. More Boxing News---------------------------------------------------------------------------- UFC/MMA NEWS
Wladimir Klitschko: Ready, or Ready for the Taking?
(April 3, 2004) 
Wladimir Klitschko
Words of confidence and promises of an emphatic win are commonplace among boxing’s warriors, be they prohibitive favorites or longshot underdogs. On April 10, there will be one of each in opposite corners as Wladimir Klitschko continues his comeback against Lamon Brewster in a bout which promises to tell us more about Klitschko than it will of Brewster. Aside from the rhetoric, there is no good reason why Klitschko should not win this fight. He is by far the more skilled and experienced of the two fighters, having fought many more world class opponents and beaten them decisively, except for Corrie Sanders and Ross Puritty.

Sanders and Puritty. The two fights which have defined Klitschko to this point haunt him like a poltergeist created by the press and show no signs of letting up. In defense of Klitschko, the loss to Puritty was simply a result of running out of gas and then being rescued by his corner. As his older, bigger brother Vitali has shown, it is not impossible to fight your way out of the “no heart” stigma. The loss to Sanders, conversely, presented a question that cannot be answered in any positive manner, that is, the question of how well Wladimir takes a flush shot. To say that he didn’t handle it well would be a colossal understatement. Lamon Brewster knows this, and he’s banking on it.

Brewster, who has dedicated this fight to his recently deceased trainer Bill Slayton, might have the Buster Douglas factor working in his favor. It is not totally out of the question that he could come into the bout inspired to do great things which would normally be beyond his capabilities, and catch a lackadaisical Klitschko with a good clean punch. Although Brewster has a sparkling knockout rate in his 29-2, 26 knockout record, he has failed his two biggest tests as a pro to date.

All the way back in May 2000, Clifford Etienne was still undefeated, and, (gasp) considered the possible savior of heavyweight boxing, touted as such by no less than HBO’s Larry Merchant (who brought to us other saviors of boxing like the “best heavyweight since Mike Tyson” in Courage Tshabalala.) Etienne pounded out a unanimous decision against Brewster on that night, and for all of Brewster’s knockouts, he was unable to knock down the Black Rhino even once. As Fres Oquendo would later show, knocking Etienne down is not an impossible task even for a fighter not known as a puncher.

Then, just five months later, Brewster would drop another unanimous decision to Charles Shufford, a fighter who was thoroughly dominated and sent to the canvas several times by Klitschko. Still, despite the lack of any big name opponents on Brewster’s dossier, and the absence of any victories over mid-level talents, the fact that Brewster feels he is fighting for something makes this fight an intriguing one. He believes he can and will win the fight. That alone should be cause for concern in the Klitschko camp, and Brewster should not be dismissed as another Danell Nicholson.

Apparently the WBO championship means something to these brothers Klitschko, given the number of times each has fought for and exchanged it. The strap, which was dumped by Sanders, will be up for grabs in this fight as well, so maybe Klitschko won’t take Brewster lightly. But if he does, then the next time he enters the ring he may find himself as the longshot underdog, promising to upset the prohibitive favorite.
© Copyrights / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing 1998-2004