The Pole, who was ahead on on all three judges' scorecards, was disqualified in the ninth round of Saturday night's a non-title heavyweight fight full of wild, slugging punches.
Golota had a point deducted for an intentional butt in the second round, lost another point for a low blow in the fourth round and was disqualified two seconds before the end of the ninth after sending the Bowe to the canvas with another low blow. Golota was later taken to hospital with a suspected broken jaw.
"He was warned, and I took away a point for a butt earlier and I took another point away for a low blow that was really blatant and then the third low blow, and that's a disqualification," Eddie Cotton, the referee, said.
The fight was a crowd-pleasing slugging contest as the two heavyweights, often looking exhausted, battled it out. Bowe was knocked down twice and Golota once.
Golota, who was disqualified in the seventh round in July after repeated low blows, knocked down Bowe with a right and a left to the head that dropped him to the canvas in the second round. Bowe got up and Golota continued pummelling him around the ring, but Golota had a cut open underneath his left eyebrow.
Bowe, who has lost at least 45lbs since last September, improved in the fourth round, catching Golota with a flurry of combinations that knocked the Pole down for the first time in his career.
Golota got to his feet quickly and almost immediately started throwing very low blows, for which he was warned. Finally Bowe went down after one of them and the referee took a point away and Bowe took about a minute to recover. He could have taken up to five minutes.
Between the fourth and fifth round, one of Golota's trainers, Lou Duva, told him to aim higher. "I don't want you to go to the body anymore. Everything goes to the head."
In the fifth round, Bowe seemed exhausted and was throwing lazy, looping punches. Golota caught Bowe with a rash of blows up against the ropes. Bowe came off them but Golota sent him reeling with another combination, ending with a right to the head.
It seemed to be all Golota after that, with Bowe at times seeming so tired he was having difficulty standing up. He seemed only a faded image of his old self but it did not matter as Golota beat himself again.
Ray Mercer, who narrowly lost a 10-round decision to Lennox Lewis in May and last won a fight in 1993, outpointed Tim Witherspoon on Saturday night to put himself into the heavyweight picture. The 35-year-old scored with stiff left jabs and sharp rights to the head, to gain a unanimous decision over the former twice heavyweight champion.
It was an important victory for Mercer, who lost 10-round decisions in tough fights against Evander Holyfield in 1995 and Lewis. He also had cost himself championship bouts with losses on decisions to Larry Holmes in 1992 and Jesse Ferguson in 1993.
"I think I won the fight. I won it clearly," said a disappointed Witherspoon, who is 39 in two weeks. "I conditioned myself for this kind of fight. It was easy."
The three judges, however, saw it differently.Reuse content