Boxing: Golota hits Bowe with a lawsuit

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Having twice lost to Riddick Bowe on disqualification for low blows, Andrew Golota is suing Bowe and Madison Square Garden over the riot following their July bout in New York.

Golota and his cornerman, Sam Colonna, are claiming they were injured because Bowe was negligent in supervising his employees and because the Garden failed to provide adequate security. Golota and Colonna are seeking an unspecified amount of money for medical expenses and pain, according to the lawsuit filed in state Superior Court in Jersey City. New Jersey law prohibits plaintiffs from putting damage figures in lawsuits, but a newspaper in Warsaw, Poland, reported that they seek $5m (pounds 2.9m).

They also name as defendants Bowe's manager, Rock Newman, Spencer Promotions and a Spencer employee, Jason Harris. Golota left Poland in 1990 and now fights out of Chicago.

The lawsuit is the latest stemming from the 30-minute chair-swinging riot on 11 July in which 14 spectators and eight police officers were injured. Three Brooklyn men who said they were injured filed a $4.5m suit in July against the arena, Bowe and Newman.

"We had a full complement of security on duty which had handled five previous arena fights without incident," said John Cirillo, a Garden senior vice president. "Our security acted appropriately and if it weren't for the action of a few individuals who had total disregard for everyone else's welfare, the incident wouldn't have happened."

Newman, speaking from his Spencer Promotions office in Washington, derided the lawsuit: "It's another dumb, low blow by Golota, that he will get disqualified for again."

The Garden brawl began after Golota was disqualified in the seventh round for landing low blows. With Bowe on the canvas, Newman and other members of Bowe's entourage charged across the ring. Harris was seen striking Golota several times on the head with a cellular telephone. The wounds required about 13 stitches, said Golota's lawyer, Thomas DiBiase.

Garden security guards and 250 police officers cleared the arena of 11,000 people. Over a dozen people were arrested and four members of Bowe's entourage were charged in connection with the fight. Harris, the only one charged criminally, pleaded guilty to assault last year. Spencer Promotions was fined $250,000 by the New York State Athletic Commission.

DiBiase asserted the Garden not only failed to provide enough security in the first bout, but did not call police for 18 minutes after fighting erupted. "It is our contention that if that call was made sooner, the melee, if it could not have been prevented, could have been minimized," DiBiase said.

The December rematch in Atlantic City ended in the ninth round when Golota - who had been pounding Bowe and appeared on the verge of winning - punched Bowe below the belt, sending him to the canvas.

Comments