Golota-Bowe II

San Francisco, CA– One of the biggest mysteries to me in my tenure on the boxing perch were the two fights between Riddick Bowe and Andrew Golota. The Polish born fighter’s name came up on the newswire today as he is facing the possibility of deportation in September. Unbeaten when he faced former undisputed heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe on July 11, 1996, Bowe was a 1988 Olympian that lost to Lennox Lewis in the finals. Trained by the great late Eddie Futch, I thought Bowe was the real deal. The three fights with Evander Holyfield, of which Bowe won two, will go down as one of the greatest trilogies in heavyweight history.


In the first fight against Golota, Bowe was behind on all three cards against the 28-0 Pole. Looking and fighting like a man that had come down from over 300 lbs., Riddick did and by then was reduced by the good life to “pugilistic toast.” Hall of Fame trainer Eddie Futch had left him years before, stating that Bowe’s bad behavior and training habits, something the old man would not put up with, had gotten to the point where Eddie could no longer work with him. With Futch out, and manager Rock Newman having lost control of the fighter, in hindsight you could see the writing on the wall.


Without question, Golota was in far better shape physically then Riddick Bowe. With Bowe seemingly looking for a way out, meaning he knew this would not be his night at Madison Square Garden, Andrew did the unthinkable as he continually hit his opponent below the belt. Eventually, referee Wayne Kelly stopped the fight in the 7th round. The way the fight ended, a riot ensued and it took quite a while before the New York City Police and security could control these hooligans who were both Polish and Black.


Time and time again, Kelly kept warning the Polish fighter regarding his fouling. And yet, Andrew continued to throw low blows. Never could I come up with rhyme or reason as to why he did so. Bowe was declared the winner by disqualification around seven. The rematch took place in Atlantic City the following November and was basically the same fight all over again with Golota all over Bowe like a bad suit. Although Bowe had claimed to be on a diet this time, he looked drawn, if not starved and unhealthy. In other words, he was a walking dead man.


Golota-Bowe I

This time Eddie Cotton was the referee and he disqualified Andrew in round nine, a fight like the first one in which he was winning. Both referees gave Golota a ton of warnings, and yet he kept throwing blows as south of the border as Mexico City. Up until today I could never come up with a reason as to why Golota threw both those fights.


Then it crossed my mind, sports betting and the Mafia. A betting favorite both times, Bowe did nothing in either fight to merit such. All I can think of now, is that the Mob was possibly involved. Was it just like the days when Frankie Carbo and Blinky Palermo, both Mafioso, ran and controlled boxing? Did somebody get to Golota, did or said something that compelled him to foul his way out of two fights that he was winning? Had he won clearly, there would have been at least a couple of multi-million dollar fights for the Polish fighter.


In his next fight some ten months later, Andrew faced World heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and was knocked out just 1:38 into the first round! Although Lennox was a fair-puncher, knocking Golota out in the blink of an eye was, again in hindsight, almost unfathomable. After the two Bowe fights, Andrew Golota went 13-6, losing the title fight with Lewis and getting his jaw broken by Mike Tyson, a TKO 2, but that loss doesn’t appear on his record because Tyson tested positive for Marijuana. The closest Golota would ever come to beating a world-class fighter was his 2004 draw with Chris Byrd. He retired in 2008 at 41-8-3, with 33 KOs.


Main In Dallas P.D. Uniform Shooting JFK

Is my law enforcement background or my knowledge of a man on the Grassy Knoll shooting at JFK, is this what’s making me see things that aren’t there? Do you think Golota threw both Bowe fights? Did he get hit hard enough to where he could dive against Lewis sans any suspicion? The loss to Tyson was unquestionable with the broken jaw, but those Bowe fights, the results of which still stink like sun-dried cod. What do you think, did Golota go in the tank in the Bowe fights, before setting himself up to do a swan dive with Lennox Lewis?

Pedro Fernandez


  • I’m not a Golota apologist by any means, I think he squandered his talents to some degree, was a dirty fighter and everyone I ever talked to, who was in the know, all said he was a headcase to some degree… That being said, Golota was 1000% correct in quitting against Mike Tyson. If he hadn’t, the likelihood is that he would have been severely and/or permanently injured or worse.

    Golota was absolutely correct for acting the way he did in his corner and correct in how he addressed his corner and if it were any other fighter, they probably would have gotten a pass to some degree… But because he was Golota, and had all his previous history, EVERYONE jumped the guy there and then. Even his corner was dropping F-Bombs on him and accusing him of pulling another stunt.

    The truth of the matter is that when Golota quit, he had had just suffered a concussion and serious neck injury that is believed to have been the result of a head clash between him and Tyson (whom is considerably shorter) and that due to a freak impact angle, Tyson just bumped a head but the impact to Golota’s head and neck was far more severe.

