Lewis-Tyson must overcome TV wrangle

After Andrew Golota's abject surrender here on Friday night, the search is officially on to set up a showdown between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. Just two obstacles stand in the way. One is Tyson's threat to retire. The other, probably more serious, is to secure a deal between the rival television organisations to which the world's two biggest heavyweight attractions are contracted.

After Andrew Golota's abject surrender here on Friday night, the search is officially on to set up a showdown between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. Just two obstacles stand in the way. One is Tyson's threat to retire. The other, probably more serious, is to secure a deal between the rival television organisations to which the world's two biggest heavyweight attractions are contracted.

Immediately after the fight, which ended when the Pole to all intents and purposes fled the ring rather than come out for the third round, Tyson's manager, Shelley Finkel, left the door half-open and half-closed. "Mike is disappointed. He feels unfulfilled. But the last time I heard him, he sounded pretty emphatic about retiring."

Lewis, meanwhile, tried to goad Tyson into a contest which could prove boxing's richest-ever, declaring Tyson "a shadow of his former self," and vowing to "get rid of the sport's number one misfit." Tyson, the champion predicted, would be unable to resist. "I believe the money, to have one more big fight will be too great. I hope he waits for me. I'm sure there's a little bit of food for me to eat."

First, of course, there is the small matter of Lewis's defence of his World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation and International Boxing Organisation titles against the principal contender, David Tua of New Zealand, next month, while Evander Holyfield, who holds the World Boxing Association version of the heavyweight crown, will be pressing his case for a chance to secure a hat-trick of victories over Tyson.

But the fight everyone wants is Lewis against Tyson. Whether it materialises depends on an agreement between HBO, which has the rights to show the current champion's fights, and Showtime, the organisation with which Tyson is aligned. For Lewis/Tyson to happen, one network must agree for its man to appear on the other.

Unusually, boxing's latest moment of ignominy had nothing to do with Tyson, who put up a disciplined, at times impressive performance, scrupulously following the referee's instructions to break, and flooring Golota with a crunching right hand seconds before the end of the first round.

Golota had wanted to pull out there and then, but was persuaded to come out for the second. He seemed to be weathering the storm, tying up Tyson close and landing some punches of his own. But just when a genuinely good fight seemed about to emerge, the Pole decided enough was enough. Pushing aside his trainer, Al Certo, he climbed out of the ring and strode out of the arena to a din of boos, as popcorn, beer and anything else to hand rained down from 16,000 justifiably enraged spectators.

The referee, Frank Garza, later said he told the fighter to return to his corner because his rest period was not over. Golota responded: "Why? I quit."

Whatever happens to Tyson, the farce may well have ended Golota's career on the heavyweight front line in the United States. After complaining of what his promoter, Kathy Duva, called nausea and "all kinds of head pains", he was placed under observation in a Chicago hospital - in fact, in intensive care, according to his wife, although a hospital spokesperson said she had "no information" about him.

But even if Golota gets the all-clear, neither promoters nor fans will be queuing up to see a man who has retired twice in major fights when apparently perfectly capable of continuing - against Michael Grant in November 1999 and now against Tyson, a contest which earned him between $2m (£1.38m) and $3m.

In the wake of speculation that his purse might be withheld, Golota's promoter claimed the morning after that the Pole had sustained a broken cheek-bone and concussion.

Duva, the head of Main Events, denied that his action was premeditated. "Look, if a guy went there intending to quit, he would have done it in the first round," Duva said. "Who would have said a word? He took an enormous punch, and could have stayed down."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...

Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solicitor

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?