Brewster bashes Golota and sends the ‘Foul Pole’ fishing
At Ringside, by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (May 24, 2005)  
Photo © Gary Randall
It was billed as ‘The Battle of Chicago: Border War’ but it may as well have been called ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’.

Hard-hitting heavyweight Lamon Brewster marched into enemy territory on Saturday night and went to battle with the hometown hero Andrew Golota. In front of the highly energized screaming Polish fans that shook the United Center with cheers and jeers, the ‘Relentless’ one sought out and destroyed the Chicago based boxing bad boy in just a mere fifty-three seconds into the first round.

Sporting black and gold battle fatigues, Brewster went straight for the kill at the opening bell like a bull dog with a vicious taste of blood. Brewster attacked Golota with an onslaught of punishing hooks to the body following up with a massive left hook that floored the challenger at just ten seconds of the opener. Moments later Brewster once again went head on with Golota, knocking him partially through the ropes with yet another powerful hook. Golota gallantly rose to his feet again only to meet with more pressure and devastating left hooks, and in the end Golota was literally dismantled and dismayed with the nonstop aggression that the reigning WBO heavyweight champion served up. Brewster handed Golota a one sided butt whooping and in the process shut the mouths of many of the naysayers with this flawless performance. Underdog or not, Brewster came to fight and portrayed nothing but superior aggression in this bout, and to the surprise of the HBO crowd and may ringside spectators this dog definitely had the bigger bite.

But will he get his respect?

Many critics have had a harsh outlook on Brewster, who has been widely overlooked largely due to his decision losses to Clifford Etienne and Charles Shufford. Some felt he couldn’t step up to a higher level and be successful. Brewster never gained respect for his shocking W over Wladimir Klitschko in April of ’04; instead of being hailed as a hard-hitting force with the unwillingness to quit, his team caught hell and was falsely accused of foul play in his victory over Klitschko and even after all the groundless accusations were proven false, there were still a select few that still doubted his ability. In his inaugural defense of his WBO title Brewster seemed unfocused and out of place in his bout against good friend Kali Meehan. Brewster hung in there after suffering a broken cheekbone to eke out a split decision victory, but was criticized once again for his passive performance.

It appeared that no matter what he said or did or how good it was, it wasn’t enough to gain respect, especially from HBO’s boxing analysts Larry Merchant, who is an ardent Klitschko fan, and the ever-so-clever Jim Lampley, whom commented after Hasim Rahman’s four round destruction of Kali Meehan two months after the Brewster bout, “Boy, Rahman just made Lamon Brewster look bad.” Even after Brewster’s destruction over Golota, Lampley was going on about how Golota froze up against Lennox Lewis, but Roy Jones Jr. said it best, “Golota just got the hell knocked out of him.” Plain and simple.

Brewster has undoubtedly had issues in the past. Yes, he was lackadaisical at times, but under the tutelage of new trainer Jesse Reid that fire seems to be burning bright and there is a new Brewster on the horizon. Golota wasn’t or isn’t a pushover despite his heart being questioned at times, but on Saturday night it didn’t have a chance to give way with Brewster’s head on tactics. If my calculation is correct, Brewster’s knockout win over Golota is the fastest stoppage in the history of heavyweight title fights. In many eyes Golota should have been toting the IBF title currently held by Chris Byrd and the WBA strap that remains in the possession of John Ruiz, both of whom struggled against the Polish puncher in fights that many people felt Golota won. So for all the hard fought Brewster fans who stuck it out, I ask this question for you, directed at Jim Lampley: “Are you going to say, ‘Boy, Brewster just made Byrd and Ruiz look bad’?”

What now for the two?

Well, Golota left the arena right after his loss, but issued a statement later saying he couldn’t believe the fight was stopped. If he goes back and views the short but revealing fight tape he would know why, and as his pre-fight comments suggested, maybe he should take up fishing. At the post fight press conference Brewster’s first words at the podium were, “First thing I want to say is that God is good.” Brewster went on to thank the many people who were responsible for his career and went in to detail on his tremendously vigorous training camp with Jesse Reid, who shared Brewster’s fight plan with the Doghouse the night before the fight. “Lamon is going to fight, then box,” Reid stated. Brewster stated that when he fought Meehan he viewed the towering Australian-based Kiwi as a friend and he couldn’t fight a friend again even if the WBO threatened to strip him of his belt, but other than that he plans on knocking everybody else out. The IBF heavyweight titleholder Chris Byrd is Brewster’s cousin, so a projected bout between the two would be an interesting proposition. Maybe a rematch with Klitschko the younger could be in the future, but all fans want to see a heavyweight tournament and now Brewster is well and truly in the mix. Whatever happens, a rejuvenated Brewster is ready and raring to go, so don’t blink.

I would like to give a personal thank you to Team Brewster: Sam Simon, Jesse Reid and Lamon Brewster. Thanks for all your kindness, it is greatly appreciated.
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