Riddick Bowe vs. Andrew Golota (2nd meeting)

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1996-12-14 : Riddick Bowe 235 lbs beat Andrew Golota 239 lbs by DQ at 2:58 in round 9 of 10


  • The fight aired on TVKO, HBO PPV's predecessor .
  • Bowe retired after his second DQ win over Golota. He returned to the ring in September 2004.
  • The two Bowe-Golota fights were part of HBO's 2003 award-winning documentary series "Legendary Nights."

Golota Implodes, Part II: Low Blows Save Bowe
By Clifton Brown, The New York Times, December 16, 1996

It was a bizarre and brutal fight. And when it ended, Riddick Bowe was writhing in pain on the canvas, the victim of a final, intentional, vicious low blow from Andrew Golota in the ninth round.

Golota did it again Saturday night, just as he did in the first Bowe-Golota fight in July. Once again, Golota was disqualified for low blows and Bowe was awarded a victory. Once again, Golota was winning the fight on the scorecards of all three judges when the bout was stopped. But once again, Golota resorted to dirty tactics, and the outcome further tarnished Golota's reputation and raised serious questions about his future.

Bowe not so much won the fight as he survived it. The crowd of 12,013 at the Atlantic City Convention Center saw nine rounds of punishing heavyweight action that tested Bowe's courage and chin. Bowe was floored in the second round and in the fifth, and Golota staggered him on several other occasions. But Bowe, a former heavyweight champion, refused to quit. He knocked Golota down in the fourth round; he survived when lesser fighters would have succumbed, and after the fight, it was Golota who was taken to a local hospital with a possible broken jaw.

Golota's condition kept him from attending the post-fight news conference, so he could not answer for his actions. But there was no logical explanation for his consistently senseless behavior. In the second round, Golota opened a nasty cut over his own left eye when he intentionally head-butted Bowe. At that point, Referee Eddie Cotton took a point away from Golota.

In the fourth round, Cotton took away another point when Golota hit Bowe below the belt, sending Bowe to one knee and forcing him to take a 30-second break. Finally, Golota hit Bowe low again in the ninth round, and Cotton felt he had no choice but to stop the fight.

Nobody from Golota's camp put up an argument.

"I can't defend him," said Lou Duva, Golota's co-trainer. "I wish I could. I can't explain it. I said: 'Andrew, you're winning the fight. Just get out there and box.' What made him do what he did, I don't know.' "

What will it all mean? For Bowe (40-1) it meant victory, but his heart was more impressive than his boxing skills. Bowe was hit easily by Golota, and if the fight had gone the 10-round distance, Bowe most likely would have lost. It was far from the overwhelming victory that Bowe wanted, and at age 29, major questions remain about his ability to become a champion again.

Bowe did not sound like he would retire, but he admitted he would do some soul-searching. He mentioned hope for possible future fights against Evander Holyfield (whom he has beaten twice in three previous bouts), Lennox Lewis or Mike Tyson.

"I want to fight, but I don't want to fight as hard," Bowe said. "I think I will continue to fight. Being a fighter, you're in the hurt business. Everybody gets a turn. A guy is going to get in there and hurt you one day. But he who rises shows determination and heart. Tonight, I showed I'm championship material. I believe if I wasn't in shape, Golota would have been able to get me out of there. Hopefully, some day, Mr. Holyfield gives me another opportunity."

But a few minutes later, when Bowe was asked what his mother, Dorothy, thought of the fight, he sounded more reflective.

"My mother never liked boxing, so the first thing that came out of her face was that she still wants me to retire," Bowe said. "I'm going to go home and enjoy the holidays, and the first of the year, I'm going to see what happens, weigh my options."

As for Golota (28-2), will anyone want to fight someone who violates rules so blatantly and intentionally? Golota, a 28-year-old Polish-born fighter, has skill and power. But he has a sordid reputation to go with it.

"I don't know what Golota's going to do, but before we do anything I'm going to sit down and ask Andrew in no uncertain terms if he wants to continue fighting," Duva said. "Does he want to fight like a fighter, or like a brawler in a bar or an alley?"

Bowe said he would never fight Golota again. After their first bout in July at Madison Square Garden, there was a long brawl involving both fighters' camps and angry fans. There was no trouble outside the ring Saturday night, but everyone involved with these two fights has grown tired of Golota's tactics.

"In the first fight, I thought there were some theatrics on Bowe's part," said Dino Duva, one of the fight's promoters. "But in this fight, no way. If Bowe was looking for an out, he would've gone down four rounds earlier."

So while Golota's career is in question, Bowe was relieved to close this chapter of his career, regardless of what he decides to do next.

"Riddick is one of the toughest guys in the world, but I want him doing the kind of things we worked on," said Thell Torrence, Bowe's trainer. "He got a little lazy. That's one reason why he got hurt early. He went away from the game plan.

"But Golota continued to hit him low, and low blows take so much out of you. They get you out of your game plan. That's what bothered me about this fight. I'm not surprised at all. I said it last time, and I say it this time. When Golota gets in the pit, and things start going rough for him, he looks for some way to gain advantage, and he hits low. He did it over and over again."

And in the process of hurting Bowe, Golota hurt himself much more. [1]