What would you like to say to all of your fans in Chicago who are planning to attend your fight this weekend at the United Center against World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster?
“Come and support me on Saturday night. I will make you proud.”
How do you feel about fighting in your adopted hometown of Chicago? [Golota has lived in Chicago since 1991 after emigrating from Warsaw, Poland]
“There is extra pressure. I have a lot of pressure on me fighting in front of my people in Chicago. The pressure is not comfortable but it is exciting.
“This is a great thing for Chicago. We haven’t had a big fight like this in ages.”
What would it mean for you to win your first heavyweight world title?
“This is my last chance to win a world title. I want this very bad my whole life. Right now, I think this is the right fight and the right fighter.”
What do you think of your opponent, WBO heavyweight champion “Relentless” Lamon Brewster?
“Brewster is a tough guy who comes to fight. You saw what he did with [Wladimir] Klitschko. Brewster has a big chin. It’s going to be exciting. You have to respect your opponent.”
What is different about Andrew Golota today? What have you learned from your mistakes?
“When I look back there were too many reporters in the gym, not enough training. There were distractions. There were too many people approaching me with ideas, wanting me to do things.
“[Lou] Duva had a big ego. He would always be with [Tommy] Lasorda when he came to town. Don King is different. He is the show. This way I can do my job, to train and fight.”
The last couple of fights we came back with my old trainer [Sam Colonna] to correct things that went wrong in the past.
If you win, what would you like to do?
“I would like to unify the titles. I want to be world champion and unify the titles. There are too many champions.
I want Ruiz. R-U-I-Z. I’ve never been robbed like that [Golota lost a unanimous decision to Ruiz on Nov. 13 in a fight where he dropped Ruiz twice, and the champion had a point deduction]. I hope the judges [for the Brewster fight] are not from New York. It was unbelievable for me. I still can’t imagine how I lost that fight. It’s so unbelievable. Ruiz has nine lives, like a cat. Nobody can destroy him.”
Did you enjoy the time you spent away from boxing?
“When I left boxing, there was nothing in my life. I guess it’s my addiction. It’s my life.”
Andrew Golota’s Trainer
“Andrew doesn’t have much time left and he knows that. Having said that, he’s still a young fighter in terms of what he can do in the ring at age 37. He wants to win for his people, the Polish people. I think the time he spent away from boxing was good for him.
“I know Andrew feels a sense of urgency. It is ‘do or die’ time for us. There’s pressure on both Andrew and me. We’re Chicago guys and we need to win here. All our family and friends expect us to win.
“The Polish people have been down on Andrew in the past but they are back behind him. They come up to me at the store and around town and tell me they want Andrew to win.
“Today, Andrew is very confident. Brewster’s style is good for Andrew and I think it’s good for us because he comes to fight. Brewster throws punches and that leaves openings for us. Ruiz would throw two punches and then grab so there were not as many openings.”