Quitters dominated the weekend fight action ... and none was bigger than Andrew "Low Blow" Golota.
The heavyweight fighter from Poland - now fighting out of Chicago - fought NABF heavyweight champion Michael Grant Saturday night at the Trump Taj Mahal on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. The fight was shown live on HBO.
Grant (31-0 with 22 KOs) entered the ring a 5-1 favorite over Golota (now 34-4, 28 KOs). Both are big men: Golota weighed in at 242 pounds and Grant, who stands 6-foot-7, weighed 252.
In the opening round, Golota had Grant down twice and in serious trouble when the round ended. Golota failed to take his foe out in the next round when he had the chance and the fight, which was very good, by the way, continued with Golota getting the better of Grant for the next few rounds.
The foul-prone Golota - he hit low, hit on the break, head butted and held and hit - was penalized a point for low blows in round three. Grant threw some low blows of his own and was penalized a point in round six for that, but Golota was the dirtier fighter by far.
Anyway, Golota had a big lead on all the judges scorecards going into round 10 of the scheduled 12-rounder and Grant needed a miracle knockout to win. He got it, but in a strange way.
Midway through round 10 Grant threw a series of punches - none that powerful in my opinion - and Golota went to his knees, but was up quickly and took the mandatory 8-count from the referee. Then, when the referee asked Golota if he wanted to continue, Andrew said "No" as he shook his head, the fight was stopped and Grant was declared the winner at the 1:49 mark of the round.
Golota just plain quit! He wasn't badly hurt. If he was hurt at all but for some unknown reason he declined to fight anymore.
It was a pitiful ending to what could have been Golota's biggest win. I have no idea why Golota quit but he effectively ended his career as a top heavyweight and maybe as a fighter all together.
Grant, who is from Norristown, Pa., got a gift win but, to his credit, he fought back after those two devastating first round knockdowns and he deserves credit for that.
- Undisputed heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis was at ringside, seated next to "The Donald," scouting his possible future opponents. But he said he really wants to fight Mike Tyson.
Lewis did say he's "willing to fight anybody" in the division. We'll see. No doubt he wants Tyson. Not only has the former champ shown nothing in his last few fights, Tyson barely weighs 220-pounds and is a small man like Holyfield. No wonder Lewis would rather fight him than a Grant or someone like that. But Grant, by getting knocked down twice, may have made himself more attractive to Lewis as an opponent ... We'll just have to wait and see.
- Friday night on the ESPN2 live telecast, the main event featured Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson fighting Mexico's Raul Juarez for Johnson's IBF junior bantamweight title from the DC Armory in the nation's capitol.
After dominating the first three rounds, Juarez went down from a questionable low blow in round four, stayed down and quit as he put on an acting job that would rival the performances of many Oscar winners.
The low blow - it wasn't a dead-on shot, If you know what I mean - was off to the side and Juarez fought on for a few seconds before going down on his back. The referee kept telling him to "get up and fight," but Juarez remained down, even after the doctors came in and told him to get up. They brought a stool in for Juarez to sit on but he continued to stay down and after about 10 minutes, he was carted off on a stretcher board.
He really quit in a fight he was losing and would lose if it continued. But, hey, he got the fight called a no-contest and that was a victory of sorts for him. Johnson retained his title and left the ring disgusted.
- Sunday night on the FOX fight telecast from Miami, a fighter named T. Carew fought Diobelys Hurtado and after a slight head butt in round three that opened a small cut to the side of Carew's right eye, he mysteriously quit right then! Hurtado, one of the "Team Freedom" fighters who defected from Cuba a few years ago, was declared a TKO winner when Carew opted out. There was no reason for Carew not to continue other than the fact he was getting beaten and wanted no more.
Also on the telecast, a fight that went all the way was shown. Joel Casamayor - another Team Freedom fighter - defended his WBA Interim junior lightweight title (Whatever that title is) by winning a unanimous decision over David Santos.
- All things considered, it was a weird weekend of boxing on the tube and the first time I can ever remember three fighters quitting in one weekend of fights.
Maybe this week we'll get some better performances. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there's only one TV card this week. That's the regular Friday night ESPN2 fights that begin at 6 p.m.
Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer.