Despite Upcoming Third Fight, Bowling and Voelker Share Nothing but Respect
By Kelsey Mowatt
This Friday night in Las Vegas, Nevada, Roger Bowling and Bobby Voelker will look to punish each other with punches, kicks, chokes, and any other legal technique you can think of, for the third time in just over one year. While often two fighters share a mutual respect for one another, or even a friendship in some cases, typically rematches, let alone a third contest, are less likely to unfold without some sort of animosity existing. Bowling vs. Voelker III, apparently, is one of the exceptions. (Pictured: Voelker (left) and Bowling trading punches)
“There’s no bad blood between me and Bobby until those cage doors shut,” Bowling told FCF while discussing his relationship with Voelker. “I just ran into him at the pool yesterday and we chatted up for a minute. I have nothing bad to say about him; he’s a great guy…I guess it is a little bit unique; it’s just all about business.
Voelker, who stopped Bowling in the second round last October, also had nothing bad to say about his main event rival.
“We have nothing against each other,” echoed Voelker, who lost by technical decision to Bowling in their first encounter last May, after an accidental, third round eye poke prevented Bowling from continuing. “We are very respectful of one another. He’s a great guy. When we came out here for the summit meeting we hung out, we talked, we had a good time. This is just our job. Our job is to beat each other up.”
Of course, Strikeforce booked a rubber match between the two welterweights not only because of each man’s resume and abilities, but due to the quality of their previous bouts. The series has not only helped spread the word about the promising career of Bowling (9-1), but it’s also raised the profile considerably of the veteran Voelker (23-8).
“It definitely has man,” said Bowling, when asked if his trilogy with Voelker has brought more attention to his career. “I’ve had a long list of media to do and it’s been non-stop; it’s been pretty hectic.”
“Absolutely,” Voelker added. “We’ve put on two great shows and because of those two great fights we’ve gotten the main event in Vegas. It can only do great things for us.”
While the bout has brightened the spotlight on both men, Voelker concedes that following his TKO win over Bowling last year, part of him was ready to move on.
“I understood why they wanted to put it together,” the 32 year-old-fighter noted. “We had two great fights but then again, you want to fight different opponents; there’s too many guys out there to be fighting the same guy over and over. I do understand it though; he got one fight, I got the other; time to finalize it.”
Although Bowling is understandably looking to avenge his stoppage loss to Voelker, which marked the first defeat of his career, the 28 year-old fighter admitted that the loss was an invaluable learning experience.
“I took a lot away from that fight; I needed that,” Bowling stated while discussing his second fight with Voelker. “I needed to get my but kicked. At that time, I was thinking I was invincible; I took him a little lightly. With the first fight he didn’t really hit me that much, and I was able to use my speed and power to do what I wanted…In the second fight I wasn’t myself let’s put it that way. I needed it; it woke me up.”
Voelker is expecting a new-and-improved Bowling to come out firing Friday night.
“I know he’s coming back as a better fighter and hungrier,” said Voelker. “So I trained myself for this fights as if I had lost. I’m just as hungry.”
Friday’s Challengers card will be hosted by the Peal at the Palms Casino Resort and will be broadcast on Showtime.