The "real" heavyweight championship ended in unreal fashion. It also might have ended boxing at Madison Square Garden for a long time.

Riddick Bowe, who billed himself "the people's choice" and "the real heavyweight champion," even though he owns no official title belts, was being battered by unheralded Andrew Golota of Poland on Thursday night. But when Golota hit Bowe with a low blow in the seventh round - after earlier being penalized three points for such blows - Golota was disqualified.As Golota pounded the ropes in frustration, Rock Newman, Bowe's manager, jumped into the ring, pointing his finger at the fighter.

"You just can't let a fighter foul another fighter like that," Newman said.

Almost immediately after Newman came through the ropes, with Bowe squatting on the canvas, a member of his camp, Bernard Brooks Jr., bolted across the ring toward Golota.

Brooks later claimed he was defending his father after the senior Brooks tried to calm down Golota. But Brooks Jr., with a walkie-talkie in his hand, was seen taking several swings at Golota, who left the ring with cuts on the back and top of his head.

That was the beginning of long minutes of mayhem in an arena from which significant boxing was absent for more than a decade after problems with crowd control in the early 1980s. Dozens of people stormed into the ring, and Garden security was overwhelmed.

When the disqualification was announced, fights broke out throughout the building, many of them involving hundreds of supporters of Golota at the east end of the arena. The fights spread toward the ring, many involving blacks vs. whites, as security people attempted to intervene.

"This was the product of a few people who acted like criminals," New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani said.

Several minutes after the bout was stopped by referee Wayne Kelly, New York City police appeared. They, too, had difficulty breaking up the many fights, which included chair-throwing.

In one incident, a young black man in a wheelchair was knocked over.

It was more than 30 minutes after the bout that peace was restored and the building was evacuated. Ten people were arrested.

Police commissioner Howard Safir said there were 14 injuries, all minor.

Lou Duva, Golota's trainer, was taken to NYU Medical Center after suffering chest pains during the post-fight melee, and after a night under observation, he was admitted this morning. Duva, 74, has a history of heart problems.

Golota, who had a 28-0 record with 25 knockouts, appeared on the way to a major upset. He was quicker than the listless Bowe throughout the fight, staggering Bowe several times, while rarely being hit. Overall, Golota landed 243 of 440 punches (55 percent), compared to 143 of 361 (40 percent) for Bowe.

Of course, Golota also landed those low blows, being penalized in the fourth, sixth and seventh rounds before the final low shot that ended the bout.

"He's a decent fighter," Newman said of Golota, "but he's a dirty and nasty fighter."

Bowe said he was OK after the fight.

"I'm fine," he said.

When asked if he had been hit after the fight, Bowe smiled and said, "Was I hit? What fight were you watching?"

Golota was not available for comment

"Andrew has a habit of looping his punches and Bowe kept pulling his hands down," said Roger Bloodworth, one of Golota's cornermen. "He (Bowe) hit Andrew behind the head three or four times and was warned only one time. . . . I'm not going to argue who started it. It happened. This is a disgrace."

A disgrace that could have dire ramifications for the sport at what once was its mecca.

From 1982 until last year, the Garden staged fights only sporadically. Bowe, a native of Brooklyn, defended his heavyweight crown there on Feb. 6, 1993, knocking out Michael Dokes in one round.

That bout was called a farce by many, but at least it didn't end with rioting.

"You could hear people yelling `You're hurting my fighter,' " ring announcer Michael Buffer said. "When it ended there was a wave of humanity. I didn't even try to get in the ring. There was no security ringside."