Originally Posted by Rumsfeld
I scored Golota-Byrd the same as Fightnews.com
There were some close ones in there that were a nightmare to score, and I admit I probably gave Golota the benefit of the doubt in some of those rounds where others may not have. But I don't think my score is far off the mark, especially when a pretty big on-line boxing publication scored it the same.
I think 1996 Golota would have bested Byrd and Ruiz easily. Neither had the raw power to strike fear into Golota, and Andrew was a great athlete in 1996 with deceptively fast hands and tremendous reflexes. I think Golota stops Ruiz in a round or 2, and beats Byrd similarly to what Wlad did in his first fight with Byrd. That is a 1996 Golota.
Golota-Ruiz was truly one of the dirtiest contests I had ever seen, where there is an example of just about every foul in the book. Terrible fight.
Golota-Byrd was quite entertaining, though. I was (and still am) extremely disappointed that one didn't result in an immediate rematch.
I just can't get beyond how mentally weak and gutless he was, but I do think your analysis is valid. Tremendously talented fighter, very, very good, very gifted.
It's a shame he came to maturity and strength so late. His performance against Mike Mollo was nothing short of strong and professional, and he was clearly badly faded. That sort of suck it up type grit in 1996, and he's either the heavyweight champion, or the perennial runner up. Exercised some demons in his final comeback, I feel. I wrote him off, finally, as done after Brewster waxed him.