Lamon Brewster: “If God is with me, than who can be against me?”
INTERVIEW by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (September 21, 2005)
They say respect is not given but earned, and WBO heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster has earned the right to be respected the hard way, he has walked down that path of obstacles as many have in the fistic family and has fought for the right to be champion, he has faced bangs bruises and bumps along the way, but who says it is ever easy? And being a champion doesn’t necessarily mean you have it easy, you have to solidify your status among the elite, and while others aren’t so forthcoming in doing so, Brewster is willing to travel to do so.
On September 28th Brewster will defend his WBO title against rugged heavyweight Luan Krasniqi 28-1-1 (14) in a twelve round all out brawl. This is just another fight for Brewster that isn’t in his favor, but oh well, he has proven his ability to succeed under pressure. Not only is he willing to travel to defend his strap, he will take on Krasniqi in his backyard, and we are not talking small potatoes here, more like a country size bowl of Germany, and the Relentless one looks to devour his opponent in front of his countrymen in dominant fashion.
The thirty-two year old American heavyweight champion is making his mark on the division in a massive way. In his nine years as a professional boxer 85% of his victims has absorbed some heavy leather and tasted the canvas, with fourteen have fallen in the opening round. Names like Joey Guy, Nate Jones, Tommy Martin, Wladimir Klitschko and most recently Polish bad boy Andrew Golota have felt Brewster’s fury in a bad way.
The former Memphis contender Joey Guy (29-6) was derailed by Brewster in 2001 in the first round after being socked and dropped three times. In ’02 Nate Jones (18-1-1) fell apart in three rounds to Lamon’s power in a fight that earned Brewster the vacant WBO NABO heavyweight title. Defending his WBO NABO title and tacking on the vacant WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title, Brewster ripped apart and retired Irishman Tommy Martin (23-3) in three rounds but came into full swing out of the shadows and into the light when he upset the giant sized Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko (42-2) in round five of their HBO televised vacant WBO heavyweight title bout. Proving to be a warrior, the humble heavyweight traveled to Chi-town and literally destroyed the home town heavy-hitter Andrew Golota (38-5-1) in fifty-two seconds of their title match, not only wining the bout in championship fashion but winning the hearts of the Chicago crowd. If these bouts are any indication of what is to come, Krasniqi beware, the lion is coming, and pain and fury follows!
Although the Indiana native is destructive to his opposition in the ring, bringing down the house and his foes with his relentless aggression, Lamon remains humble and very respectable to his opponents and fans out of it, a class act and a breath of fresh air for the boxing world that is widely populated with arrogance and disregard for paying fans. Lamon’s secret to success is really no secret at all, just believe in one’s self, know that your gifts and talents are from God, work hard, tote around one massive left hook and most of all, be relentless!
Heading out to Germany Lamon took the time to speak with the Doghouse and gave his thoughts on his last bout against Golota and spoke out on his trip to defend his title against Krasniqi, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: First off I just want to say thanks for taking the time out for the Doghouse readers, as usual your time is greatly appreciated. Can you give the readers your thoughts on traveling to Germany to defend your title against Luan Krasniqi, which is also on Max Scheming’s 100th birthday?
Lamon Brewster: I think as far as fighting on Max Scheming’s birthday it is an honor because I have a lot of respect and admiration for Max because of what he did for Joe Louis after Joe Louis lost all of his money. I think it was a very admirable thing that he did coming all the way from another country helping my hero Joe Louis, so to be fighting on his birthday is really an honor and I look forward to putting on a good show in his honor for the sport of boxing. I also think that this is great for me to go to Germany as long as everything is on the up and up as far as referees and judges because I think being a world champion I think that I should truly represent that, not confined to the boundaries of the United States, but to be fighting all over the world as Ali and other great fighters did. I really feel like in a positive light I am following in their shoes and then on the other hand going over there beating this guy I get to win over the European fans as well in which I get a lot of European mail so I think it’s great all the way around, like I said my only concerns is just the allegations I hear about all the food poisoning and putting things on the gloves and things like that, the referees not being fair. But once again that gets me back to having faith in God and just believing that if He is with you than no man can be against you.
BH: You beat Luan in the amateurs, and I know the pros and amateurs are different but can you tell us about that fight in particular, was it by a decision, stoppage, was he a hard hitter, anything about his style that you remember?
LB: All I can remember was that he was a tall gentleman compared to me and he was intense, he was game, I mean he wasn’t not trying to fight, he was there every step of the way. But now we are going to do it for twelve rounds, now I am a bigger guy, I am definitely a harder puncher, I got the experience and I am more battle proven so with all that I think that he is really, really going to have his work cut out for him. If he can’t stand the heat than he is going to have to get out of the kitchen, because it’s going to be hot in there.
BH: What do you expect from Luan coming into this fight?
LB: Well you know he is coming off of his win over Lance Whitaker, maybe he’s carrying the pride of Germany on his shoulder because of this fight being in Germany and on Max’s birthday… I don’t know, but I just expect him to be in very good shape, I expect him to be strong and do what he do.
BH: OK, you have the WBO title but you are the one traveling to your opponent’s home country to defend it, this isn’t just a hometown in your opponents corner, but a country, what statement does this send out to the fight world about yourself, does it legitimize your status as a champion, what does it say to the world in your opinion?
LB: I think it tells the world that Lamon Brewster is the gamest heavyweight out there, cause I will go fight anybody anywhere. I always said I would fight a man in his living room and now I am getting to prove that. Hey, it’s like when we are in the ring it’s just him and me so it don’t matter who is in his corner whatsoever. Like I said, if God is with me can’t no man be against me and I walk by my faith and that’s all I have.
