxer|
Learn more: Richest Boxers in the World
Table of Contents
Riddick Bowe, born on August 10, 1967, in Brooklyn, New York City, had a challenging early life. He was the twelfth child out of thirteen born to his mother, Dorothy Bowe. Growing up in the East New York section of Brooklyn, Bowe faced personal tragedies within his family. His brother, Henry, sadly lost his life to AIDS, while his sister, Brenda, was fatally stabbed by a drug addict during an attempted robbery.
During his childhood, Bowe had an interesting connection to another famous boxer, Mike Tyson. Both Bowe and Tyson attended the same elementary school, P.S. 396, and were in the sixth-grade class together. However, Bowe admitted that he didn’t know Tyson well during their time at school, stating, “We went to school together in the sixth grade in P.S. 396 (in Brownsville). I really didn’t know him.”
These early experiences undoubtedly shaped Bowe’s life and instilled a sense of resilience in him as he went on to pursue a career in boxing.
Amateur Boxing Career
Riddick Bowe had a successful amateur boxing career, starting at the Bedford-Stuyvesant Boxing Association Gym. He achieved notable victories, including winning the New York Golden Gloves Championship and other tournaments. At the age of 17, he scored a remarkable knockout against James Smith in just 4 seconds. However, he faced a loss at the National Golden Gloves championships in 1985 against Donald Stephens.
Bowe’s amateur accomplishments included four New York Golden Gloves Championships, two of which he won as a 178-pounder in 1984. In 1985, he was already ranked as the number one light heavyweight in the United States. He transitioned to the super heavyweight division and claimed the 1986 178 lb Open Championship and the 1987 and 1988 Super Heavyweight Open Championship.
Bowe’s journey towards the Olympics faced challenges and controversies. He was initially dismissed from the Olympic training camp due to a clash with the U.S. Olympic boxing coach. Throughout his career, he had intense bouts against Robert Salters, an opponent who became his nemesis. Bowe’s path eventually led him to the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where he won a silver medal, losing a controversial final match against Lennox Lewis. Despite disagreements on referee decisions, Bowe demonstrated his skills and determination throughout the competition.
Professional Boxing Career
Riddick Bowe had a successful professional boxing career following his Olympic loss. Trained by Eddie Futch, he turned professional in 1989 and quickly established his reputation by fighting and defeating various opponents. In his early professional years, Bowe fought frequently, winning against journeymen fighters and gaining experience. He had notable victories over fighters like Pinklon Thomas and Bert Cooper, which elevated his ranking and reputation in the heavyweight division.
Bowe’s most significant achievement came in November 1992 when he faced Evander Holyfield for the undisputed heavyweight title. In an entertaining fight, Bowe emerged victorious, earning a unanimous decision and knocking down Holyfield in the 11th round. The bout was highly praised and featured a memorable round that was dubbed “Round of the Year” by Ring Magazine.
However, Bowe’s reign as champion was short-lived. In a rematch with Holyfield, Bowe lost his titles by a majority decision. This fight is also remembered for the bizarre interruption caused by the “Fan Man” parachutist. Bowe continued his career, facing various opponents and defending his remaining titles. He won against fighters like Michael Dokes and Jesse Ferguson, setting up a third encounter with Holyfield.
After losing to Holyfield for the second time, Bowe faced some challenges and controversies in his career. He fought Andrew Golota twice, with both fights ending in disqualification for Golota due to repeated low blows. The second fight was particularly marred by a violent brawl involving Bowe’s entourage. Bowe made a brief comeback in 2004 and 2005, but his performances were not as notable as before.
Career Earnings & Financial Problems
Riddick Bowe’s boxing career brought him immense success and financial rewards. Throughout his time in the ring, Bowe accumulated an impressive $80 million from boxing purses, pay-per-view bonuses, and endorsement deals. When he initially retired in the late 1990s, Bowe boasted a significant $15 million cash reserve.
However, Bowe’s financial journey took a downward spiral, and he found himself facing severe financial troubles. By 2009, his funds had dwindled to such an extent that he resorted to attending flea markets and other public events, where he would offer autographs to make ends meet. It became a stark example of the unfortunate phenomenon seen among numerous athletes who struggle with financial stability after their careers come to an end.
In a revealing interview with VladTV in March 2021, Bowe made a shocking claim, stating that his former manager had embezzled a staggering $15 million from him. This alleged theft only added to his financial woes and further compounded his challenges.
Riddick Bowe has demonstrated his philanthropic spirit on multiple occasions. After learning that a shipment of medicines for Somali refugees was stranded due to insufficient funds, Bowe immediately pledged $100,000 to cover the necessary expenses. He insisted on accompanying the goods to ensure they reached their intended recipients, visiting U.S. Marines and an orphanage during his time in Somalia.
Bowe’s compassion extended beyond Somalia, as he took action upon hearing about the tragic death of Rodolfo Yap in the Philippines. Yap had been electrocuted while adjusting his antenna to watch a Bowe fight.
Touched by the story, Bowe authorized his representative, Alexis Denny, to locate Yap’s family, provide financial assistance, and support the Philippine boxing team’s Olympic training in honor of Yap. Bowe’s generosity and involvement in various charitable endeavors reflect his commitment to making a positive impact.
Riddick Bowe’s life took a dark turn when he was convicted for the kidnapping of his estranged wife, Judy, and their five children in February 1998. In an attempt to reconcile their marriage, Bowe threatened Judy with a knife, handcuffs, duct tape, and pepper spray before forcing her and the children into a vehicle.
During the abduction, Bowe even stabbed his wife in the chest. The police managed to apprehend Bowe in Virginia, ultimately freeing his family. He agreed to a plea bargain for “interstate domestic violence” and was initially sentenced to 18 to 24 months in prison.
However, due to a defense claim of brain damage, the sentence was reduced to just 30 days but was later overturned. Bowe ultimately served 17 months in federal prison. Unfortunately, the troubles continued as he was arrested again in 2001 following a domestic dispute with his new wife, during which he allegedly caused her physical harm.
Riddick Bowe Quotes
People have said I have brain damage, but I’ve passed all of my physicals, all of my medicals. They’ve checked my head so many times it’s crazy.
There’s a lot of racism around. I am always puzzled when people have that attitude. I went to a place where people were nice to me. It was something that stuck with me. I learned to treat people the same.
I’m capitalizing on a lot of mistakes that champions made before me. I hear a lot of guys say if they were champion again they would do things differently and respect people more. I plan to do that while I’m still champion.
In the ghetto we didn’t even know there was such a thing as a private jet.
Well I love to fight.
I mean at my best, who could give me a good fight? I don’t see nobody doing that.