The Cyber Boxing Zone Journal
A/K/A The America Online Boxing Newsletter
Special Golota-Lewis Edition
by GorDoomDear Readers:
The CBZ has accepted criticism in the past for not being the most current up - to - the - minute web site in the skies ... Yeah, well ...That's never been our charter. There are many excellent web sites that deal with the here & now of boxing. & if your seeking them out, check our links page. The CBZ prides itself on maintaining the sport's extraordinarily rich & varied history, which now stretches back over 200 years. At the same time, we realize that "History" is happening NOW ... & there are times that we better haul our smug know-it-all asses in gear & report what's goin' down as soon as possible ...
The last time we felt it was necessary was Holyfield-Tyson ll. That WAS a major freakin' event ... & we came through like champs ... Within 3 hours of the fiasco's conclusion we had four articles posted. The reason for this diatribe, is that we caught a lot of flak because we barely acknowledged the De La Hoya - Camacho non-event ... The CBZ doesn't instantly report on bull shit, made for the media & the public, fights like that one ... We make an effort for fights that matter. The last time we gathered all our staff writers & contributors to pump it out on the spot was Holyfield -Tyson ll. That was a fight that mattered historically - & we responded. Tonight's card, was the first one since that debacle, that carried that kind of historical import ... & again the CBZ has responded ...
JUST ANOTHER HARD DAY'S NIGHT IN THE THEATER OF THE ABSURD ....Whoa! ... What can I say? This fight card took us from the sublime: Gatti - Ruelas, to the ridiculous: If a Pole falls in a forest, does anybody care anymore??? The staff writers of the CBZ have come through for us as usual, so I won't bore anybody with blow by blow details ... but I would be remiss in not thanking both Mike Moscone, of the excellent 15th Round web site, and Jim Trunzo, the Ring Magazine writer who now has a facinating new site called The Electronic Boxing Monthly. These guys have generously contributed two articles for this special report. You can access both of these fine sites directly from our links page.
However ... I do have two quick comments to make about last night's doings:
1- Gatti vs. Ruelas was one of the greatest fight's I've ever had the privilege to witness
2- My only comment on the Lewis - Golota lash up is: Just what the hell kind of promotional/management team are Lou & Dino Duva???
I used to work as a road manager for some big rock & roll bands in the '70's through the early '80's:
RULE NUMBER 1: Was always know where every member of the band is at all times. Sometimes I'd be with a band, in say, Austin Texas, & we would have a day off, with the next day without travel. I always made damn sure to talk to the ladies that the band was pairing off with & made sure I had their phone numbers & addresses. The reason, & it holds true for rock & roll as well as sports, is that you always have to know where your guys are - no matter what!
The Ol' Spit Bucket thought it was incredible that up to a half hour before fight time, both Lou & Dino were running around trying to figure out where the hell their fighter was ... He was eventually delivered to the fight sight by a squad car. What the hell is that all about??? Dino & Lou's faux pax is right up there in the surreal annals of our beloved, yet beleaguered sport ...
ODE to GOLOTA-LEWIS
by Joe Bruno
The Polish Flag is red.....
Golata's face is black and blue....
If you paid forty bucks for this 84 second joke....
There's a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell YOU...
(Reprinted with permission from Electronic Boxing Monthly, www.boxmag.com)
AMBUSHED IN ATLANTIC CITY
by Jim Trunzo
We at EBM have no trouble admitting when we blow a prediction. We were extremely confident that the Andrew Golota who clearly dominated both Riddick Bowe bouts would take out the weak-chinned Lennox Lewis. And we weren't alone:
"Golota will force Lewis into his kind of a fight, and his power will be the determining factor in the bout." - Dave Bontempo, ESPN Boxing Analyst
"Golota is an underrated fighter who doesn't get enough credit. He will have leaned his lessons from the Bowe fights and will finish off Lewis." - Anthony Gargano, New York Post
"Golota in two rounds - no contest. I think Lewis talks, but can't back it up with the the walk. Golota will absolutely be too much for him." - Dan Hirshberg, The Trentonian
"Golota will put too much pressure on Lewis, who will make the mistake of slugging it out with him." - Steve Sneddon, Gannet News Service
"It'll be close through four, and then Golota hits and hurts Lewis in the fifth with a booming right. He then proceeds to wear Lewis down for a ninth-round win." - Chris Thorne, Newark Star-Ledger
"Golota will turn the fight into a war. he can take a short. I'm not sure that Lewis can. Lewis will try to keep his distance but won't be able to for long." - Robert Seltzer, El Paso Times.
