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Golota Must Overcome Demon To Win Crown Heavyweight Can Win Title If He Keeps Blows High

Sat., Oct. 4, 1997, midnight

After 30 professional fights, there has been only one opponent Andrew Golota could not handle.

His name is Andrew Golota.

Once a street tough in Warsaw, the former Polish Olympian has won 30 fights without being defeated despite the fact he has two losses on his record. It is natural at this point for you to wonder how that can be. Golota and his handlers feel the same way.

In each of his last two matches, Golota was beating former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe half-senseless. In fact, he beat him into retirement in their second fight, wobbling him in the opening seconds and dropping him twice.

Both nights Golota struck Bowe repeatedly below boxing’s 38th parallel when the action heated up, hitting the former champion so often below the belt that there was finally no choice but to banish him. This resulted in Bowe winning two fights on his back while the disqualified Golota was losing them standing upright. This is not easy to do in boxing and even more difficult to explain, but trainer Lou Duva fears he has a clue to the source of the problem.

“It’s his evil twin,” Duva said this week of a fighter who in some circles is now disparagingly called Go-low-ta. “He’ll be fighting two guys that night - Lennox Lewis and a fellow named Andrew Golota, to make sure he doesn’t stray.”

Oddly, Duva seems more worried about Golota’s fight with his inner self than he does with the one Lewis will present. Although a towering 6 feet 5 inches and nearly 240 pounds, Lewis (31-1, 25 knockouts) has never been widely accepted in boxing circles as a member of the warrior class.

Being Jamacian-born and British-raised, Lewis comes from the long line of horizontal heavyweights produced by the British Isles, a class he joined when journeyman Oliver McCall knocked him loopy with one right hand to the chin in 1994. Lewis has since recaptured the World Boxing Council title he lost that night but has defended it in two of the most bizarre title fights in recent memory, which is saying something, considering that Golota and Mike Tyson are in the same division.

Twice Lewis has won by disqualification, when first McCall and then Henry Akinwande were banished to the showers for refusing to fight.

Tags: boxing

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