CHICAGO – Retired heavyweight Andrew Golota could be deported from the United States to his native Poland.
The 44-year-old boxer's case is in court and his wife, Mariola Golota, told The Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/MLnRwV) that a decision is expected in September.
Golota was a title contender with bouts against Mike Tyson (2000) and two against Riddick Bowe in 1996 that ended in disqualifications for throwing low blows. He also won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics.
Golota lives in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook as a legal permanent resident of the U.S., but a criminal background check was triggered when he filed paperwork to become an American citizen.
Golota pleaded guilty in a 2006 Cook County involving a dozen firearms found in his home. Golota's firearm owner's identification card was temporarily revoked at the time. He also pleaded guilty in Will County in 2003 to impersonating a police officer. Golota was accused of flashing an honorary New Jersey police badge when he was pulled over in the Chicago suburbs.
Mariola Golota said the deportation case is "this big, black cloud that's hanging over our family." An attorney and U.S. citizen, she said her husband is treated more harshly because of his celebrity.
"I'm just hopeful that it's going to turn out OK. It's kind of out of your hands," Mariola Golota said. "Andrew paid dearly for whatever he did. You pay once when you plead guilty and then you pay again, and that's much harsher."
Since his retirement, Golota has appeared in a commercial for the U.S. Census Bureau and on Poland's version of "Dancing With the Stars."