And the award for the 2005 Heavyweight Fighter of the Year goes to…
By Bobby Jones (December 19, 2005)  
If the voting style for Heavyweight Fighter of the Year was done the same as for the Heisman Trophy winner in college football, the results would look eerily similar. Reggie Bush won the award with the biggest first place percentages of votes in history. Vince Young and Matt Leinart (finishing second and third respectively) both had great seasons in their own regard, but none of them were nearly as explosive as Bush’s season.

So by applying the same criteria for Heavyweight Fighter of the Year, my pick goes hands down to the ‘Relentless’ one, Lamon Brewster. Many other fighters competed for second place in the one horse race including:

Wladimir Klitshcko, who went 2-0 this year, shocked many fans by defeating Samuel Peter. More shockingly, he rose from three knockdowns to win a decision.

James Toney continued defying odds by winning at the heavyweight level. There are complaints that the level of the fighters he defeated was less then stellar. Also, injuries and the steroids suspension only allowed him to fight twice this year, limiting his chances to win any kind of fighter of the year award. Not that he’s too concerned with that. In 2006 we will see how concerned he is to win the undisputed championship he’s been talking about for coming up on three years.

All these are really just moot points because of what Lamon Brewster accomplished this year. Yes, he only fought two times but the fashion in which he defeated his opponents was highlight reel worthy. Perhaps Brewster should take on Glen Johnson’s nickname, ‘The Road Warrior’. First, Brewster went to Chicago to take on Andrew Golota. Golota could have very easily gone into that match the IBF and WBA champion after losing two narrow decisions to Chris Byrd and John Ruiz respectively. Also, it seemed that all the Polish people in Chicago came to the United Center to cheer on their prodigal son. Well, the cheering lasted a whole 52 seconds. After three knockdowns (there was no three knockdown rule) referee Genaro Rodriguez called a halt to the proceedings in front of 20,000 suddenly silent fans. That, though, was the least impressive of what Brewster accomplished this year.

Brewster next traveled to Germany to take on underrated Luan Krasniqi. Traveling to Germany any time of the year to fight is a treat within itself. But, when you add to it that this would have been the 100th birthday of former world heavyweight champion Max Schmeling – Germany’s greatest athlete ever – then it takes on epic proportions. As many boxing experts believe, winning on foreign soil is very difficult to do, but in Germany that difficulty becomes almost an impossibility. Going into the 8th round, Brewster was behind on every scorecard even though the fight seemed a lot closer than the judges had it. At the end of the round Brewster landed a wicked cross that dropped Krasniqi for what appeared to be for the count. But to his credit, Krasniqi rose and made it to the end of the round. In the 9th, Krasniqi, out on his feet, was knocked down again, and this time for the count. Brewster had come back from way behind to win a fight when it appeared he was going to lose.

This is why I have chosen Lamon Brewster as the 2005 Heavyweight Fighter of the Year. With these sort of credentials it should be nothing but big fights for him from here on out.
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