Golota tops Mollo by decision; Alexander wins easily
NEW YORK -- Heavyweight Andrew Golota, his eye swollen shut from the fifth round on, won a unanimous decision against Mike Mollo in a grueling action-packed brawl Saturday night on the Roy Jones-Felix Trinidad undercard at Madison Square Garden.
Mollo had called out Golota, a fellow Chicago fighter, in October, and they battled it out from the opening bell.
In the end, with both men utterly exhausted, Golota claimed the decision on scores of 118-109, 116-112 and 116-110. ESPN.com also had it for Golota, 115-113.
"I couldn't see anything after Round 8," Golota said. "I had to box more by feel than by what I could see. He was much faster than I thought he would be. He hit me too many times."
Mollo went right at Golota, attacking him with both hands from the opening bell, clearly trying to put doubts in fragile Golota's mind.
Mollo (19-2, 12 KOs) stunned Golota (41-6-1, 33 KOs) with a right hand early in the second, but Golota rebounded to stun Mollo. Golota continued to fire away, and he had Mollo hurt and trying to hold on as the round ended.
In the fourth round, Mollo rocked Golota with a right hand and had him reeling before Golota came back at the end of the exciting round.
Golota's left eye began to swell dramatically in the fifth round after Mollo landed a flush right hand.
Golota, 40, could have used a few more seconds in the eighth because he had an exhausted Mollo in some trouble, but the bell ended the round.
The ninth was action-filled, but Mollo, 27, took some heavy leather. He was hanging on for dear life in the closing seconds of the round and walked toward the wrong corner as the round ended. But Golota's eye was in terrible shape -- it was swollen completely shut.
As the pair went to the 12th, the crowd was on its feet and both fighters were dead tired but trying to finish each other. Mollo was holding again just to keep from falling down from exhaustion but was still punching, and Golota also was doing all he could to score a knockout as the final bell sounded.
"I hope nobody will call me a quitter again," said Golota, who has quit several times in tough spots.
Said Mollo: "I couldn't believe the number of combinations he threw for an old man. I fought the best I could."
Mollo's only previous loss had been a fourth-round TKO to big puncher DaVarryl Williamson in May 2006.
Golota's career has been filled with disappointments -- two disqualification losses to Riddick Bowe, including one that ignited a riot inside the Garden in 1996, and an 0-3-1 record in title fights. But this win probably kept alive his chances for another meaningful bout.
Alexander cruises past Corley
Junior welterweight prospect Devon Alexander (14-0, 9 KOs), grunting on virtually every punch he threw the way tennis star Monica Seles used to do when she hit the ball, earned the biggest victory of his young career by easily outpointing former titleholder DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley (31-8-1, 17 KOs).
Alexander prevailed 118-109 (twice) and 116-111. ESPN.com had it 119-108 for Alexander, who lost an inconsequential point in the 12th round because of a low blow.
Alexander started fast and was hurting Corley in the second, third and fourth rounds, but seemed to back off just a little to conserve energy for his first 12-round fight.
"It felt great to go 12 rounds with a former world champion," said St. Louis' Alexander, who fights out of the same stable as junior middleweight titlist Cory Spinks, with whom he shares trainer and manager Kevin Cunningham. "It was hard because it was my first 12-rounder. I was pressing hard early trying to get the knockout. But my coach told me to just settle down and do what I do. I'm ready for more. I'll do even more in the future. I want everyone in St. Louis to know I came back with the win."
Corley brought a wealth of experience into the ring, having faced Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Zab Judah and Witter, but he couldn't deal with Alexander's attack.
By the end of the fight, his left eye had swelling around it from eating so many right hands.
"I could have let my hands go a little more and pressed him a little more, but I didn't. He's a good fighter," said Corley, who added that he planned to retire.
• Congo native Alex Bunema registered a major upset, knocking out former junior middleweight titlist Roman Karmazin in stunning fashion at 1:02 of the 10th round.
There had been little action in the bout until the explosive ending. Bunema knocked down the Los Angeles-based Russian with a left hand earlier in the 10th, and he was shaky when he got to his feet but able to continue.
Moments later, Bunema (27-9-2, 15 KOs), best known for a 2004 knockout loss to future middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, blasted Karmazin (36-3-1, 23 KOs) with a flurry of punches, including a big right hand that knocked him down in the corner, where he slumped over as the fight was called off.
Karmazin held a wide lead on all three scorecards.
In July 2006, Karmazin, 35, lost a majority decision and his title to Spinks. But he had won two fights since, including an impressive third-round blowout of former titleholder Alejandro "Terra" Garcia on Nov. 23, 2007.
• Former welterweight titlist Luis Collazo (28-3, 13 KOs) got in 10 rounds of work, dominating hard-headed Edvan Dos Santos Barros (9-5-1, 7 KOs) in a lopsided decision victory.
One judge had it a 100-90 shutout and the other two had it 99-91 for Collazo, who shook off the rust of an 11-month layoff.
Collazo, 26, of New York, hadn't fought since losing a decision to Shane Mosley in February. In that fight, Collazo badly injured his left hand, and he needed surgery.
Dos Santos, 29, of Brazil, soaked up a lot of punches on the way to his third loss in his past four fights.
Collazo appeared as though he might score a knockout in the ninth round as he peppered Dos Santos with a variety of punches and staggered him with a straight left.
• The last time Emmanuel Nwodo (22-4, 18 KOs) was in the ring, he was knocked cold in the 11th round by Darnell "Ding-A-Ling Man" Wilson last June in the 2007 ESPN.com knockout of the year. In his first fight since the brutal loss, Nwodo dished out his own massive knockout.
Nwodo crushed Ezra Sellers, knocking him out at 2:59 of the second round in their heavyweight bout.
Nwodo, 33, dropped Sellers with a right followed by a left behind the head for the first knockdown. Sellers made it to his feet, but seconds later, Nwodo unleashed a flush right hand that caught Sellers (29-8, 26 KOs), a two-time cruiserweight title challenger, on the chin and knocked him out cold face first. Sellers, 39, stayed down on the mat for several minutes receiving medical attention but was eventually able to leave the ring under his own power.
Dan Rafael is ESPN.com's boxing writer.