Tony TNT Tubbs Wants Revenge! Calls Out Big Daddy Bowe for Grudge Rematch
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
In a Real Combat Media international interview exclusive certain to cause shockwaves in the boxing community, Tony TNT Tubbs has made a most unusual unexpected call out.
“I want revenge!” These are the incredible words of former World Heavyweight champion Tony TNT Tubbs, who is now incredibly calling out former World Heavyweight champion Riddick ‘Big Daddy’ Bowe for an eight round grudge rematch. The challenge, if Bowe accepts it would be for the vacant Michigan State Heavyweight title in the Detroit area.
Tubbs, 57 years old, 47-10 with 25 knockouts, Cincinnati, Ohio, last fought in November 2006 when he won a six round unanimous decision at age 49 over Adam Smith in West Virginia. Tubbs still believes he defeated Bowe by ten round decision in April 1991 at Caesars Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City but got robbed by the judges, and stated grudge rematch is the only way the two combatants can settle the argument over who truly deserved to win, and who is the better fighter. According to Tubbs, Bowe hung his head low after the bout in defeat, and knows Tubbs is the better fighter. This time, Tubbs says, his victory will leave no doubt. Age, Tubbs stated, is not relevant, as he is actively in the gym in good condition training other fighters, while Bowe is a blubbery 300 pounds plus.
Tubbs, a trim 250 pounds, is currently head trainer of 10-0 Cincinnati heavyweight prospect Ray Edwards, a former Purdue football player later drafted by the Minnesota Vikings-who turned to boxing instead. Tubbs and Edwards will head to camp with WBC World Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder next week, as Edwards is a sparring partner of Wilder. Deontay Wilder is trained by Mark Breland-who trained in the same gym in Bed-Stuy, and had the same trainer-George Washington-growing up with Bowe.
Bowe, who is 47 years old, 43-1 with 33 knockouts, Orlando, Florida, has been inactive since December 2008 when he won an eight round decision over Gene Pukall in Germany after taking the bout on short notice. This is the first time in memory a challenger has called Bowe out. Bowe, who joins Rocky Marciano and Lennox Lewis as the only heavyweight champions to have beaten every opponent they have fought, has previously fought rematches only Evander Holyfield (twice) and Elijah Tillery (once).
Tubbs was the last world champion to fight a 15 round world title bout, losing a 15 round majority decision to Tim Witherspoon at The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia, in January 1986.
Robert Brizel: “Hello, champ. Tony TNT Tubbs, what are you up to in the moment in the boxing world lately?”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I live and work training fighters in my native Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently co-training 10-0 heavyweight prospect Ray Edwards with Kurt Bell and ‘Billy the pad man’ on the mitts. I am also working with many young amateur prospects, getting them ready for the next Golden Gloves competitions.”
Robert Brizel: “You had three world title bouts with Greg Page, Tim Witherspoon, and Mike Tyson. Your bout with Tim Witherspoon bout was the final 15 round world heavyweight title bout which went the 15 round distance. You were undefeated in six consecutive bouts against fighters with winning records when the opportunity bout with Riddick Bowe came up. Please explain what happened to you at that point in your career.”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I fought Riddick Bowe in April 1991 at Caesars Palace in Atlantic City. Going into the Bowe fight, at that point I had some wins. I was called Rock Newman’s people (Riddick Bowe’s manager at the time) and offered money to spar for Bowe for two weeks as he prepared for his bout with Tyrell Briggs. I knocked him down. After that, Rock Newman’s people offered me a ten round bout with Riddick Bowe.”
Robert Brizel: “You were paid briefly to spar with Bowe. Why did you accept the offer to fight him?”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I thought I could beat Bowe. My manager was Steve LaGrea. My trainers were Odell Hatley and Don Holly. If I beat Bowe, I would have gotten a chance to fight (Evander) Holyfield.”
Robert Brizel: Tony, you, like so many others, felt you defeated Bowe by decision fair and square. Two of the three judges gave the ten round decision to Bowe by two points.”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I won the bout. I landed more punches, and more clean punches. Bowe came out to fight. If you look closely at the fight, at the end of the fight, Riddick had his head down, so he knew he lost the fight. Two judges had Riddick up by one point. At the time, I had already had my chance at the title, while Riddick never had a chance at the title. They (the boxing elite) really wanted Riddick to fight Holyfield. I’m ten years older than Riddick.”
Robert Brizel: “You think that’s why the judges didn’t give it to you (the decision)?”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “Right. They (the judges) wanted some fresh (young) meat.”
Robert Brizel: “What was you evaluation of Riddick’s career? Are you mad at him?”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “Riddick never fought Mike Tyson or Lennox Lewis. I didn’t understand that. I really don’t have anything against Riddick. You win some and you lose some. If you look at my fight with Bowe, and you look at the things I did and didn’t do, I should have stepped it up and put more pep into it. I really felt I won my fight with Bowe. I don’t know how referee Joe Cortez saw it. I really felt I beat Bowe. He was coming but he wasn’t throwing.”
Robert Brizel: “After losing the decision to Bowe, your career as a heavyweight boxer went completely off track.”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “There are two ways to make money in boxing. You gotta win, and you gotta lose. You gotta earn money. After beating Riddick Bowe, and seeing what they did with me and Riddick, I was disgusted. Everybody (many people) called me up (to support me). I didn’t care anymore.”
Robert Brizel: “Your heart wasn’t there.”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “My heart wasn’t there. I was a beaten man.”
Robert Brizel: “After you won and lost in world title bouts, after fighting Tony Tubbs, you defeated Daniel Dacuta, Jose Ribalta, Tyrell Biggs, and Willie Jackson to win the million dollar heavyweight tournament at Casino Magic Bay Saint Louis in December 2003, all four wins coming in the same night. That was very impressive.”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I was supposed to get paid a million dollars for winning that tournament. I got 160 thousand dollars instead. I was supposed to get the balance of the money when the tournament was rebroadcast, plus every time after that it was rebroadcast I was supposed to get a percentage.”
Robert Brizel: “After that, your career continued to slide. Were the results fair?”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I beat Jimmy Thunder, Alexander Zolkin, and Gilbert Martin, and they robbed me of the decision each time. I was brought in (and set up) to lose. I took the fight in Copenhagen with Brian Nielsen unprepared. I had no money.”
Robert Brizel: “Please explain where substance abuse problems affected you, and how you managed to turn your life around in a positive direction from the depths of utter despair.”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I had substance abuse problems because I felt like (I was) a nobody. I felt like killing myself. My friends got me into Alcoholics Anonymous and it saved me. Alcoholics Anonymous changed my whole life around.”
Robert Brizel: “After you put the pieces of your life back together, what happened?”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I got back into the gym and started helping fighters. A person can be down, and will stay down, only if you don’t believe in yourself. I believe in God. With Alcoholics Anonymous, learning at a meeting with people, the drugs and everything go out the window.”
Robert Brizel: How do you see your life now?
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I’ve got Ray Edwards who I am training, and I see so much in him. He’s a former world heavyweight champion. We don’t always agree. I eat and sleep boxing. It (my renewed sense of purpose) gave me new life. I know I can do it! I can still get in the ring. I can do it.”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I will be the winner. He’s pretty big, so I will have to break him down and suck him in so I can get my combinations down. So we gonna do what we have to do. Bowe’s not too old. He knows what he wants to do. If he wants this rematch, let’s do it!”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “It’s me and Riddick! We know how to give it (a bout between the two of us) the right touch. Riddick will take the fight because I am calling him out. I think Riddick will fight me now. It’s a call out.”
Robert Brizel: Unless Bowe is too scared to fight you! Tony, you train seriously today. Do you think Bowe can train seriously again at this point in his life? For him it’s been awhile.”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I think Bowe can. If he wants it bad enough (to accept my call out challenge to fight me and return to the gym), he’ll do it. I think Bowe can come back.”
Robert Brizel: “Tony, why do you watch to fight a rematch with Bowe so bad?”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I’m in the gym and I am working. Right now, I need money too. If it’s worth it (money and publicity for both of us), let’s do it.”
Robert Brizel: “How much do you weigh now, Tony?”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “250 pounds. If I fight Bowe again, I’d probably fight Bowe at 240 pounds. I’ll still be fast at that weight. Riddick might be a little slower now, but he can still hit. I’ve got to be moving, (fighting my fight from where) I can still fight. I’d love to fight Bowe. “
Robert Brizel: “How many rounds for the rematch?”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I think eight rounds would be a good distance for me and Bowe, and put some kind of a title up (at stake) with it.”
Robert Brizel: “Is it your feeling you got cheated of the decision against Bowe, thus causing the ruination of your career at that point, the reason you want to fight Bowe now and show him who’s boss?”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “I really felt I was cheated in the first fight with Bowe. We’ll make it happen. Riddick Bowe, let’s see who the best is! Let the best man win. This is Tony TNT Tubbs. This is a call out, owe! It’s whatever you want to do with it. This is a call out. Tony TNT Tubbs versus Riddick Bowe. We can sell some tickets buddy! Let’s do it.”
Robert Brizel: “What is your real reason for wanting to fight Bowe after so long?”
Tony TNT Tubbs: “Bowe, you look like you are slowing down, so a good fight might wake you up! Let’s do this. I want revenge!”
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