ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Incredible.
It was the only way to describe the repeat performance in the Riddick Bowe-Andrew Golota heavyweight rematch at the Convention Center last night, with Golota, winning the fight on all three judges' cards, again disqualified for repeated illegal tactics.
This time it ended at 2: 58 of the ninth round of a spectacular fight in which Bowe was floored in the second and the fifth rounds and constantly in trouble, while Golota was dropped in the fourth.
The only thing missing in the deja vu rematch was the riot that followed the first fight last July when Golota was disqualified in the seventh round.
This time it was a head butt by Golota in the second round, a low blow in the fourth and what referee Ed Cotton called a blatant foul in the ninth that again sent the Polish boxer home a loser.
The last illegal blow left the former champion wincing on the canvas for nearly five minutes.
It was Golota, however, who was removed to a nearby hospital when his handlers suspected he might have suffered a broken jaw.
Golota, who was cut severely in both eyes, was leading despite having two points deducted by the referee. Judge Steve Weisfeld favored Golota 75-71, Al Devito called it 77-74 and Shafed Rashada voted 75-73.
All three officials gave Bowe a 10-7 margin in the fourth round when he scored a knock down and also was hit below the belt.
"I'm not fighting him anymore," Bowe said after being helped to his corner. "I was getting winded, but I never lost my faculties. I thought it was a matter of time before I caught up with him."
That was hardly the way ring-siders and the fans saw the fight evolving. Golota again dominated the "no-holds-barred" match, but once more was victimized by his loss of composure.
"I deducted points in the second and fourth rounds," said Cotton, "but the third one in the ninth round was definitely blatant. I had no recourse but to stop it."
Bowe, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native who now lives in Fort Washington, Md., raised his record to 40-1, by default. Golota is now 28-2.
Bowe looked exceedingly trim after losing 45 pounds in three months to get down to 235. He was giving away 4 pounds to his opponent.
There were few fireworks in the opening minutes.
Bowe continued to stalk his Polish opponent at the start of Round 2. But the arena soon exploded when Golota landed a smashing overhand right to Bowe's chin and the former champion crumpled to the canvas.
He got up on wobbly legs and then withstood a steady barrage of punches from Golota, seeking to end it. But Bowe fought back, opening an ugly gash over Golota's left eye.
When Golota head-butted Bowe, Cotton stopped the action and deducted a point while also allowing Bowe time to recuperate.
In the third round, Bowe continued to take aim at Golota's damaged eye and was taking command in the closing minutes with a number of jarring combinations.
Golota's corner did an excellent job in stemming the bleeding before the start of the fourth round. But Bowe rocked Golota with three overhand rights. He dropped to the canvas, but bounced up at the count of five.
The eye was again streaming blood, and this time it was Bowe sensing the finish. Typically, Golota fought back, and both fighters began to show signs of fatigue.
Again, Golota lost his composure, hitting Bowe low again to draw his second penalty.
The fifth round was just as spectacular. Golota landed three crunching rights and Bowe slumped to the floor. He looked out on his feet after beating the count. Borrowing a tactic from Muhammad Ali, he sought the ropes as an ally and ducked under a number of big right hands.
When the bell sounded, Bowe had difficulty locating his corner.
Neither fighter was in serious trouble in the sixth round, but Golota landed the heavier blows.
Golota boxed effectively in the seventh round, scoring with combinations while Bowe again sought to buy some time on the ropes. Again, Bowe barely survived the closing seconds of the round.
Golota picked up where he left off in Round 7, opening the eighth with three clubbing rights. Bowe's legs buckled again. But he continued to fight back courageously.
Golota continued to pummel Bowe in the ninth round, but Bowe's jab inflicted enough damage to reopen Golota's cut.
Frustrated, Golota unleashed a right uppercut that was blatantly foul, and the fight was stopped.
Pub Date: 12/15/96