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Andrzej Gołota, (born January 5, 1968 in Warsawmarker, Polandmarker) more commonly known in the English speaking world as Andrew Golota, is a Polish professional boxer who has been involved in many controversial fights. He is the former IBF North American and WBA Fedelatin Heavyweight champion.

Amateur career

Gołota had 111 wins in a stellar amateur career that culminated in his winning a bronze medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Gołota won other international amateur tournaments, but in 1990, he married a U.S. citizen of Polish descent and moved permanently from Poland to the city of Chicagomarker. His wife had lived in Chicago since the age of eleven.

Gołota's Olympic results were as follows:

Professional career

In 1992, he turned professional, knocking out Roosevelt Shuler in three rounds. He had three more knockouts and then went the distance for the first time when Robert Smith took him six rounds. He then began a 16-fight knockout win streak, including wins over Bobby Crabtree and Jeff Lampkin. It was after the Crabtree win that Gołota was featured on Ring Magazine's new faces section. Then, he faced tough contender Maron Wilson, winning by a decision in ten. Gołota then went on another knockout streak that extended to five wins in a row, including defeats of Samson Po'hua and Darnell Nicholson, both of whom were considered fringe contenders at the time. Tyson]].

Gołota vs. Bowe

Perhaps trying to earn a little more general respect for their fighter, Gołota's management put him in the ring against former world Heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe, who had defeated Evander Holyfield at Madison Square Gardenmarker, on an HBO Boxing event. Though ahead on points and landing punches seemingly at will, Gołota was disqualified and suffered his first loss when Bowe went to the floor in round seven after being hit with the last of several low blows throughout the fight. What ensued was a dramatic riot that left a large number of civilians and policemen injured, including Gołota himself, who was hit by a Bowe entourage man's two-way radio and required eleven stitches to close a cut on his head.The Riot was called Event of the Year by the Ring Magazine, the event has been named "Riot at the Garden".

The fight made all the sports shows, including SportsCenter, and the public immediately wanted to see Bowe and Gołota go at it again. The rematch was on Pay Per View and Gołota once again led Bowe on the scorecards only to be disqualified in the ninth round, again for low blows. Despite not having another riot, this fight also proved to be controversial and a protest was filed by Gołota's camp to try to overturn the fight's result. Michael Katz, a sportswriter, coined the term Foul Pole for Gołota.

This fight was featured on HBO's documentary Legendary Nights The Tale of Bowe Golota

Despite two losses in a row, Gołota's stock among the Heavyweights had risen so much that the WBC decided to make him their number one challenger, and so on October 4, 1997, he received a shot at the world's Heavyweight championship against Lennox Lewis, once again on HBO's Pay Per View branch. Suffering from a reaction to lidocaine, Gołota was knocked out in the first round.

Gołota, who passed out in his locker room after the fight and had to be resuscitated with CPR, subsequently claimed that an injection of lidocaine for tendonitis in his right knee given to him by his physician shortly before the fight made him see double and woozy. As a result, he filed a medical malpractice suit against his physician, claiming that the injection had cost him the fight and a deal with HBO for $21 million to broadcast his next four to five fights.

Later career

Gołota went on with boxing, and he beat former 2-time world champion Tim Witherspoon by decision before losing to Michael Grant by a knockout in ten in one of The Ring's 1999 fights of the year. Gołota had dropped Grant twice in the first round and was far ahead on all scorecards, but in the tenth he himself was knocked down. When asked by referee Randy Neuman whether he wanted to continue, he shook his head twice and then haltingly answered "No."

In 2000, Gołota fought in Chinamarker's first professional boxing event ever, beating Marcus Rhodes by a knockout in three, and then, he faced Mike Tyson.

At the time many in boxing said this was Gołota's last chance to attain any kind of respectability. Tyson dropped Gołota in the first round, and seemed to be having his way with the Pole in the second, when Gołota abruptly told the referee he was through and stormed out of the ring. Gołota shoved his trainer Al Certo when Certo attempted to put his mouthpiece in. Following the bout, Gołota revealed that he had quit because the beating he took in the first round had left him with a broken facial bone and a ruptured disk in his neck. He tried to communicate this condition to his corner, but nobody would listen to him. He therefore decided to take matters into his own hands and walked out of the ring. Later that day he was taken to a hospital, when he collapsed and nearly died. Hindsight being 20/20, it is clear that he made the right decision, since fighting on in that condition might have resulted in his death.

Following the Tyson fight, Gołota was inactive for nearly three years before making his return to the ring on August 14, 2003. He scored a technical knockout of journeyman Brian Nix in the seventh round. Gołota then returned again, on November 15, knocking out Terrence Lewis in six rounds at Verona, New Yorkmarker.

Gołota then received a second world title shot, fighting IBF world Heavyweight champion Chris Byrd at New York City's Madison Square Garden on April 17, 2004. Most viewers felt Gołota won the fight, and he clearly was the aggressor, with Byrd against the ropes through most of the 12 rounds. Despite this, the judges rendered the fight a controversial draw.

On November 13 of that year, he received his second world title try in a row. Despite flooring WBA world champion John Ruiz twice within the bout, he lost by a controversial unanimous decision in a foul-filled fight.

With the vast majority of the boxing press proclaiming him the real victor of both his championship efforts since returning to boxing, Gołota received his third world title try in a row on May 21, 2005 against WBO world champion Lamon Brewster. Though heavily favored to win, Gołota once again blew his shot when Brewster knocked him down three times inside the first round, forcing the referee to stop the bout.

June 9, 2007, he beat Jeremy Bates in the 2nd round by technical knockout.

Gołota fought Irishman Kevin McBride on October 6, 2007 in Madison Square Garden and won by TKO in the 6th round, winning the IBF North American Heavyweight Title.

On January 19, 2008, Gołota fought Mike Mollo and won after a unanimous decision after 12 rounds, winning the WBA Fedelatin Heavyweight Title.

In January, 2009, Gołota fought Ray Austin and lost after the first round when the referee stopped the fight due to an arm injury Gołota sustained.

On October 24, 2009 in Łódźmarker, Gołota fought Tomasz Adamek and lost by TKO in the 5th round. The event was hosted on Polsat TV, it was also broadcast live online on ipla.tv platform. It was the largest live transmission in the Polish internet .

References

  1. http://www.braggingrightscorner.com/mouthpiece7.html
  2. Ackert, Kristie, Golata Sues Own Doctor Over Shot, New York Daily News, February 12, 1999, http://www.nydailynews.com; Plus: Boxing-- Heavyweights, Golota Says Injection Made Him Feel Woosy, The New York Times, March 20, 1998, http://query.nytimes.com
  3. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/boxing/2004-11-14-heavyweight-fights-part2_x.htm?csp=34


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