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Trainer Sorry He Criticized Golota

From Associated Press

Andrew Golota’s trainer apologized Monday for calling the fighter a quitter after his loss to Mike Tyson.

“I made several comments criticizing my fighter, Andrew Golota, for his decision to not answer the bell for round three,” Al Certo said in a statement released by Main Events, Golota’s promoters.

“At the time of the stoppage I was unaware of how injured my fighter was.”

Golota quit after the second round of Friday night’s heavyweight bout and left the ring in the Palace of Auburn Hills at Auburn Hills, Mich., to a chorus of boos, a shower of soda and beer and severe criticism from the media.

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Golota told Certo after the first round he wanted to quit, but Certo told him he could win the fight.

“It has now come to my attention that Andrew suffered several injuries,” Certo said. “Obviously, a fighter’s health takes priority over continuing a boxing match.”

Golota was admitted to Chicago’s Resurrection Hospital on Saturday with a concussion, a fractured left cheek bone and a herniated disc in his neck. Peggy Williams, a hospital spokeswoman, said Golota was discharged from the hospital in good condition Sunday night.

Meanwhile, Golota’s wife, Mariola, said her husband was hurting and humiliated, worried about what his 9-year-old daughter Alexandra would think about the fight.

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“What will Ola [Alexandra’s pet name] think? I told her I would win the fight,” Mariola Golota said her husband wondered.

Added Mariola, a lawyer whose office in northwest Chicago was pelted with eggs and had garbage dumped in front of it: “Everybody just assumed, well, here we have a winner and a quitter. There was more involved. . . .

“Andrew wanted to win the fight. He wanted to show everybody he could fight clean and he could win.

“He got hurt, he got injured and it’s probably the smartest thing he did,” she said of his refusal to continue.

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Wesley Yapor, a neurosurgeon treating Golota, described the fighter’s injuries Sunday on a conference call with Mrs. Golota.

He said the 32-year-old Golota suffered a herniated disk between the fourth and fifth cervical vertebrae, and that he had been fitted with a cervical collar.

“If the symptoms persist, he might need surgery,” Yapor said.

Asked if Golota could fight again, Yapor said, “That’s a difficult question to answer. My goal is to get him to where he would have no restrictions.”

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