Boxing


The return of Andrew Golota

andrew golota01.06.07 - By Geoffrey Ciani: The last time boxing fans saw Andrew Golota in the ring was over two years ago. That, of course, was back when he challenged Lamon Brewster for the WBO heavyweight championship. It was a short night for Golota. He was caught with a thunderous shot just nine seconds into the bout and never recovered. Two knockdowns later, the fight was halted after just 51 seconds.

It appeared to be a career-ending loss, but boxing is a sport which champions ‘the comeback’. For the second time in his career, Andrew Golota is making a return to the squared circle after a lengthy lay off. At 39 years of age, it’s easy to write Golota off entirely. After all, he never lived up to his potential in his prime and he fell short of the mark in his previous comeback. Why should things be any different this time around?

Could this third run finally land that elusive championship for the Polish pugilist? Will three times be a charm? Or is Golota a train-wreck waiting to happen? Whatever the case may be, chances are fans will be tuned in to find out.

Golota has always been a charismatic fighter with a loyal fan base. In addition to his loyal following from fellow Poles the world over, Golota intrigues the casual fan by bringing excitement to the ring. He’s unpredictable, has good boxing skills, and has shown a tendency for mental breakdowns in the ring. When fighting inside the rules, Golota has been one of the best talents the sport has seen in the past twelve years.

At times, however, he’s been known to bend the rules. Whether he’s using his head as a battering ram, or using his opponent’s balls like a speed bag, or if he’s just doing his best Dracula impersonation, it doesn’t matter—this simply adds fuel to the fire of intrigue and amplifies his enigmatic persona. People want to see what he’s going to do next, and you never know what’s coming.

Considering that Golota’s never won a championship, his popularity and marketability is an absolute marvel.

Golota’s best days physically are certainly behind him, but Golota’s problems were always of the mental variety. In his previous comeback, it appeared he had overcome many of the mental shortcomings that cost him earlier in his career. He gave IBF champion Chris Byrd all he could handle for twelve rounds without losing focus. Byrd was considered one of the most frustrating and talented fighters in the division, and yet, Golota was determined and relentless. Ultimately, he was awarded a draw for his efforts in a bout many felt he had won. In his subsequent bout against WBA champion John Ruiz, he also made a great showing, having twice dropped Ruiz en route to an extremely controversial loss.

That Golota gave two champions a run for their money, arguably even winning both bouts, is something that has been largely overlooked in the aftermath of the Brewster debacle. These bouts seemed to signify that Golota was a mentally stronger fighter than he had been in his physical prime. Even the Brewster blowout illustrated this to a certain extent, for his desire to fight-on seemed strong; there was no quit in him, unlike what we witnessed in his bouts with Michael Grant and Mike Tyson.

Even a semi-successful comeback by Golota should add some much-needed excitement to the division.

On June 9, in just over a week, Golota will square off against Jeremy Bates. The bout will take place in Katowice, Poland as a part of the under card. Incidentally, the main event features fellow Polish pugilist, Tomasz Adamek, who will be making his cruiserweight debut when he faces IBO champion Luis Pineda.

To contact Ciani:

geoff@eatthemushroom.com

To read more by Ciani, please visit The Mushroom Mag:

http://www.eatthemushroom.com/mag

Article posted on 02.06.2007



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