And there were others backing Golota as fervently as those above.
Of course, you know by now that Lennox Lewis annihilated Golota, stopping him in one minute and thirty-five seconds of round one, the fifth quickest stoppage in a heavyweight championship fight. How could so many knowledgeable people be wrong? Bernard Fernandez, Philadelphia Daily News, seemed to have sensed what the rest of found out in Atlantic City this weekend: "A shaky vote for Lewis by a later round stoppage. I'm not sure whether Golota has the mental make up to see it all the way through."
And that's what happened. We never got to see the real Andrew Golota. He was ambushed by his mental weaknesses. Golota, for all his bad boy image, is actually a sensitive and shy individual. He does a lot of unpublicized charity work. He visits schools and hospitals. And he cracks under pressure. Golota simply can't handle the stress. Here are some unconfirmed (as yet) rumors that surfaced both before, during and after the fight:
1. Golota had disappeared 4 hours prior to the fight.
2. An hysterical Lou Duva had his brother Dino and the Atlantic City police out looking for his wayward heavyweight.
3. The 20 minute delay prior to the fight resulted from Golota's refusal to leave the dressing room.
4. The slap across the face delivered by Lou Duva wasn't the first that Golota received that night!
5. Golota suffered a post-fight seizure, during which he reportedly swallowed his tongue (literally impossible) and stopped breathing. Golota's medical problems have been "downgraded" to an anxiety attack - which makes much more sense.
A good friend and knowledgeable boxing man, GorDoom, made an excellent point. He told me, "As a fighter, what Golota pulled was crap, but as a person, I feel bad for him. Can you imagine the pressure that he must have been under?"
No, I can't. But I do agree with GorDoom. Golota just recently became a father, he's been under incredible scrutiny by the sporting media, he's been vilified as a dirty fighter and a cruel person, and, conversely but just as devastating, he has become the pride of both native and American Poles. To understand the latter's fanaticism, you had to be in the A.C. Convention Center; I can't describe the national pride exhibited and the effect it had to have on Golota.
Stress. Different people handle it in different ways and champion athletes handle it . . . period! Golota is a person but he isn't and may never be a champion. Stress and pressure makes Michael Moorer fight as if he were comatose; it makes Oliver McCall cry in the ring; and it makes Mike Tyson take a bite out of an ear. Joe Louis, however, carrying the weight of the Free World into his fight against scored a knockout win over Max Schmeling (who was saddled with the stress created for him by some undersized dictator with a mustache and a swastika)
It's made Golota bite (the Po'hua fight), deliver low blows (the Bowe fights), and ultimately try to run away, and failing that, freeze in the ring.
None of this is meant as an excuse or apology for blowing a prediction. Nor is it meant to belittle Lennox Lewis' effort. Even had Golota come to fight, Lewis might have stopped him almost as easily. You can't tell much from 95 seconds of boxing but the right hands that Lewis threw at Golota were much shorter than I've seen him throw in the past. Lewis even snapped his jab. Manny Steward has obviously earned his money.
Some final thoughts.
Part of my disappointment stems from the fact that Golota isn't some Mark Gastineau. He's a talented fighter who, on paper, should have done exactly what I expected - knock out Lennox Lewis. What I, and others, vastly underestimated was the "mental makeup" cited by Bernard Fernandez.
Where does Golota go from here? I wouldn't dare hazard a guess. I've learned my lesson and will never assume that I understand Golota even the slightest bit. His credibility is pretty much shot after two disqualification's and a humiliating technical knockout. Maybe he can start over against the Ross Purity's and advance to the Shannon Brigg's and then - it's boxing, don't forget! - get another title shot. It's just as possible that he'll quit.
At this point, I'm sure that even Golota has no idea about what he's going to do. He certainly had no idea what was happening in Atlantic City against Lennox Lewis.
(For complete coverage of the Friday night fights that took place at the Tropicana and the rest of the Lewis-Golota card, including the sensational bout between Gatti and Ruelas, check this sight later this week.)
THUD HEARD AROUND THE WORLD
by Derek Cusack
"No Fear" were the two words emblazoned on the t-shirt of a Polish supporter caught on camera as Golota made his ring entrance. They were also the best words to describe the statement Lennox Lewis’ performance made to the boxing world last night.
Lewis finally faced a dangerous opponent - his first since Razor Ruddock five years ago - and validated his previously hollow cries that he wants to fight the best in the heavyweight division. On this form it is difficult to see any opponent, Holyfield included, standing in his way. Here lies the crux however: Lewis needs to hold this form or his breathtaking performance against Golota will go down in history as a drop in the Lewis ocean of dour showings.
Boxing needed a good fight last night. Thanks to Lennox Lewis it got one, however brief. A man who has lost his last two fights as a result of breaking the rules of his sport does not deserve to be rewarded with a crack at the world title. Lewis also did boxing a favour by exposing this placing for the sham it is through his annihilation of Golota. As for the US newspaper hack who yesterday dubbed Lewis the "heavyweight champion of hesitancy", we won’t be turning to him for predictions on forthcoming fights.
The only aspect of this show which was unwelcome was the jocose televised pre - fight theatre act between the referee, the State Commissioner and the fighters. Joe Cortez literally begged Golota to watch his low blows. The Commissioner reassured Lewis that Cortez and Golota were both aware of his concerns about the Pole’s fouling tendencies in a mock - counselling session. These staged stomach - turners reminded one of the brash phoniness which accompanies WWF wrestling. Let such dopey drama remain out of our sport - As Andrew "The One Man Family Planning Clinic" Golota will testify, boxing doesn’t follow a script. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
by Mike Moscone (The 15th Round)
On Saturday night, about one minute into his fight with Andrew Golota, Lennox Lewis unloaded a seven punch combination that sent the Polish- born fighter down to the canvas for the first time. Now I know you’ve heard of a condemned man’s life flashing before his eyes, and while I can’t tell you exactly what was flashing by Golota’s eyes in that instant, I can tell you what that confused look on his face flashed before mine: The sunrise.
The Sunrise? Yep. Sunrise.
Seeing the result of Golota (the misfit) having been mismatched with Lewis gave me the same sinking feeling that Lou Duva must be feeling about now as he worries over his stricken fighter. (Golota was admitted to the hospital tonight after suffering some kind of seizure) You see, having agreed to share my thoughts on the fight that sick feeling for me came from the realisation that somehow I would have to stretch a 95 second thumping into something resembling an organised, informative piece of American Literature. Not that I could work that kind of miracle given seventy- five rounds, but you understand my dilemma.
The night starts, as these pay- per- view cards always do, with the obligatory mismatch (or three) and that really sets me off. Sandwiched in between this stuff and an entertaining Gatti/ Ruelas 5 round tussle we have three reports - all wrong - about the whereabouts of Lewis and Golota; an interview with perennial complainer Pernell Whitaker; Merchant and Lampley discussing where former baseball great Joe D may have been when Louis knocked out Schmelling. Gimmie strength.
Ok. Golota is here. Not ok, so is Roy Jones. Jim Lampley wants to know about a heavyweight stain and Merchant is trying to translate Golota’s broken English back to Polish (I’d Like to recap this for you but it’s not possible without the transcripts).
Thank you Lennox, at least the end is swift. Not the fight, the telecast. There you have it, my thoughts on tonight’s fight card. Now it really is sunrise. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GATTI - RUELAS
Arturo Gatti came into this fight looking to defend the IBF junior lightweight title he won from Tracy Harris Patterson back in 1995. Gabe Ruelas was looking to put behind him the tragic death of Jimmy Garcia following their bout in 1995, regain the junior lightweight title and restart his career. Gatti’s most recent memorable fight was against Wilson Rodriguez who was able to make Gatti’s face look like a bad chemistry experiment. Gatti came back in this fight with only one properly functioning eye to score an impressive 6th round KO of Rodriguez. Ruelas had fought twice since losing the WBC title to Azumah Nelson by a 5th round KO and needed to win this fight in order to become a force again.
Both fighters had a difficult time making the 130 lb. junior lightweight limit. Gatti allegedly only consumed a single glass of water over the 36 hour period prior to weigh-in. Gatti and Ruelas each put on in the neighborhood of 15 pounds between the weigh-in and the fight. Neither one of them showed any ill effects from this massive binge and purge.
The fight started out pretty evenly with both fighters landing some wicked shots. Gatti seemed to have the advantage from these trades. He also was outboxing Ruelas with his jab. Ruelas has never really been the type of fighter to jab his way in. He depends more on his hook. These guys put on one hell of a show. After the third round I had Gatti slightly ahead. The fourth round all hell broke loose. Each fighter was landing power shots that were staggering. Ruelas once again appeared to be taking the worst of it. With about 25 seconds left in the round Ruelas landed a left uppercut that shook Gatti from head to toe. It sure looked like if Ruelas could land another clean shot, Gatti would at least go down if not out. Ruelas threw the next fifteen or so punches in the round but didn’t land anything clean. Then as if to say "ok I’m back", Gatti landed a punishing right hand to Ruelas’ body. The bell rang and Gatti was able to recuperate in his corner.
Considering his previous fights and the amount of shots that Ruelas landed it was a small miracle that Gatti was relatively unmarked at this point. Round five started and Ruelas came right at Gatti, hoping that the minute in between rounds had not been a sufficient rest period for the champion. Both fighters continued trading toe to toe and Ruelas landed another uppercut which stunned Gatti. The champion refused to give up however, or go down. Both fighters were constantly right in each other’s faces. A minute or so into the round a cut appeared on Gatti’s right cheek. Gatti responded by landing a thunderous right hand on Ruelas. Ruelas shook it off and motioned to Gatti to bring it on.
In the next sixty seconds these two warriors landed around twenty power shots combined - the last two being a straight right and left hook which sent Ruelas down. He got up before the count but the ref stopped the fight. Ruelas didn’t seem too upset with his decision. Truly a great fight. Round five could be round of the year in my opinion. Next up for Gatti appears to be Angel Manfredy an upcoming and quite boisterous fighter. It is not clear whether Gatti will fight again at 130 lbs. This mooted match - up may occur at 135 lbs. where Gatti would be more comfortable. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LEWIS - GOLOTA
In the days leading up to this fight, a lot of talk was made about Andrew Golota’s tactics. The low blows against Bowe were talked about, as was the biting incident with Samson Po’uha from May of 1995. Not one sportscaster I heard mentioned anything about Golota’s slick boxing ability and overall talent.
The Pole is not the new great white hope or anything but when he puts his mind to it he can be a damn good boxer. The media, however, portray Golota as nothing more than a thug. One local sportscaster said the night before the fight, "If this fight were held in an alley, Golota would be a lock". Fuck that. To me all Golota had to do was remember that Lewis’ seed bag was not a speed bag and he had a great shot at beating him.
Lewis on the other hand needed to rekindle his desire. He often seems disinterested while in the ring. His last two fights were infamous, we saw Oliver McCall performing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Henry "Hold Me Close" Akinwande. Neither of these incidents were Lewis’ fault. But in saying that, looking at his performances over the last two years you couldn’t say Lewis had anything close to a killer instinct or a deep desire to be there. So we had two fighters both with the ability to win and their - let’s just say - questionable pasts.
Golota didn’t have time to worry about hitting Lewis low. He was too busy trying to pick himself up off the mat less than 90 seconds into the bout. Apparently Lewis found the desire and killer instinct all in one night. The battering began with a straight right hand that sent Golota to the far corner. After that Lewis threw about 4 jabs just to distract Golota and then landed another right and then a left hook that sent Golota’s head reeling, after a series of about 6 more punches Golota went down. The cameraman was gracious enough to give us a close up view of Golota. It looked to me like his eyes were going to pop out of his head and roll around the ring. Golota did manage to get up and stagger across the ring. Referee Joe Cortez decided that Golota could go on. Lewis wasted no time in finishing off his opponent: He threw a meaningless jab and then proceeded to land seven straight right hands, not all flush mind you but at this point Lech Walesa could have finished Golota off. Golota crumpled to the canvas and Cortez stopped the bout. The fight that happened in the upper balcony tonight lasted longer than the main event.
The best thing about this fight was seeing what changes Emmanuel Steward has been able to bring to Lennox Lewis. Kudos to him, he did a great job getting Lewis ready for tonight’s fight.
I personally thought Golota would do better against Lewis. I would never have guessed that Lewis would be as efficient as he was tonight. Next up for Lewis will probably be the winner of the Holyfield-Moorer fight scheduled for the November 8th.
I would like to see Lewis against Holyfield. Lewis has always been a good tactical fighter with superior strength. It would be interesting to see his style against Holyfield. Both are good boxers. Lewis probably has the edge in strength, but when you look for heart to overcome strength, the man to turn towards is Evander. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
KIELBASA KILLER EXPOSED AS POLKA PALOOKA (Lennox Lewis vs. Andrew Golota, Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ, October 4, 1997)
[Swirl of bubbles flies by, as the kindly old maestro DscribeDC taps on the lectern with his baton] Vell, denk you, boys. Wunnerful, wunnerful...Anda now, wit da help uf my good friends anda colleagues GorraDoom on de accordion, and da goldena tones uf Mike DeLisa, we now present a little champagne music, a number we calla "Bye, Bye Golota." Take it awaya, boys:
I don't want him
You can have him
He's too flat for me -- hey!
He's too flat for me -- hey!
He's too flat for me -- hey!
Wow. First Rowdy Roddy Piper pearl harbors Ivan Putski on "Tuesday Night Titans" and now, this...Saturday night was the worst night for Poland since Det. Sipowicz mooned America on "NYPD Blue." Andrew Golota, widely hyped throughout the boxing world as an "assassin," a cold-blooded Ivan Drago with reptile's eyes and a jackhammer punch, a man who was touted, even by certain Cyerboxing Zone supremos -- ahem, ahem -- as "the best white heavyweight since Marciano" (which is, granted, a little bit like being called "the best Native American rock band since Redbone"), was completely and utterly undressed (unlike Sipowicz, metaphorically) by a champion regarded as a slacker, an underachiever, a pretty boy.
The only thing that took a tougher beating than Golota's stubbly noggin was the conventional wisdom that the down-and-dirty tough guy always mugs the more stylish and refined boxer. Funny how that old saw always seems to leave the experts holding the short money. Just ask Mike Tyson.
There ain't a whole lot to write about this particular brawl. (I'll leave the far more compelling fight, Arturo Gatti-Gabriel Ruelas, for the legitimate boxing experts.) After turning up at the Convention Center late, generating through his mere presence spontaneous kickboxing demonstrations in the stands and forcing the champion (!!) to take an alternate route to the ring while ducking a fusillade of Polish flags, Andrew Golota squared up into an uncomfortably-European Rock-'Em-Sock-'Em Robots stance, plodded around Lewis for a second or two, got hit with what looked like a less-than-thundering right hand (he seemed to be turning his head away from the punch) and froze like a stag in headlights, allowing the blood-sniffing Lewis to pounce all over him and pepper him with lefts and the patented Lewis right.
The favorite son of Gdansk went down like a block of granite and, when he rolled over he had that same pop-eyed look that black comedians in the old Hollywood used to get whenever they'd seen a ghostie, the same kind of "what time zone is this" glare that Michael Spinks had at the end of the Minute-and-a-Half Massacre against Tyson, or that Thomas Hearns wore after Iran Barkley dropped that bomb on him from left field in their first encounter.
Upon rising, Golota was listing and wobbling so badly security had to evacuate the first three rows at ringside. Barely holding himself steady enough to continue, Golota managed to find the end of a dozen more unanswered punches before slumping in the corner. Referee Joe Cortez made it to three before realizing the futility of a full count. At 1:35 of Stanza One, it was over.
Lewis, who, for so much of his career has been the dandy, the boring, uninspired dilletante with the too-nice accent, the art collection and the puny killer instinct, had recaptured the sizzle he had for that brief span around the Razor Ruddock fight, when he was the Giant Killer, the shining star in a Division full of white dwarfs and black holes.
