Mike Tyson felt unfulfilled. Andrew Golota was apologetic.
Tyson knocked down Golota in the first round of their 10-round heavyweight bout Friday night but ended up an unsatisfied winner when Golota quit before the start of the third round.
Golota left his corner and referee Frank Garza said: "You must go back to your corner."
Garza said Golota replied, "I quit."
The referee then told Golota, "Your one-minute rest period is not over. Go back to your corner."
Garza said Golota said, "Why? I quit."
Trainer Al Certo then led Golota back to his corner, saying, "What are you doing? What are you doing? You've got to get back out there."
But when Certo tried to insert the mouthpiece, Golota refused to open his mouth and the fight was over.
Later Certo said Golota wanted to quit after the first round but, "I said, 'No, you're going to win this fight.' But he wanted to stop it."
"Boxing is a very, very difficult sport," Golota said. "I apologize to all my fans."
It's very doubtful that many of his fans are in a forgiving mood - especially anybody who paid from $75 to $2,500 to watch the fight in the Palace of Auburn Hills or those who paid about $50 to watch it on pay-for-view.
When the fight ended, Tyson cursed Golota, then left the ring without talking.
"I think he was a little unfulfilled because he wanted to knock him out," Shelly Finkel, Tyson's adviser, said.
It was another controversial ending to a Tyson fight, but, Finkel said, "He can't be responsible for a guy he hurts who quits."
Golota complained of head butts - one of which apparently opened a cut over his left eye in the first round.
"Nobody takes care of this," Golota said. But there was no reason for him to quit.
"That's the first time I've ever seen that," Tyson's trainer, Tommy Brooks, said. "I would never have guessed that of a fighter. I think he suffers from anxiety attacks and I think he had one."
But it is not the first time Golota has quit. He did it after being knocked down by Michael Grant in the 10th round of a fight Golota was winning last Nov. 20.
Golota was twice disqualified for repeatedly hitting Riddick Bowe low. He also bit Samson Pou'ha on the shoulder and head-butted Danell Nicholson.
Tyson opened the fight as he does every match by charging out of his corner and throwing left hooks. This time he did not connect immediately as he did against Lou Savarese, whom he stopped in 30 seconds on June 24 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Tyson kept the pressure on, although Golota managed to tie him up several times. Then, with 12 seconds left in the round, Tyson brought the crowd of 16,228 to its feet with a crunching right to the head that dropped Golota.
Golota got up immediately and took a mandatory eight count. The bell saved him from further punishmet.
The second round was marked by several clinches, but Golota landed a few punches and was never in any distress.
Garza, a question mark going into the fight, did his job all right, although it didn't satisfy Golota.
"First of all, it wasn't my day," said the 32-year-old native of Poland who lives in Chicago. "I was head-butted and the referee didn't respond to it. That's it."
Talking about the knockdown, he said: "I slipped. I was hit very well. I stood up."
Officially, the fight goes into the books as a third-round technical knockout.
As to whether he will fight again, Golota, who severely damaged his career, said, "I will have to give heavy thought about it. I don't know. I didn't fight this particular fight. He head-butted me, you know. Nobody took care of this."
Golota didn't respond to the head butts with any rough tactics of his own.
Tyson, who did not appear at a post-fight news conference, said Thursday that this would be his last fight.
Most people in boxing believe Tyson will fight again, especially since he has often talked about fighting WBC-IBF heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis in what would be a major money match.
"He will probably take a couple weeks off and reassess," Finkel said. "This shouldn't affect Mike Tyson. He was very composed. If he doesn't want to fight again, I wish him well. If he does want to fight again, the world is his.
"He said it would be his last fight, and at this point, that holds true."
Tyson, 222 pounds (49-3, 43 knockouts), made $10 million for his first fight in the United States in a year and his first pay-for-view appearance since a no contest against Orlin Norris last Oct. 23.
Golota, 240 (36-5, 29 knockouts), made $2.2 million.
While it was just another controversial Tyson fight, there was something different about it. This time, Tyson didn't cause the controversy.
©2000 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
© 2000 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.