Tyson: Fight Vs. Golota My Last

Friday, October 20th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Mike Tyson said his first fight in the United States in a year will be his last.

``This definitely is my last fight,'' Tyson said during the Thursday night weigh-in for his 10-round match against Andrew Golota on Friday night in the Palace of Auburn Hills.

A lot of smiles and shaking of heads greeted Tyson's announcement.

``I just saw a pig fly over,'' said Jay Larkin, who runs boxing for Showtime.

It's not the first time Tyson has said he's through with the sport in which he has been a highly successful and controversial figure since he turned pro in 1985.

There is no guarantee that a Tyson fight will be free of controversy, but the promoters and Showtime certainly courted controversy by selecting Golota as the opponent for Tyson's first pay-per-view bout since he knocked out Francois Botha in the fifth round on Jan. 16, 1999.

``Both fighters are professionals and know how to fight,'' said Al Certo, Golota's trainer. ``I think the media wants a dirty fight and has been trying to talk the fighters into it.

``I think it is going to be a good fight. If Tyson does fight dirty, Golota might pick him up and body slam him or throw him out of the ring.''

Whether the promoters care to admit or not, the possibility of a bite, a low blow, a late punch, even a body slam is a big selling point for the fight.

As for media encouragement of a dirty fight, it merely reported that Golota was twice disqualified for repeatedly hitting Riddick Bowe low, that he bit Samson Pou'ha on the shoulder, that he head-butted Danell Nicholson.

The media did not suggest that Tyson bite Evander Holyfield's ears, try to break Botha's right arm, knock down Orlin Norris after the bell, or attack Lou Savarese after the 38-second fight had been stopped.

Tyson's one-round no-contest against Norris Oct. 23 in Vegas was his last U.S. fight. In his next match, he stopped Julius Francis in the second round Jan. 29 in Manchester, England, and he then beat Savarese on June 24 in Glasgow, Scotland.

For pushing referee John Coyle aside and throwing punches at Savarese after the fight was stopped, Tyson was fined $187,500 but was not suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control. The fine has been paid.

``I am approaching this fight like it's going to be clean one,'' Golota said. ``I plan to fight clean as much as possible.''

Frank Garza will be glad to hear it. The 5-foot-8, 172-pound Garza will referee the fight, which is expected to start between 11 p.m.-11:30 p.m. EDT. The telecast will begin at 9 p.m.

Tyson charged across the ring and knocked down the 6-5 Savarese with a left hook to the side of the head just seconds after the opening bell.

He'll probably try to do the same thing to Golota.

As for how long the fight might last, Tyson said, ``As long as it takes to kill somebody.''

Golota appeared intimidated when he was stopped in the first round by Lennox Lewis in a bid for the WBC title Oct. 4, 1997.

Asked if he thought Golota would be intimidated Friday night, Tyson said, ``That's his problem.''

``Golota is not intimidated by Tyson,'' Certo said. ``Tyson should be intimidated by Golota. Tyson is a small guy and he is older now. When you get older, big fighters intimidate you.''

``To me he's a little guy — 6-5 (actually 6-4), 240,'' said the 34-year-old Tyson, listed at 5-11 1/2 , but who appears closer to 5-9. ``To me, he's very small.''

Tyson weighed in officially at 222 pounds. Golota weighed 240.

Tyson, who boasts that he enjoys being the bad guy, has been more relaxed this week that he was for his second-round win over Francis, or for his beating of Savarese.

The former undisputed heavyweight champion said he no longer is taking the anti-depressant Zoloft, but that he is on a new medication. He said couldn't name it, and neither his camp nor the Michigan commission would.

David A. Sebastian of the commission said Tyson could fight on the medication because it is not performance enhancing.

``A couple of weeks ago my killer said to me, `I want to shine,'' said Tommy Brooks, Tyson's trainer.

Tyson (48-3, 42 knockouts) could use a spectacular, controversy-free win.

The first loss of his career came when as defending undisputed champion he was knocked out in the 10th round by James ``Buster'' Douglas in a shocking upset Feb. 11, 1990, in Tokyo. The other two defeats were his WBA title loss to Evander Holyfield on an 11th-round technical knockout Nov. 9, 1996, and his third-round disqualification against Holyfield in the Bite Fight June 28, 1997.

Tyson is getting $10 million to fight the 32-year-old Golota (36-4, 29 knockouts), who is getting $2.2 million.

Golota's fourth loss came when he told the referee he had had enough after being knocked down in the 10th round by Michael Grant Nov. 20, 1999. He had knocked down Grant twice in the first round and was winning when the fight stopped. In his last two bouts, he stopped Marcus Rhode in the third round April 22 in China and he scored a 10-round decision over Norris on June 16.

Also on the pay-per-view telecast will be an IBF junior welterweight title defense by Zab Judah of Brooklyn, N.Y., against Hector Quiroz of Mexico; a 10-round lightweight bout between Alex Trujillo of Puerto Rico and Jose Luis Juarez of Mexico; and a six-round light heavyweight match between Muhammad Ali's daughter Laila of Los Angeles and Kendra Lenhart of Lenoir, Texas.

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