Former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe arrived in Thailand on Monday night for his Muay Thai debut in Pattaya next month.
Former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe, centre, arrives in Thailand on Monday night.
The 45-year-old American, who will be in action for the first time since 2008, will fight Levgen Golovin of Russia for the WBC and WMC Muay Thai super-heavyweight titles on June 14.
It will be one of the WBC and WMC Muay Thai title bouts in the Muay Thai Superfight Champions 2013 programme.
Bowe said that after retiring from professional boxing where he was champion of the WBA, WBC and IBF, he has still been active and loves combat sports.
"After my retirement, I have tried many fighting sports but none is as good as Muay Thai," said Bowe, who is in the country for the first time. "I have recovered from an ankle injury and is ready for the fight."
Sakol Wannapong, deputy governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, said that with Bowe in the competition, it would help promote the event and Muay Thai.
"With such a big name in the event, it is a great opportunity to promote Muay Thai," said Sakol, who welcomed the former world boxing champion at the airport.
"He might not be as competitive like he was but he is still good enough to attract fans."
Promoter Somsak Sunatvanichkul said that after getting Bowe to fight in Thailand, his next target is Mike Tyson, another former heavyweight champion.
"I am now working to bring Tyson to fight in Muay Thai later this year," he said. "There is a 70 percent chance that he will be here."
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- Writer: Kittipong Thongsombat