Bout Turns Into Riot

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NEW YORK CITY: The Riddick Bowe-Andrew Golota bout-turned brawl, left another black eye on the sport of boxing and may have delivered a knockout punch to professional fights at Madison Square Garden. The bout turned ugly in the seventh round, when referee Wayne Kelly disqualified Golota, a heavy underdog who was clearly winning the fight, for repeated low blows. As Golota dejectedly walked back to his corner, handlers and hangers on overflowed the ring. Bernard Brooks Sr., a confidant of Bowe, shoved Golota from behind and then slapped him on the face. After Golota retaliated with a left, another unidentified Bowe camp member repeatedly slammed Golota in the back of the head with a walkie-talkie, opening a bloody gash. The brawl then spilled into the stands, as Bowe backers and supporters of the Polish-born Golota squared off. All the while, Bowe was laying on the canvas, protected by his manager Rock Newman. It took about 35 minutes for police to restore order. Twenty-two people suffered minor injuries and eight people, including Golota's trainer, Lou Duva, were hospitalized. Ten people were arrested. Many ringside observers described the event as the worst boxing-related riot they had seen. The Garden, which had been the mecca of boxing before losing its place to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, has been trying to revive the sport in New York City. After not holding any professional fights between March 6, 1993 and December 15, 1995, the Garden has slowly begun to regain its place in boxing. However, that is all expected to change following Thursday's outbreak. -- Josh Dubow