Andrew Golota’s journey through boxing, while commendable, has never been viewed as successful.
He began at the age of thirteen in Poland and amassed 111 victories as a Polish amateur champion, culminating with his winning a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics.
Emigrating from Warsaw in 1991, Golota has called Chicago his home ever since. Turning professional on February 7, 1992 with a third round knockout of Roosevelt Schuler, Golota abandoned his dream of becoming a truck driver and punched his ticket for the sweet science.
Plagued with less than complimentary descriptions, such as underachiever, "Foul Pole" and “South Pole,” mention of Golota in certain circles is synonymous with a single thought: Failure.
Come May 21st at the United Center in Chicago this can all change. Andrew
Golota, with a win over current WBO titleholder Lamon Brewster, can finally be called heavyweight champion of the world.
Forget the biting of opponents, the headbutts, the low blows, the disqualifications, the three prior blown title opportunities, and quitting (on more than one occasion); a victory over the difficult Brewster (31-2 27 KOs) brings absolution from his sins.
"If there is any justice in this world, I will win the world title at home on May 21,” Golota said. "After fighting Chris Byrd I should have been IBF champion. After the John Ruiz fight I should’ve been IBF and WBA champ."
Many agree. Golota lost both fights via controversial decisions.
Speaking at the United Center’s press conference, hosted by the one and only Don King, Golota (38-5-1 31 KOs) is, by all appearances, confident and ready.
"I would like to thank everyone for their support for all of these years, especially my family and the Polish people - my Polish fans," the 37-year-old Golota declared. "This is the last chance, but this time I can’t leave it in the judges’ hands. I will knock Lamon Brewster out!"
Golota’s longtime trainer Sam Colonna is just as confident: "Andrew is in great shape and is training very hard. Come May 21 you will see a new heavyweight champion of the world - Andrew Golota!"
Narrowly missing his two chances in 2004 to wrap a world title belt around his waist, Golota’s mission this third consecutive time out will not be an easy one.
The 31-year-old Brewster’s road to glory has been filled with many hardships and obstacles along the way. The Indiana native, who now calls Los Angeles home, showed his true heart during his title fight against then-champion Wladimir Klitschko. After absorbing a great deal of punishment and coming off the deck in round four, Lamon displayed unequaled fortitude in KOing Klitschko in the next round and taking his WBO belt.
"I’m going to give 100% on fight night,” Brewster said, “and if they take me out on a stretcher, I will still have that belt around my waist. Golota has overcome a lot of demons in his life to get back in the ring, but he will not be able to overcome me."
This Don King promoted fight card is expected to draw a live gate of over 22,000 fans and will be shown live on HBO.
Tickets for the May 21 Andrew Golota vs. Lamon Brewster WBO heavyweight championship are priced from $500 to $35 and are on sale at the United Center box-office, at all Ticketmaster outlets (www.ticketmaster.com), or call (312) 559-1212 for more information.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?