Ex-NBA star Odom, ex-champ Bowe book bout

Boxing

Former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe is getting back in the ring.

Bowe, 53, will face former NBA player Lamar Odom in a celebrity boxing event on Oct. 2 at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami, event promoter Damon Feldman told ESPN.

Bowe, a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, ended the main portion of his pro career in 1996 following a victory over Andrew Golota. Bowe fought three more times after that – in 2004, 2005 and then in 2008, his final professional bout.

“He’s been asking me to do this for a long time,” Feldman told ESPN. “We just didn’t know when and will it be safe.”

Odom, 41, is coming off a similar event against singer Aaron Carter. Odom, who was in the NBA from 1999 to 2013, was declared the winner of the exhibition following a knockout in the first round.

Both fighters will wear 23-ounce gloves and the bout will consist of three 2-minute rounds, Feldman said. The promoter said headgear usage will be “likely” but that aspect has yet to be determined. Xavier Biggs, the owner and head trainer of the Decatur Boxing Gym in Decatur, Ga., trained Odom for the bout against Carter. Since the end of his NBA career, Odom has had substance abuse issues. Biggs said Odom’s foray into boxing has been good for the former basketball player’s focus and discipline.

“Lamar seems to be on a life redemption mission from everything he went through before,” Biggs told ESPN. Bowe is one of many former fighters who are participating in a trend of exhibition bouts. Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr. and Julio Cesar Chavez have all participated in similar events.

Evander Holyfield was scheduled to face Tyson before those talks broke down. In 1993, Holyfield handed Bowe his only professional defeat. Bowe avenged the defeat in 1995.