BH: You defeated Klitschko April of ’04 on HBO, you defeated Meehan September of ’04 on Showtime, and you destroyed Golota last May on HBO, emphasis on the major networks. Now coming off one of your most impressive victories and you are traveling to Germany to defend your title and it isn’t going to broadcast in the States for the American fans. You beat Golota and he had a spot on a PPV card until his injury, what’s wrong with this picture?
LB: Well, I really wish I cold answer that for you but unfortunately I am not in the position to I guess make demands on where I want my fights to be, so the only thing I can do is to prepare myself the best I can and go fight where they say fight and go fight who they say fight. If I don’t fight this guy the WBO will strip me of my title without a doubt so I am going to go defend my title so that I can keep it.
BH: Once again on your journey to Germany, do you feel that you will have to knock Luan out to get the W or can you trust the judging, and would the pressure of having to KO your opponent out of fear of a possible robbery add to the mental stress that comes with fighting under certain conditions?
LB: I will say that I feel more pressure, there is definitely an eyebrow raised on the fact that I feel that 99.9% I cannot let this fight go the distance because I have seen fights over there that he fought where I felt he lost but yet they gave him the decision or the draw so I don’t want that. My trainer before he passed always said you let the fists be the judge you don’t leave it to man, so I am not going in there to leave it to him, I am going to go in there and if he beats me he is going to beat me but it is not going to be the judges making the decision if I have anything to do with it.
BH: OK, now to your last bout, how did it feel to get the victory over Golota in his hometown in such a dominant fashion, where has that side of Lamon been?
LB: It felt great because when you put in hard work and you get results like that, that just makes all your training and all your efforts worthwhile, that just really gives confirmation to the fact that God is real for me, that’s the way I look at it.
BH: Honestly were you surprised how fast Golota went down in that fight, I mean he has been beat but he isn’t this pushover so did you expect him to fold so easily?
LB: I can say speaking of myself I was surprised but I wasn’t, because I always said that if any man tries to stand toe to toe with me he is going to lose. The fact of the matter is that Andrew Golota tried to stand toe to toe with me in which I don’t feel there is a man on earth who can, he tried and he found out there hard way. So in one hand yeah I am surprised cause Andrew Golota is a warrior, he has been in many battles and has taken a lot of hard shots as we’ve seen and he has given some shots, but on the other hand the fact that I took him out like that I am not surprised because I know that no man can stand up under my power.
BH: OK, after your victory over Golota, Riddick Bowe was ringside and spoke to you, we all know that Bowe had that whole ‘ball swatting’ incident years ago with Golota so I am anxious to know what he was telling you after the bout, if you remember?
LB: He just said that it was about time that somebody gave him what he deserved. Something to that extent, I can’t say word for word that was what he said but if I am not mistaken he was saying that.
BH: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a fighter even more so as a person?
LB: My faith I believe is my greatest strength because it is my faith that is the reason why I am still here today coming from Indiana with no money and hardly any family in California and all my victories and trials and tribulations and then still overcoming them all, you know my faith is definitely my strongest asset. My faith is what makes me, me.
BH: There are a lot of guys who are so called trash talkers, intimidators, outspoken loudmouths just to be blunt, the mass media and a lot of fans seem to flock to that sort of person, maybe for the purpose of entertainment, the unpredictability of their actions or words, or whatever it may be. You are the complete opposite, soft spoken, mild and meek, very well mannered not your typical stereotype of a guy who uses his fists to make a living, and there isn’t a lot of media that picks up on that. Have you ever thought to yourself, man, maybe I should get loud and a bit obnoxious and get the attention of the fight world?
LB: You always have thoughts when you are trying to put yourself out there, but then the first light bulb that comes on in my head is that I will never abandon the God that I serve in that manner for myself to try to win fans, because God says in the Bible if you love Me they will hate you, you are in the world but not of the world, so I always have to recognize that this gift that God gave me is from Him and not from me, I didn’t give myself this gift so why go start acting that way, He may not bless me in the next fight so I am going to stay humble and think of Him as I think of Him now, He uses me in every victory, He is using me to touch people and to show people that you can serve Him and be successful too, because I believe a lot of the loudmouths and things like that, that is all an illusion, man. Guys like that hardly ever win fights; I mean you have your exceptions. If I have to scare a man before he gets in the ring with me, well then he probably shouldn’t even be fighting.
BH: I know your mind is set on your fight in Germany but can you give us your thoughts on the Samuel Peter/Wladimir Klitschko bout, who do you see taking that W?
LB: I think the fighter who wants it the most is the one who is going to win, you have Samuel Peter who is a tremendous fighter but you have Wladimir Klitschko who is experienced and who is an excellent boxer who is in my opinion very underrated and overlooked because of his few loses. So we have to first find out can Samuel Peter take a punch, we have to find out how much does he want it, I think those will be the deciding factors in this fight. Just find out who wants it the most, who is the most determined to win.
BH: The crowd, do you see that playing an important role, can you win them over?
LB: There is no crowd, there are only illusions.
BH: Is there anything you would like to say or add in closing to this interview, you have open forum to speak your mind.
LB: I just ask that if I have any fans out there I would just like them to know that I am sorry that I won’t be fighting on national television for this fight, I hope and pray that I can get this guy out early without any serious injury so that I can come back and have one more fight in December at least for the fans so that they can understand that I am true, I am not one of those guys who are going to sit around, I want to stay busy and I want to give the fans what they need so in saying that I just ask for their prayers and support, and I want to thank them for believing in me and supporting me. And I thank the naysayers too because without the naysayers sometimes you rise so high but you never get that reality check without them so I thank them as well.
I wan to thank Dave for getting another great interview with Lamon, you always come through bro. A big shout out goes out to Lamon, a frequent guest on Doghouse, who is on the team of www.fighters-of-faith.com. For more info on Brewster please visit: www.lamonbrewster.com.
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