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Lewis Makes Point in Golota Defeat

October 6, 1997

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ Lennox Lewis says it’s just as well that Riddick Bowe is retired because Bowe couldn’t handle him anyway.

Minutes after he retained his WBC heavyweight title with a surprisingly easy first-round victory over Andrew Golota, someone asked Lewis if he wanted Bowe. After all, Golota had overpowered the former heavyweight champ in both fights before being disqualified for low blows.

Lewis thought about it. Then he said: ``I’ve got too much meanness built up for Riddick Bowe. It doesn’t make sense for him to come back (for a Lewis fight).″

If their performances against the street-fighting Pole are any indication, Lewis is far more dangerous in the ring.

On Saturday, Lewis knocked Golota down twice before stopping him 1:35 into the first round of their scheduled 12-rounder before 13,889 people at Convention Hall.

He swarmed over the jittery Golota and knocked him down with 55 seconds elapsed after connecting on four rights to the head. After referee Joe Cortez gave the go-ahead to resume fighting, Lewis attacked again and landed three hard rights that dropped Golota to the seat of his pants.

Lewis, the 32-year-old WBC heavyweight champion from Britain, had complained that he didn’t get the respect he deserved from the U.S. media and boxing public.

At 32-1, he may now.

``Basically, I wanted to go out and make my statement to the world and prove I’m the best heavyweight champion on the planet,″ Lewis said.

He also wants to unify the championship by winning the WBA and IBF titles. It looks as if he will get the chance.

Promoter Dino Duva said he believes Lewis will fight the winner of a Nov. 8 match at Las Vegas between WBA champion Evander Holyfield and IBF champion Michael Moorer.

Lewis and Moorer are tied to Duva’s Main Events while Holyfield has a deal with promoter Don King, but Duva doesn’t think that will be a stumbling block.

However, there is an obstacle. The IBF champion is due to make a mandatory defense against No. 1-ranked Vaughn Bean, even though Moorer has successfully defended against Bean, and the WBA champion owes a mandatory defense against Orlin Norris.

But Duva thinks the two governing bodies will allow a unification match.

Golota, who once bit an opponent and butted another, was disqualified in his two previous fights, both against Bowe, for repeated low blows.

Against Lewis, Golota he threw 10 punches and landed only two.

``I don’t know what happened,″ Golota said. ``I just got caught. What could I do? It was an accident.″

The accident put him in the hospital. Golota, who collapsed in his dressing room afterward, was taken to Atlantic City Medical Center, where he passed a CAT scan, spent the night for observation and was released.

The highlight of the night came in the featured fight of the undercard, when IBF junior lightweight champ Arturo Gatti rallied from a punishing fourth-round beating to stop Gabriel Ruelas in the fifth.

Saved by the bell after Ruelas unleashed a 14-punch barrage, Gatti came back the way he often has. Slugging it out toe to toe with Ruelas, he connected on a jarring left hook that dropped Ruelas and prompted referee Benjy Esteves to call a halt to the scheduled 12-rounder at 2:22 of the fifth round.

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