But did you really win?
"Of course I won," he said. "I was getting ready to knock Golota out. That's why he hit me low. He knew what was coming."
There's nothing sadder than a former champ who doesn't know when to quit. Slow of reflex and with diminished endurance, Bowe now risks being put out for good. "Ali hung on the ropes and won," he argued after the fight. "Why do I have to be any different? When I'm finished as a fighter, I'll be the first to know it and acknowledge it." Ali, too, thought his power and quickness could outlast his youth. But he left the ring old, slow and punched out.
With Holyfield and Mike Tyson tied up in negotiations for their own rematch next summer, Bowe's likeliest next opponent is the drastically discounted Lennox Lewis. But what was once a matchup of top bananas now seems like a closeout sale of bruised tomatoes. Golota's prospects are less clear, though Duva now cracks, "Any heavyweight should love to fight this guy. If things get rough, he'll know Golota's going to lose on fouls."
On Saturday, Golota left the ring in tears. So low and blatant was that final blow, that not even the most vocal of his supporters booed when the fight was called. As Golota slouched on his corner stool, Duva screamed, "How could you be so dumb? You've only got yourself to blame."
Golota not only blamed himself, he beat himself up. "I stupid!" he shouted in the dressing room while slapping his temple. "I stupid!"