Andrew Golota, the 6’4” power punching Warsaw native, will be giving it his all on November 13th when he faces WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz at Madison Square Garden. The 36 year-old, sometimes controversial fighter wait! Who in the hell am I kidding? This is Andrew freaking Golota we are talking about. In 1996 he was disqualified not once but twice in a five-month period in two riot filled battle with heavyweight sensation Riddick ‘Big Daddy’ Bowe for repeated low blows. In both fights Golota was clearly winning, but somehow couldn’t keep from hitting down south. Almost a year later he stepped in the ring with then WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis only to get destroyed in the first round and suffer a panic attack in the process. After flooring Michael Grant twice in their 1999 bout, he told the ref he didn’t want to continue after suffering a knock down of his own in round ten. After two rounds with heavyweight great ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, Golota refused to answer the bell for round 3. So you could say that Golota is the poster boy for controversial fights. But after taking almost a three year layoff after the Tyson incident and hooking up again with his old trainer Sam Colonna and signing a deal with promoter Don King, Golota has seemed to let the old ways go without losing the rough boxing-brawler style that has won the fans over. After a very disappointing draw with IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd earlier this year a fight that Golota feels he won he has another chance at redemption when he faces WBA heavyweight champion boxer-clincher John Ruiz for his belt. In his recent bouts the boxing public has seen a side of Golota that doesn’t seem to show very often, a cool, calm and collected fighter who keeps his head on straight while taking it to his opponents. A Bronze Medal winner in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and a holder of seven Polish national championship titles, Golota, 38-4-1 (31), looks set to finally get what he has searched for so long, a heavyweight belt around his waist. Golota knows that his past will always haunt his reputation, but he also knows the future can hold so much more if he doesn’t let it get to him. Golota, who seems to shy away from reporters, took the time out of his day of training to have a phone conversation with Doghouse Boxing. This is how it went.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Hey Andrew, a pleasure to talk with you, thanks for taking out the time for the fans and Doghouse boxing.
Andrew Golota: Not a problem.
BH: How has your training been going?
AG: I started like a month a go it has been pretty good you know.
BH: What weaknesses do you see in John Ruiz that you feel that you could capitalize on?
AG: It’s always a challenge you know. John Ruiz is a good fighter, durable and very good. It will be a tough fight but I have to go through it to be a champion.
BH: How will you handle the clinch-punch-hold style that John Ruiz seems to favor in the ring?
AG: Stay away from him and box.
BH: How has it been working with Don King?
AG: Don is a business man and very good. We have a good relationship, business only you know.
BH: Now that Riddick Bowe is trying to get back in the mix, have you thought about another fight with him or has anybody contacted you for a possible Golota-Bowe III?
AG: A lot of people think about it and talk about it, but we will just have to see what is going to happen. Nobody knows just yet.
BH: How excited are you at getting another shot at the title?
AG: It is a championship fight you know.
BH: Looking back at your career do you ever just say to yourself just what in the hell was I doing?
AG: Too many memories you know. So I don’t think about it, I just talk about training now.
BH: How long have you been working with your trainer Sam Colonna?
AG: We started together when I first came to the U.S and then we split up some how and now we are back together.
BH: How does your trainer Sam Colonna keep you calm and focused better than other trainers you have worked with?
AG: We have known each other for several years you know, we know what to expect from each other. We understand each other very well.
BH: What are your thoughts on the Chris Byrd bout, do you feel that you did enough to win or was it an unfair decision or was it a draw?
AG: No, I don’t think it was a fair decision, but you know what can I do? It is water under the bridge so I can’t do anything. I tried to force Chris Byrd to fight back and to fight me again but he didn’t agree with that. He looked for the way out, he did he finally did you know. He will rather go fight somebody else, that is what kind of champion Chris Byrd is you know. That would explain.
BH: Is there any particular fighter that you would like to step in the ring with after John Ruiz, for instance Vitali Klitschko?
AG: I don’t think about it but it is always a possibility you know. But I have to focus on this fight first. Until I am done with this fight there is no reason to think about the future.
BH: You have stated before that if you didn’t get a title shot or lost that you would possibly retire from boxing. So is this fight a do or die situation to you?
AG: I am still young you know. I am not sure about the future you know.
BH: People have labeled you as the ‘Foul Pole’ because of your mistakes in the ring in the past. Does that bother you to know that is a derogatory nickname because of your past mistakes or do you just look ahead and not even worry about it?
AG: I don’t worry about it. Thanks I got to go.
[Hands the phone to trainer Sam Colonna]
Sam Colonna: Hello.
BH: Yes sir.
BH: We thank you and Andrew for the time.
SC: I just want you to know that you are the first guy he has talked to so far.
BH: Well Doghouse and I would like to thank you both once again for the exclusive.
SC: No problem, thank you.
I would like to thank Andrew Golota and Sam Colonna for taking the time out of their busy training schedule. I would also like to thank everyone who assisted in making this interview possible.
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