Get Lost, Golota!!

30.08.05 - By Kevin Purcell: Much has already been said about the fortunes of Polish slugger Andrew Golota, but for one reason or another, until the other day I had never really given him much thought. This changed the other day when I finally saw his bout against ‘Iron' Mike Tyson. It then occurred to me that he has no place in the sport.

As I'm sure everybody can recall, Tyson pole-axed (excuse the pun) Golota with an overhand right in the first round but ‘The Foul Pole' made it to the end of the round. However, as his corner frantically went to work on him, he can clearly be heard saying “stop the fight”. The commentators didn't pick up on this but after a relatively uneventful second round, Golota inexplicably quit.. Of course I had known this but it just didn't register with me how big a disgrace it was until I saw the footage. Golota's cornermen couldn't believe what he was doing and his trainer kept trying to shove the gumshield back in his mouth before he made his way over to the referee to inform him he was quitting. The look of sheer disgust on his trainers face says it all.

I believe it was the most despicable act of his chequered career. Getting disqualified twice against Riddick Bowe was just bizarre because he was winning so comfortably. And whateverabout caving in against Lennox Lewis in 93 seconds, Lamon Brewster bettering that by 40 seconds is a joke. These weren't quite as bad as quitting cold turkey against Tyson but they point to some sort of psychological problem. This theory has been aired before, if he is suffering from some sort of mental block then perhaps he should be looked at more closely before being allowed to fight again? I don't think he's a coward because any man who laces up the gloves has guts, but when you think of the criticism Kostya Tszyu received in the wake of his defeat to a rabid Ricky Hatton after 11 punishing rounds, then what does that make Golota?

But what amazes me the most about him, is the amount of chances he keeps getting to redeem himself. Compare him to Junior Witter, who some people believe should be banished to remote boxing outposts because of his performance against Zab Judah. Witter has recently been installed as No.1 contender for the WBC belt. No doubt people will blast him if he does earn a well-deserved title shot, but compared to Andrew Golota I think I deserve some title shots. His bouts against John Ruiz and Chris Byrd weren't shown here in Ireland thankfully, but I've been led to believe that he was hard done by on the scorecards. Good! He doesn't deserve shit. Neither does John Ruiz but I've already accepted that he'll still be WBA champ for at least another thousand years. Chris Byrd's recent inactivity has fans everywhere pouring scorn on him but has shown tremendous heart for years competing against much bigger opponents so if a decision is hanging in the balance, then I won't begrudge him if he gets it.

This leads to another question; why does Golota still receive so much support from the Polish people? Kevin McBride is embarrassing enough but if he had a track-record comparable to Golota he'd be a national joke and would be advised to stay put in Boston. Perhaps it's because he's the only Polish fighter to come to prominence in recent times and I understand there's a large Polish community in Chicago where he bases himself but I can't decide whether to admire or laugh their undying support. Perhaps the Golota tale illustrates best the power that Don King exerts in the heavyweight division. Either way, it's not a story that boxing fans are likely to look back on fondly thirty or so years down the line.

Thoughts or comments?

Article posted on 30.08.2005

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