As for Golota, well, at least he's learned not to hit low. In fact, he's learned not to hit at all. They spared us the hilarity of a "punchstat" count, but my guess is that Golota scored fewer punches than Fritz Mondale scored electoral votes. How best to explain Golota's sad performance? Personally, I like the explanation that Golota was really just another slow white heavyweight all along, that his rep was secured by brutalizing a lazy, overweight, poorly-trained and terminally-uninterested Riddickulous Bowe. Some might point to the added pressure of fighting in front of a noisy "hometown" crowd in Warsaw-on-the-Boardwalk, New Jersey, a throng of fiercely-nationalistic admirers who seemed to be placing the fate of a whole nation on his extra-wide shoulders. Boxing insiders are liable to say he "just got caught cold," that he "was never able to get untracked." Which brings us to an interesting question: how does a guy show up an hour late for his biggest/last chance in his chosen sport? The Letterman people have some theories:
TOP TEN REASONS WHY GOLOTA WAS LATE FOR THE LEWIS FIGHT
10. Stumped himself trying to convert $1.25 million into zlotys.
9. Nice little Polish lady on the Boardwalk insisted on showing him pictures of all ten of her daughters.
8. Trapped in another publicity photo shoot with that damned Bobby Vinton.
7. Mentally, still on Warsaw time.
6. A drunken Dolph Lundgren kept chasing him and yelling "I must break you..."
5. That cab driver looked awfully like Rock Newman...
4. Trying to find a barber who could shave "Lech Rules" into his crew cut.
3. Distracted by sounds of Myron Floren Orchestra from Claridge cocktail lounge.
2. Couldn't find cash to pay for two dozen pizzas sent to room by Lewis camp.
1. Lost track of time sharing Dannell Nicholson dental war stories with Tyson and Marv Albert in Bally's bar.
Well, whatever...Lou Duva was said to be so upset by Golota's irresponsible behavior on fight night that he didn't gain a single pound. The big winner here is Lennox Lewis, who seems to feast on those mythical Monsters boxing wags love to create, guys who have made their bones by beating up on the husks of washed up used-to-bes. Remember Razor Ruddock, who was branded the future of the division after putting
Michael Dokes to sleep? Now that Lewis has vanquished another butt-naked emperor, he can move to the forefront of contenders in line to challenge the Holyfield-Moorer winner. If the alphabet suits can do the impossible and refrain from pulling any political bullshit for 12 months or so, fans may finally get that rarest of gifts, a unified champion, sometime next year. Hell, at least they got a heavyweight fight with a legitimate winner, with no Arthur Murray waltzes, no encounter-group nervous breakdowns and no frantic rulebook-skimming. Thank heaven for (very) small favors.
As for the Polka Palooka, I don't want to say his career is dead, but, let me put it this way: Elton John just rewrote a song for him. And, ever the vigilant newsmen, your CyberBoxingZone has obtained a copy.
ANDY AND THE BETS
Hey kids, especially you bettors
Got a lead-pipe cinch that's assured to change the weather
We kill the Polish Bear tonight, so stick around
You're gonna make a mint when the Polish Puncher hits the ground
Oh, Andy and Lenny have you seen them yet?
Oh, but they're really cool
They got the funky dreads
And the flat-top heads
Ya know, I seen it on the Pay-Per-Vyoooooo-ooo-ooo-ooo
A-a-a-Andy and the Bets
Andy! Andy! Andy and the Beeeeets
Hey, kids, do ya really reckon
Golota will beat Spinks and stay up for ninety seconds?
The inside money's saying that Golota falls
He's lost when he can't uppercut another fighter's balls
Oh, but he's weird and he's wonderful
But Andy he's a little slow
He landed with a thud
Now his name is mud
And he'll be gonad-punching Gas-ti-neau-whoa-whoa-whoa
Andy and the Bets....
Word from the label is that it will be coming out as a CD-5 backed with re-recorded versions of "Saturday Night's a Blight on Fighting" and "Get Back [to Warsaw], Honky Cat." Release date: October 7. Limit five per customer. And, like Golota, no returns.
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