WWE Weird or MMA Mad? | Riddick Bowe vs Andrew Golota III to be Settled in Cage MatchWritten by Lee Cleveland
According to several Polish sources, including Newsweek Poland, arch rivals Riddick Bowe and Andrew Golota will fight a third time... But not under boxing rules.
Although all of the details are not yet known, its been confirmed Bowe vs Golota III will be an MMA or WWE match of sorts. The card will be dubbed 'Unfinished Business' and the "spectacle" will be held on November 3rd at Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland inside a cage.
If this WWE/MMA charade happens it will be little more than a freak-show. Riddick Bowe, grossly out of shape in recent years, is apparently brain-damaged while Golota hasn't been able to fight effectively for years.
Unlike Evander Holyfield, who is still in shape and can fight a bit, Bowe and Golota are hideous caricatures of their former selves and light years removed from their historic 1996 encounters.
How the Bowe vs Golota Rivalry Started
Bowe vs Golota, one of the biggest rivalries in boxing over the last 20 years, began on July 11, 1996 when the two men met for the first time at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Although Mike Tyson was out of prison and Riddick Bowe (then 38-1) didn't have a world title, the latter was viewed as the the primiere fighter in the division, having defeated Evander Holyfield twice.
Andrew Golota (then 28-0), despite winning a medal at the 1988 Olympics was a relative unknown to Americans. He was thought to be slow, mechanical and a bit raw skill-wise, and it was obvious to nearly everyone Bowe viewed his Polish foe as nothing more than a 'tune-up' or stepping-stone en route to a presumed, future superfight against Mike Tyson.
What unfolded in the bout was shocking to many.
Golota, from the first round on, administered an old-fashioned whoppin,' beating Bowe on the outside, inside and in mid-range, even badly staggering 'Big Daddy' on several occasions. However, for reasons still unknown, Andrew Golota couldn't stop hitting Riddick below the belt.
Finally, after numerous warnings and two point deductions, Golota was rightfully disqualified in Round 7 after a centrally-targeted below-the-belt powershot sent Bowe to the canvas wincing in pain. Golota was ahead on all three judges' cards 67-65 twice and 67-66.
What took place seconds after the disqualification is perhaps unprecedented in the entire history of the sport. A cornerman on Bowe's team jumped into the ring and smashed a hard object on the back of Golota's head, drawing blood.
And then, things got really bad
What initially appeared to be a small melee grew totally out of control. Within seconds, the ring was packed like sardines with members of both camps fighting each other in what resembled a barroom brawl inside a boxing ring.
But, it got even worse.
Soon after the fighters' camps engaged in fisticuffs, fans, reacting with unadulterated insanity, started attacking each other as chairs and fists flew from one side of the arena to the other. The event, which was poorly-policed, lasted more than 15 minutes. It was pure bedlam
Bowe vs Golota II
The fighters met again five months later. Outside the ring,the situation was under control but inside it the theatrics were every bit as good, if not better.
Having taken Andrew lightly the first time, a svelte Riddick Bowe entered the ring at 235 lbs - 17 lbs (7.3 kg) lighter than what he scaled for their first bout.
The fight, sans the fouling, was a masterpiece not unlike their first encounter.
Bowe was down once in rounds two and five and Golota was down in the fourth round. Although the action was back-and-forth action, Andrew Golota was giving more than he taking in what had the potential to be a heavyweight fight for the ages.
However, not unlike their first affair, things got dirty. Golota was deducted a point in the second round for a seemingly intentional head butt which caused a cut below his own left eyelid.
And remarkably, the Polish star also had points taken away for... repeated low blows once again.
Despite the point deductions, Golota was head on all three scorecards when, in the ninth round, Andrew uncoiled yet another centrally-placed low blow that sent Bowe tumbling to the canvas in obvious pain. At that moment, the referee called a halt to the action and disqualified Golota. The Pole was ahead 75-71, 75-73, and 74-72.
Although talks of third Bowe-Golota meeting were discussed in the years to follow Bowe vs Golota II, nothing materialized until now. And, based on the WWE/MMA nature of the bout, its abundantly clear the third meeting between Bowe and Golota, both now 44, will be yet another 'spectacle.'
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.