It was the millennium year. The year 2000 brought us Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Russell Crowe portrayed Maximus in Gladiator and boxing fans got ‘The Showdown in Motown’.
It was October 20th, ‘Iron Mike’ Tyson battled the towering Andrew Golota but fear wasn’t a word in Tyson’s vocabulary. When it came to ‘The Powerful Pole’, what Mike lacked in height he more than made up with in power and finesse.
The first bell rang and as we saw so many times the Brooklyn brawler steamed in unleashing hooks that landed over and over again, making Golota miss through bobbing and weaving, each of Tyson’s hooks that landed upon his opponents chin echoed around the arena like the sound of a sledgehammer to concrete. Once Tyson started landing I’d imagine going through the mind of Golota was something along the lines of “What have I got myself into?”
The first round continued to go in the American’s favour cutting the Pole down with half a minute left in the round to then drop his man to the canvas a mere twenty seconds after.
In the short time between rounds not only did the corner need to close the cut to the best of their ability but the corner had a bigger challenge on their hands, convincing their fighter to continue and fight on. Andrew Golota did rise for the second round on the advise from his trainer, “just bite on that mouthpiece.”
Ding ding, the sound of the bell rung and Tyson flys at Golota high on confidence from the earlier knockdown. Golota employed the tactic of holding on, some would say for dear life.
The referee forced to break the two apart SIX times inside the first minute of round two. Out of the blue the fight was momentarily a slug-fest with Golota throwing everything but the kitchen sink. Still, Tyson kept coming forward Terminator-esque.
Round two ended and that’s when the controversy started. Pacing up and down his quarter of the ring Golota refused to put his gum shield back in with his cornermen cursing at their fighter demanding he continue but it was to no avail and that was it. Golota had quit and Tyson’s arm was raised.
Furious with the ‘fighter’ not wanting to fight it was then Tyson’s cornermen who had a challenge on their hands, taming the beast that was ‘Iron Mike’.
Andrew Golota after examination found out he had suffered a concussion, a fractured left cheekbone and a herniated disc. The punishment didn’t end in the ring.
The circus continued as Tyson refused to submit to a pre-fight urine test, instead opting to take one after the fight. This led to a three month ban from the sport and soon after the ban was enforced it was made public knowledge that Mike Tyson had failed a drugs test, testing positive for marijuana.
Rescinded. The fight once ruled a technical knockout is now forever judged as a non-contest and the decline of one of the most explosive fighters ever had begun.
Written by James Lupton.