Walk-off part in sad soap opera

Golota's hasty departure and Tyson's enigmatic exit line leave the once noble art in turmoil

Andrew Golota walked out of his fight against Mike Tyson here. But the real question is different: is a resurgent, impeccably behaved Tyson, after his most impressive performance in years, about to walk out of boxing?

Andrew Golota walked out of his fight against Mike Tyson here. But the real question is different: is a resurgent, impeccably behaved Tyson, after his most impressive performance in years, about to walk out of boxing?

Tyson's 49th career win was another mess a tarnished sport can ill afford, its circumstances leaving the 16,000 present at the Palace arena, who had paid between $75 and $1,000, outraged at Golota's refusal to answer the bell for the third round. For once however, boxing's most infamous son was absolutely not responsible for controversy.

Beforehand, Dr Ferdie Pach-eco, who counselled Muhammad Ali and is now one of boxing's elder statesmen, had predicted that Tyson-Golota would be "a psychodrama." And so it was; only not the jungle brawl expected from two of the wildest and most mixed-up individuals in the business, but an astonishing collapse by Golota - not of his body, but in his mind.

Perhaps the presence of Ali himself played a part, perhaps it was Detroit's reputation as one of America's great boxing towns; but from the moment he stepped into the ring, Tyson he was plainly in control of himself, and the fight.

From the start he came at Golota in that familiar crouching, swarming style. The Pole, four inches taller and 20lb heavier, tried to jab him off, but Tyson surged forward, landing a stinging left hook. Then with eight seconds left in round one, a thunderous right hook deposited Golota on the canvas. He was back on his feet when the bell intervened, but shaken and cut by his right eye.

In the second round he changed tactics, seeking to tie up his opponent, taking some solid blows but landing a few of his own. Just for a moment it seemed as if that rarity, a Tyson fight memorable for the right reasons, was in the making. But if Tyson had conquered his demons, Golota had not.

Just as in last November's match with Michael Grant, when he was actually ahead, Golota quit. Barely coherent, he accused Tyson of head-butting, though there was scant evidence of it. "Something was wrong with me tonight," he said. "Boxing is a very difficult sport. I am sorry to all my fans who counted on me, but it wasn't my day." Golota is also now considering his future - although an understandable future reluctance by fans to invest honest dollars may make the decision superfluous.

Afterwards Al Certo, Golota's salty trainer, could not hide his disappointment and disgust: "I'm not here to defend my fighter. Some guys have the guts, some guys don't. The older they get, the more gunshy some of them get.They ask themselves, 'what the hell am I doing in this business?'

"Andrew really trained hard for this. But after the first round he said, 'stop the fight.' When he refused to come out for the third, I tried to shove his mouthpiece back in his mouth, I told him everything under the sun, that he had to go back out there. Before the fight, I predicted one guy would finish with his pants on, the other with a skirt. Well, I wound up with the guy with the skirt."

In disbelief that quickly gave way to fury, the crowd watched as Golota forced aside his cornermen and went to a neutral corner. To a crescendo of booing he then strode out of the arena under a cascade of beer cans. It was fully five minutes before the bedlam subsided and the result, a technical knock-out at the start of the third round, was announced.

Tyson himself refused to say anything after a display in which he also followed the referee's every instruction scrupulously. "Tonight Mr Tyson fought like a gentleman," said Flip Homansky of the Nevada State Boxing Commission, which banned Tyson for 18 months after the ear-biting fiasco and whose blessing will be required if Tyson is to enjoy more lucrative Las Vegas paydays.

But that question too may be moot. Yesterday his camp insisted that the threats to retire earlier in the week, assumed at the time to be merely an attempt to boost sluggish ticket sales, were serious. "What Mike needs is to get away and re-assess," his advisor Shelly Finkel. "Obviously, the way this fight ended leaves him unfulfilled. But he's been pretty emphatic about quitting. If he doesn't want to fight again, I wish him well. If he does, the world is his." Which is perhaps another way of saying: Lennox Lewis or bust.

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Systems and Network Administrator

Negotiable: Randstad Education Leicester: We are recruiting for a Systems and ...

English Teacher

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Group: English as an Additional Langua...

Nursery assistants required in Cambridgeshire

£10000 - £15000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...

History Teacher

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Seconda...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album