The Hardest Low Blow in the History of Boxing

P erhaps some of you have heard of Andew Golota?  He was a giant Polish mofo who on several occasions contended for the heavyweight title back in the nineties.  He fought Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, for the heavyweight championship of the world.  These fights went like this:

Tyson/Golota:  Tyson W – KO 2 – Golota quits after two rounds  (This was later changed to a No Contest because Tyson tested positive for weed.  I don’t understand that.  If anything, being stoned makes it harder to fight)

Lewis/Golota:  Lewis W – KO 1 – Severe asswhipping.  Severe.

So why do we remember who Andrew Golota is?  I mean, getting knocked out in the first round and quitting after two is hardly memorable, especially when you’re a white.  Well, we remember him, and will always do so, for the first two times he contended for the heavyweight championship of the world, which occurred before Tyson and Lewis.  These other two were in Madison Square Garden against the champion Riddick Bowe, who had just come off a trilogy of fights against Evander Holyfield which collectively considered one of the greatest trilogies in the history of the sport.   Let’s take a look at the results:

Bowe/Golota 1:  Bowe W – DQ due to repeated combinations to the testicles

Bowe/Golota 2:  Bowe W – DQ due to punches behind the head, headbutting, and repeated combinations to the testicles

What’s noteworthy in both instances, is that Andrew Golota was winning both fights hands down before he was DQ’d for unnecessary and flagrant punches to the scrotesack.  And not just winning, but delivering a sustained and brutal asswhipping against a proven heavyweight champion in his prime.  Let me repeat that.  Andrew Golota was about to become the heavyweight champion of the world – ON BOTH OCCASIONS – and threw it all away because he started hitting Riddick Bowe in the testicles over, and over, and over, and over.  And even more that that, he was also about to become the first WHITE undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Rocky Marciano back in the fifties, and the ONLY Polish heavyweight champion in the history of the sport.  Ever.  That’s about as serious a paycheck as you can get in all of sports.

A quick note on the rules of Boxing.  Boxing rules are about as basic as they come, and can be divided into three categories.

  1.  When and where things happen
  2. Where you can hit someone
  3. Scoring

You don’t need to understand the first category, but 2 is important for this fight.  You can hit anyone anywhere you want from the belly button up on the front of their body.  You can’t hit someone in the back, you can’t hit them behind the head, and most severely, YOU CANNOT HIT SOMEONE IN THE BALLS.  I can’t stress that enough.  To commit a foul worse than that you’d need a razor blade or plaster of paris.

3: scoring.  Boxing uses the “10 point must system”.  This means, that the fighter who wins the round always gets 10 points, and the loser 9.  UNLESS…something else happens.  Knockdowns costs you a point per knockdown.  1 KD results in 10/8 for your opponent. Two would be 10/7.  Most judges won’t go below 10/7 because if you have a {s-tty} first round it can make winning almost impossible even though repeated knockdowns are probably a byproduct of the previous knockdown and not necessarily the result of damaging punches.  The other way to lose points is fouls.  A referee can deduct one to two points for flagrant, repeated fouls.  This is the only way a round can be scored with nobody getting 10 points.  Say you win the round but the referee deducts a point for a foul.  That’s 10/9 to you, but with the point deduction it’s 9/9.  Trust me, this will become important in a minute. 

Now I remember the first fight because I about 16 and over at a friend’s house who had HBO.  We weren’t even paying attention to the fight, and all of a sudden we looked up and there was a {f-king} riot breaking out in Madison Square Garden with chairs being thrown and people getting beaten down and everything.  I’m talking, a completely uncontrolled riot involving the entire population of the Garden.  What had happened is, half the crowd that showed up that night were very vocal Polish supporters of Andrew Golata, and the other half were black supporters of Riddick Bowe.  When Golota was disqualified for hitting below the belt, some of Riddick Bowe’s corner rushed the ring and started hitting Andrew Golota in the head with a {f-king} cell phone.  All hell broke loose, and the entire place went up in racially charged flames. 

Personally, I give credit to Bowe’s corner.  I saw the shots to the balls, and these were not just taps or accidents.  These were full-on power shots to the sack, and they were {f-king} FLUSH.  Like, flush as {s-t}.  As in,  SQUARE. IN. THE. {F-KING}. TE. STUH. KULS. And these guys aren’t lightweights either.  Andrew Golota is 6’4” tall and weighed something like 250 lbs.  He’s an ugly mother{f-ker} too, and looks like Dolph Lundgren from Rocky IV except on steroids on top of the steroids Lundgren took to look like he did in the film.  This man is a professional prize fighter with 33 knockouts, and two of those shots were delivered to Riddick Bowe’s nutsack. 

Watch the fight if you want, but I warn you, bring something to bite down on because it’s just too painful.  The sad part, is that for six rounds Andrew Golota fought the fight of his career.  He was doubleing up on his jab and using it to connect with combinations.  Then, for some bizzare reason, way ahead on the cards, he started too, well, you’ll see.  I’ll give you the best description of the action I can.

