CARDIFF, Wales -- Apparently International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe is facing a weighty problem as he prepares for his Nov. 6 rematch with former champion Evander Holyfield.
One has to consider the source on such matters as a heavyweight's expansive waistline, but here is what former Sugar Ray Leonard associate Ollie Dunlop said last week concerning Bowe's physique.
"Bowe looked like a rhino before he left for his training camp," said Dunlop, who lives near Bowe outside Washington. "He's huge. I saw him in the supermarket and did a double take. He's huge like Buster Douglas was. I'd say he must have weighed 280. That's 50 pounds over his normal fighting weight."
It should be pointed out that Dunlop is training camp coordinator for Lennox Lewis and a longtime associate of Lewis' trainer, Pepe Correa, so there is an obvious potential ax to grind here between their World Boxing Council heavyweight champion and Bowe. But what gives this more credence is talk around boxing that Bowe arrived in Lake Tahoe, Nev., at 284, although he's reportedly been dropping 8 to 10 pounds a week.
Last week Bowe said he never was above 270 and was already down to 250. At that point, manager Rock Newman said there was actually an intramural squabble over what weight best fit Bowe's strategy for the Holyfield rematch, with the champion wanting to weigh 235 and trainer Eddie Futch lobbying for 245.
Weight aside, don't look for Bowe to fight Lewis soon. Lewis is booked through March 5, and Bowe's plan apparently centers on a mandatory defense against WBA No. 1 challenger Michael Moorer in March and a June fight with the winner of a round-robin tournament involving Jorge Luis Gonzales, who fights Renaldo Snipes on the Bowe-Holyfield undercard, and Ray Mercer.