IN the year 2000 at The Palace in Detroit, former heavyweight king Mike Tyson scored a quick TKO over the notoriously unstable Andrew Golota, but the win, which came when Golota refused to begin the third round, was later changed to a No-Contest due to Tyson failing a post-fight drugs test.
1. THE fight, which was dubbed “Showdown in Motown,” was promoted by Lois Hearns, the mother of legendary “Hitman” Thomas Hearns, who fronts Hearns Entertainment.
2. IN the run-up to the fight, boxing writers had a field day, asking whether it was actually possible for Tyson and Golota – two of boxing’s most controversial bad boys – to engage in a fair and foul-free contest.
3. FOR Tyson, the fight marked the fifth bout in a comeback that had been launched following a ban for biting Evander Holyfield’s ears in 1997. For Golota, the fight marked his 10th ring appearance since losing back-to-back fights to Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis.
4. TYSON came out fast as was usually the case, looking to unload bombs on the man dubbed “The Foul Pole.” Scoring a knockdown courtesy of his formidable right hand just seconds before the end of the opening session, Tyson looked to be on his way to another explosive KO victory. But Golota, after being hurt in the early going of the second-round, held his own, landing return fire. A memorable fight was shaping up.
5. YET Golota, who had picked up a cut above his left eye, then angered both Tyson and the fans in attendance by refusing to come out for the third-round. “I quit,” he told referee Frank Garza. Golota also claimed Tyson deliberately head-butted him in the first round, the infringement causing the cut to his eye. Golota’s corner-man, Al Certo, pleaded with his fighter to carry on fighting, trying to force the gum-shield into Golota’s mouth for the third round. “I should’ve shoved it up his ass,” Certo later remarked.
6. TYSON was so incensed he had to be physically restrained from resuming his attack on Golota, with Mike trying his best to get across the ring to lay hands on his opponent. Golota was pelted with beer cups and other things by the irate crowd as he left for his dressing room.
7. GOLOTA, it later transpired, had taken quite a beating. A trip to the hospital revealed how he had suffered, along with the cut above his eye, a concussion, a fractured cheekbone and a herniated disc in his neck.
8. AFTER the fight and the sudden ending, people attempted to figure out what had happened. Tyson’s then corner-man Tommy Brooks said that in his opinion Golota suffered an anxiety attack and had not been a coward. Certo also revealed how his fighter had actually wanted to quit after the first round had ended.
9. TYSON advisor Shelly Finkel told the press that the Golota fight would be Tyson’s final bout. Instead, the former champ boxed (on and off) for a further five years, winning two more outings and being stopped in the other three. Golota returned in 2003, boxing irregularly until 2009, only to make comebacks in early 2013 – with a possible bout in the works for this year.
10. THE Tyson-Golota bout is in the record books as a NC 3 because Tyson tested positive for marijuana.
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