Round 1:  For 1:30 the two men exchange jabs.  Golota looks a little crisper.  Midway through the round, Golota starts putting combinations together off the jab.  A number of these shots look a bit low, but referee Wayne Kelly lets it go.  Bowe responds, but Golota answers back with crisp, accurate punching.

HBO’s Harold Lederman unofficial score:  10/9 Golota

Round 2:  Bowe’s left eye already beginning to close.  Both men back to jabbing.  Golota lands a few crisp shots over the top, and Bowe responds with a hard right. 1:34 – it begins.   Golota lands five consecutive hooks a little below the belt, and Kelly warns him to keep his punches up.  Golota immediately responds to this admonition with a sixth punch even lower.  Kelly says nothing, likely because he is incredulous at Golota’s flagrant disregard for the rules.  In the last thirty seconds, Golota staggers Bowe with a combination.  At the bell, a looping Bowe right hand nearly catches Referee Wayne Kelly in the mouth, likey because he is incredulous at Kelly’s flagrant disregard for the rules.

Unofficial Score:  10/9 Bowe,  Total:  19/19 even

Round 3:  The fighters trade  jabs.  At precisely 1:43, announcer Jim Lampley says, “You wonder if Golota will remember to keep going to the body as the fight progresses.  No question there’s an opportunity there for him if he can remember to keep doing it”    At 1:57, Bowe hits Golota with a stiff overhand right.  At 1:59, Golota responds with a low blow.  Apparently he remembered.   2:03 Kelly warns Golata for a low blow.  2:15:  Golata responds to the warning by delivering a clean left hand directly to Bowe’s balls.  2:15.001:  Kelly informs Golota that if he does it again he will begin taking points away.  Golota abuses Bowe for the remainder of the round with power shots to the head.

Unofficial Score:  10/9 Golota,  Total: 29/28 Golota

Round 4:    Bowe comes out looking to reestablish control, and after fifteen seconds of exchanging jabs the two fighters degenerate into exchanging power shots. Several of Golota’s body shots are borderline, and Kelly continues to admonish him rather than deducting the threatened point.   Midway through the round, Bowe begins to flag, and Golota staggers Bowe into the ropes.  Golota continues to heap abuse on Bowe.  2:34:  Kelly yells at Golota to keep up what was clearly a low blow.  2:36:  Golota responds with an uppercut flush in the testicles.  Bowe collapses in a heap from the excruciating pain.  Kelly rightfully calls time, deducts a point from Golota, and gives Bowe a full 5 minutes to recover from the shot.  During the timeout, the slow-motion replay clearly indicates that the uppercut started about five inches below the level of Bowe’s ballsack, and proceeded upward directly between his legs to the scrote.  Now.  Most of Golota’s low blows have been borderline.  While many low blows can be considered accidental fouls, there is no physiologically conceivable way an accidental strike to the nutsack can occur off an uppercut of this nature unless you are three feet {f-king} tall.  This is a FLAGRANT INTENTIONAL FOUL.     

Unofficial Score:  9/9 even,  Total 38/37 Golota

Punch stats through round 4:  Bowe:  92/226   Golota:141/271  with 17 of those delivered below the belt.   

Round 5:   Golota goes straight back to the groin area, and after three low shots uncalled by Kelly, Bowe hits Golota in the sack for good measure.  At 2:30, Golota lands a two punch combination clearly below the belt while Kelly is out of position, which leads to Bowe being backed up on the ropes and mercilessly hammered for the remaining 30 seconds of the round. 

Unofficial Score:  10/9 Golota, Total 48/46 Golota

Golota punch stats:  24 low blows and counting.  At this point is is worthwhile to point out two things. 

1.  A low blow is anything delivered below the belly button.  The reason for this is clear.  Tense up your abs, and poke yourself above the belly button.  Should be pretty firm.  Now below.  Squish.  There’s no real muscle there to build up and strengthen.  Basically, the full force of a punch below the belly button will be delivered directly to all those soft, delicate organs in your lower bowel.  You could easily piss yourself from just one of those shots. 

2.  Bowe is taking a serious, serious beating in this fight, regardless of the low blows, and is starting to fall behind on points.

Round 6:   Bowe begins to rally a bit.  Mostly because this is the only round in which Golota doesn’t land a low blow…until the last thirty seconds.  At about 2:20 Golota begins with two shots low on the beltline, which at this point he shouldn’t even be approaching, and then delivers a left hook square on the cup.  Bowe grimaces in pain, and Kelly deducts a SECOND point from Golota’s score.  Now according to boxing rules, the progression should go like this:  Warnings, one point, two points, DQ.  Why Kelly choses to deduct a single point I haven’t the foggiest.  Round ends.

Golota punch stats:  28 low blows.  That’s a shot to the sack every 36 seconds for 18 minutes.  I cannot imagine.   

