The Demons Of Andrew Golota

Andrew Golota will be remembered in Boxing folklore for all the wrong reasons when it could have been all so different.

His two fights against Former Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Riddick Bowe were fascinating not only for the same dramatic endings but also what occurred outside of the ring in the first fight and the two contrasting sizes of Bowe for the first and second fight.

Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe’s last fight before facing Golota was the 3rd and final fight of the trilogy against Holyfield in which he was victorious having stopped Holyfield in the 8th round.  Having not fought in 7 months, Bowe found it very difficult to get motivated for a fight against Golota in which he was expected to win relatively easy.  For the first fight, Bowe who had constantly had battles with keeping his weight down, weighed in at 252 lbs which was way off what many considered his best fighting shape which was around 235 lbs.

One of Bowe’s key assets was his jab but right from the outset, Golota landed more jabs and was winning the early rounds despite being warned by Referee Wayne Kelly for persistent low blows which finally resulted in Golota being deducted a point in round 4 and again in the 6th round in which Golota was clearly beating up Bowe and in prime position to possibly end the fight.

Having received a final warning that another low blow would result in an automatic disqualification, Golota again launched another low blow to Bowe in the 7th round which ended the contest.

Complete mayhem took place in the ring in which one of Bowe’s entourage hit Golota in the head with a walkie-talkie which opened up a cut which later required 11 stitches.  Golota’s trainer Lou Duva also collapsed in the ring with chest pains and needed to be stretchered out of the stadium. Outside of the ring, chaos continued amongst fight fans which resulted in 10 arrests with 8 Policemen injured with 9 spectators hospitalized.

The rematch which took place 5 months later saw a drastic change in Bowe’s condition in which he was back to his best fighting weight of 235 lbs which was identical to the weight in which he defeated Holyfield to become world champion in their first fight. It was evident from the start that Bowe’s best fighting days were gone as he looked drained from perhaps losing the 17 lbs too quickly and legendary trainer Eddie Futch had also left his camp frustrated from  Bowe’s continuous lack of discipline in weight control.

Bowe was knocked down for only the second time in his career in the 2nd round and seemed to be on his way to defeat however he made a miraculous comeback after a good 3rd round in which 15 unanswered punches put Golota down for the first time in his career.  Golota, cut over the eye and still dazed, responded by throwing  low blows on two separate occasions before the round had ended in which he  was deducted another point by Referee Eddie Cotton  having also received a deduction in the 2nd round for headbutting Bowe.

A revived Golota came back strongly in the 5th round by putting together 11 unanswered punches which put Bowe on the canvas and from there on Golota seemed to be in control of the fight winning the next three rounds.  Despite warnings from his trainer Lou Duva not to throw punches to the body, another right-left combination to Bowe’s groin ended the fight in another disqualification.

Bowe never fought again as a top level fighter and fight fans were left wondering what could have been if he had shown dedication to training he had demonstrated for his first fight against Evander Holyfield  and not had spells where he was overweight.  What many fight fans did not know at the time was that Bowe and Lennox Lewis had agreed to fight in September 1996 in which the Golota fight was looked at merely as a tune-up before the Lewis fight.

Lewis later went on to destroy Golota in 94 seconds of the 1st round while Golota later went on to face Mike Tyson in 2000 where having hit the canvas in the first round, had to be persuaded to continue with the fight by his corner before refusing to come out for the third round despite the protests of his corner to continue with the fight where he seemed perfectly capable of continuing.

Check out the highlights of the two fights between Bowe and Golota.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *