WBO heavyweight champ Lamon Brewster looks to keep his hardware on May 21st when he travels to the windy city Chicago, Illinois, to defend his title against the hometown brawler Andrew Golota in a twelve round heavyweight match-up. Brewster earned the title April 2004 when he upset the towering Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in five rounds and successfully defended the title last September in a close split decision victory over Kali Meehan, a win but not a convincing one for some. This up-coming bout against Golota means everything to Brewster as it does Golota. Both in dire need of a victory, Lamon needs a convincing W and Golota… well, he just needs one, period. Everything will be at stake this Saturday when the two face off, this is their future and it will solidify their careers.
Lamon Brewster 31-2 (27)
The hard-hitting ‘Relentless’ one has a good jab, excellent body work, a solid left hook, and one of the biggest hearts in boxing. Brewster has been overlooked and underrated by most boxing critics for his past performances where he seemed to be unmotivated and easy to hit. Although he isn’t the most skillful tactician he can bang, brawl and box, and can hang in there to get the win. He isn’t a quitter.
Brewster scored well as an amateur fighter. Competing in over eighty bouts, he was a four-time Golden Gloves Champion along with other highly notable awards. As an amateur he earned a Silver medal in the Pan Am Games. After his stellar amateur career the pro ranks were calling and in 1996 a twenty-three year old Lamon Brewster made his debut. In his first year as a pro Brewster was destructive, running over his opposition he stopped eleven by knockout, seven in the first round before he battled it out going the distance dominating eight rounds against journeyman John Kiser. In March of ’98 Brewster stepped in with the 20-7 Marcellus Brown who was coming off six wins, five via knockout. The 15-0 Brewster finished off his opponent in four rounds and moved on.
After beating down the usual suspects including Louis Monaco and Marcus Rhode, both of whom he stopped Brewster jumped in with the 21-2 Mario Cawley and two rounds later earned his twenty-first straight victory. On his march to the top Brewster hit a bump in the road when he faced another unbeaten heavyweight prospect Clifford Etienne in the spring of 2000. Although Brewster lost by unanimous decision, his greatest quality shined. At the end of round one Brewster tore ligaments in his knee but fought on and showed massive heart to finish up the bout. He didn’t quit. Brewster picked up and moved on, and four bouts later he laid out Nate Miller in three rounds to strap on the vacant WBO NABO heavyweight title. Ten months later Brewster sent another fighter into retirement. Even after stopping five of his last nine opponents by knockout Tommy Martin couldn’t handle the power of the young Brewster and in three rounds Lamon would defend his WBO NABO title and win the vacant WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title in the process, but his time was about to come.
The younger of the Ukrainian powerhouse duo Wladimir Klitschko was looking for his third comeback victory when Brewster agreed to fight the big man. Klitschko has stopped his last two opponents by knockout and in many eyes Brewster would fall in the same category, but Lamon had other plans. After a year layoff and two bouts with David Tua and Corrie Sanders never materializing, the stage was set, but nothing could prepare Brewster for what was about to happen. Months before the bout with Klitschko, Brewster’s long time trainer Bill Slayton passed away, in an emotional press conference Lamon told all that Wladimir would have to kill him to keep him from getting the WBO title, and he meant it. The 9-1 underdog was knocked around and out-boxed for four rounds and even tasted the canvas for the first time in his career in the fourth, but once again, he didn’t give up. In front of the Mandalay Bay crowd and the HBO viewers Brewster came back and defeated Klitschko with a fifth round TKO, not only winning the WBO title but also showcased his will to survive and to overcome the odds and find victory.
Five months later Brewster returned to Las Vegas to defend his new crown, but in the mix somehow fell short, not of the victory but performance wise. Australian sparring partner and good friend Kali Meehan gave all for twelve rounds, and in the eighth round had Brewster on the ropes and almost out in spectators’ eyes, but once again Brewster persevered and stuck it out to get the win. Brewster looks back on that bout as a learning block, not to let emotion overrule his killer instinct. And once again with well-known and highly regarded trainer Jesse Reid in his corner Brewster has the killer instinct and looks to press that issue on Golota on May 21st.
This bout against Golota is more than a just test for Brewster. It is his career that’s on the line and a loss would just about drop him out of the picture while a win would move him closer to the top, and that’s right where he wants to be. Regardless of what the critics may say about Brewster, his faith in God and unwillingness to quit combined with his natural power makes Brewster one of the most dangerous fighters in the heavyweight division. This won’t be easy for Brewster, but who says it ever is?
Stay tuned for the final face off.
Click for Part 1: Beat down in Chi-town Part 1: A look back at Golota.
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