At this point, Jim Lampley asks HBO unofficial scorekeeper Harold Lederman:  Harold, what comes next?

Lederman:  Jim, the thing that comes next, without question, is a disqualification.  I mean, I don’t know how much more of this Wayne Kelly’s going to put up with.Andrew Golota has been whacking him low the entire fight, he’s taken two points, I don’t think he’ll take three.  If Andrew Golota hits him low again, flagrantly, Wayne Kelly throws him out.

By now, the crowd is basically in stunned silence at what they are witnessing.  The all-white Polish crowd is clearly seeing their first opportunity at a Polish heavyweight champion, who is {f-king} DOMINATING the fight, about to throw it all away by being DQ’d for nonsensical, unnecessary low blows.  The black crowd is 1) unable to figure out why their champion is taking such a savage beating when he previously looked so good, and 2) angry that Bowe is being flagrantly fouled over and over and over again.  The atmosphere as the bell rings is palpable and ominous. 

Unofficial Score:  10/8 Bowe, Total 56/56 even.  Without the low blows Golota would be up at least two, possibly three rounds, halfway through the fight.

And now…Round 7:   Bowe has nothing left.  Golota is also beginning to flag from raining down such a varied and numerous assortment of power shots to Bowe’s head and testicles.  1:10:  Golota lands another low blow.  Kelly, unfathomably, deducts a third point.   At this point, in a 12 round fight, Golota has had a full quarter of the fight deducted from his scorecard due to low blows.  This prompts announcer Larry Merchant to say, “I’ve never seen that before, and we’re only in the seventh round.”  Larry Merchant has been ringside for almost every low blow in boxing since 1978.  This is where things just get insane.  Golota begins absolutely abusing Riddick Bowe.  Like, pummeling him into a different dimension of space and time.  At 2:28, Bowe is literally about to fall to the canvas.  The final blow of the fight,  which could easily be delivered to the head of a defenseless and beaten Riddick Bowe… is instead, and for absolutely no conceivable reason,  a HUGE left uppercut unloaded directly into Bowe’s scrotum, which is so hard it knocks Bowe’s mouthpiece into the crowd.  Bowe collapses, KO’d by the absorption of far too many fair and foul punches.   Golota is immediately disqualified. 

One of Bowe’s corner, incensed by the fouls, races across the ring and begins beating Golota in the head with a cell phone like Joe Pesci in Casino.  Golota responds by blindly punching anyone and everyone in his general area as hard as he can, including his own corner, the referee, and members of the NY State Athletic Commission.  Both corners flood the ring and begin shoving, and amid the chaos several spectators begin diving into the ring like Superman on a bender.  After about two minutes everything starts to settle, and just as it’s about to disperse some random black guy delivers a right hand to a white Polish guy…square in the balls… right in front of the camera feed to the jumbotron.  

{S-t} comes totally unglued. The entire ring erupts into violence as everyone starts beating absolutely anyone who isn’t the same color they are.   Lou Duva, the 70-year-old Italian trainer of Golota, goes completely ape-{s-t} berzerk, and begins pounding on everyone he can find like a rabid orangutan, until mid ass-whipping he suffers a mild heart attack and collapses in the ring.  By this point, at least the first two rows on all sides of the ring dive into the fray, bringing with them chairs, railings, and probably a few bat-shaped toddlers, and commence bludgeoning everyone within arm’s reach of the ring ropes.  Ironically, the only two people not fighting any more are Bowe and Golota, probably because even the dumbest spectator is smart enough not to take a shot at either one of them.  Larry Merchant’s and Jim Lampley’s broadcast is tersely cut off by the sound of headsets hitting pavement, and the next shot we see is Lampley, still with perfect hair, about seven thousand yards away from the ring up in the stratosphere, commentating on what appears to be a collection of swarming ants.  Meanwhile, security has been able to take Lou Duva out on a stretcher, and when they almost dump him off the board going up some stairs, he pulls of his oxygen ask and begins beating them with his spare fist and screaming at them to take him back to the fight because it’s safer in the ring.  Finally, the riot envelops the ENTIRE PLACE, with chairs being thrown, people being knocked out, and security is nowhere in sight because…

instead of hiring NYPD like they usually do, Madison Square Garden brought in a security force on mostly old men who bolted at the first sign of trouble.  This is OPEN SEASON at the Garden, my friends.  Eventually, a tidal wave of police officers floods the building, effectively clubbing and pepper spraying the entire contents of the building into comatose submission. 

And that’s just the first fight.  For some ungodly reason, the next fight was a rematch between these two crazies.  The second fight ended basically the same way with Golota DQ’d, this time for what was a three punch combination so far below the belt he’s lucky he didn’t blow out Bowe’s knee.  Some guys just never learn.

Ben Tomkins is a violinist, teacher, journalist and critically acclaimed composer currently living in Denver, Colorado. He hates stupidity and generally believes that the volume of one’s voice is inversely proportional to one’s knowledge of an issue. Reach Ben Tomkins at

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