    As a fighter, when you are concussed, you know it right away. Maybe not that you are concussed but things are all very wrong and you know it. I know this because I know fighters who were concussed in the ring and fought through it. An MRI detected slight bleeding in his brain and when his arm had numbing sensations (trust me when I tell you, I am dealing with a neck injury right now and this is a major danger sign they hound you over) they found a herniated disc in the middle of his neck.

    He suffered other comparatively minor injuries as well, but at the time he quit, he had THREE major injuries going on, NONE of which a fighter should attempt to fight through and one that absolutely could have have killed him… Golota made the right decision . He just had no good will in the Bank at that point.

    Golota did the right thing, the SMART thing… I know we don’t say this too often when talking about the guy… But he did that night for sure.

  • I just think Golota is crazy.

  • Golota is a mental case. When he was coming up he fought Samson Pouha and Samson staggered him real good and Golota bit him in the neck.

  • Nice article Pedro..

    One quick correction about Eddie Futch: He was in Bowe’s corner in the first Golota fight. He left Bowe’s camp after that fight.

    I actually thought Bowe over-trained for the second fight. He came into that fight weighing 235, which was about 5 pounds too light for him at that point. Yet if not for his conditioning and big heart, he would not have survived Golota’s onslaught. And people don’t bring this up enough, but Bowe had his moments in that fight. Sure, Golota was winning the fight hands down before the stoppage, but Bowe did knock Golota down in the fourth round and he did bust up Golota’s face. And right after that 4th round knockdown, Golota resorted to hitting Bowe low and was warned for it, and later in the round he did it again and he lost a point for it. I thought Golota knew EXACTLY what he was doing everytime he threw low blows.

    Personally, I don’t believe Golota was influenced by the mafia in the two Bowe fights. I just believe that HE took the easy way out when things got rough and he has a long history of doing just that. Go back and look at that 9th round. Bowe landed a short left hook that got his attention and Golota responded with 3 shots to the doorbells which ended the fight.

    Now to be clear, the third fight with Holyfield took a lot out of Bowe and he was never the same after that. Golota clearly out-boxed Bowe in both of their fights, but he could not stop throwing low blows and he deserved to be disqualified both times.

    As for the Lewis fight, I thought the second Bowe fight took a lot out of him and at that point, Lewis was close to being a finished product, thanks to Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, who helped mold Lewis into a Hall of Fame caliber fighter. Lewis took the fight right to Golota and he got him out of there. I agree that Golota didn’t look like he wanted to be there that night, but that’s on him, not Lewis. Maybe Golota did take a dive, who knows, but I don’t believe Lewis was in on it.

    Andrew Golota had most of the tools to be a very good fighter and he ended Bowe’s career as an elite fighter yet he lacked character and when things got rough, he either threw low blows or quit, as he did against Michael Grant and Mike Tyson.

  • Well if u going to say those fights was fixed, how bout pac vs clotty in 2010 where jim lamplys broadcast of the fight was just shameful.whenever clotty dicided to fight he waa able to get to pac wit ease and whenever he would hit manny, he would seem to hurt manny and also clotty did a interview where he kinda hinted the fight was fixed

  • Golota – mental midget.
    Big muscles, no stones, anger issues.

    Not very bright, and when angry or frustrated, simply fought Bowe like he was in a dark room not caring where he landed.

    Had an anxiety attack and lost the fight to Lewis before it started.

  • @Gary and Ray… I was watching the fight on television. It wasn’t rumor, even the telecast was starting to question where Golota was. Golota’s corner was in the dressing room and they didn’t know where he was. It was later learned that Golota was walking the streets where people recognized him and were saying… Is THAT Andrew Golota, he’s fighting.. or he is supposed to be anyway! What is he doing here?

  • Ray: I too was at the Golota/Lewis fight and remember hearing the same rumors. When Golota got KO’d in the 1st round, the Polish fans were too shocked to riot.

    I also was live for Golota/Grant at the Trump Taj Majal. It was not announced by Michael Buffer why the fight was stopped. I had to watch the fight on tape the next day to find out that Golota quit.

  • Golota was the Victor Ortiz of his time. You didn’t even mention the Michael Grant loss, which is the most suspicious one. The guy was a mental defective. No conspiracies needed. And Lennox simply outclassed him and kicked his ass.

  • Never really thought of this angle before, in all honesty I just think Golota is a mental midget which cost him in the big fights. Then again he did just quit while ahead against Grant so if the other results are suspicious that one has to be called into question also.

  • I definately believe Golota was made to throw the fights, I was live at the Lewis Title Fight, and there were all kinds of rumors as to Golota missing until 1 hour before the fight, having been playing basketball all day, injuring his knee, and getting injections 1 hour prior to fight, having panic attacks up to fight time…too many different stories, and then takes dive in minutes, to what looked fake as fake can be. Golota was a very talented Boxer, great jab, long reach, strong, great chin, his career was intentionally ruined by some higher power.

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