Gone In 53 Seconds: Brewster Dismantles Golota

By Francis Walker
Updated: May 23, 2005

Tanara McLean

Lamon Brewster (left) overpowered Andrew Golota Saturday.

NEW YORK — Lamon Brewster (32-2, 28 KOs) took just 53 seconds to dismantle Andrew Golota (38-6-1, 31 KOs) on Saturday. It was Brewster’s second successful defense of the lightly-regarded WBO heavyweight title, as he has slowly emerged as one of the biggest surprises in the heavyweight division in recent years.

“God promised the children of Israel the land of milk and honey,” Brewster said after the bout. He also went on to say that Golota, who also suffered first-round knockout losses to Lennox Lewis (1999) and Mike Tyson (2000), would not prevent him from being the recipient of God’s promise.

Brewster, for one night, briefly reminded fans of the speed and power Tyson and Lewis had when he iced Golota with a hard right the first 12 seconds of the fight. On the second knockdown, Brewster knocked Golota through the ropes with a barrage of punches before flattening Golota out with another flurry with over two minutes remaining in the first round.

Overall, Brewster connected on 15 of 26 punches (83%). Golota barely landed only 3 of 11 punches (27%).

Brewster’s destruction of Golota came less than two weeks after James Toney tested positive for steroids following his 12-round decision victory against John Ruiz on April 30. Toney, who became the third middleweight in history to win a heavyweight championship, was stripped of the title and suspended for six months. The WBA title was returned to Ruiz and the fight was changed to a no-contest.

Brewster is coming off a string of impressive victories. Brewster has not lost a fight in more than four years (8-0, 7 KOs). He absorbed a tremendous beating at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko only to knockout Klitschko in the fifth round of an exciting slugfest to seize the vacant WBO heavyweight crown.

Brewster is one of several fighters who could definitely participate in a proposed heavyweight championship unification tournament. Brewster maybe ready of unify, but perhaps not the other champions.

Vitali Klitschko, the WBC champion, has had only one defense since wining the title in April 2004 and is injured. Hasim Rahman and Monte Barrett are scheduled to fight for the “interim” WBC title on July 23. The winner will challenge Klitschko for the WBC championship.

Ruiz could unify the WBA title against IBF champion Chris Byrd, the longest reigning active heavyweight champion (3 ½ years). But Byrd could meet mandatory challenger Serguei Lyakhovich in July first.

Brewster Is Different

Fighters such as Evander Holyfield (42), Lennox Lewis (39), and Mike Tyson (38) have flirted with retirement and occasional returns to boxing through the years because there was no one who could force them to retire. There was no one young enough or as strong as they were to beat them up.

Instead, the heavyweight division was so weak, fighters such as former middleweight champions Roy Jones, Jr. and James Toney beat John Ruiz, the first Latino to ever win a heavyweight title. The first middleweight to win a heavyweight title was Bob Fitsimmons – more than 100 years ago.

Wladimir Klitschko has a glass-chin. His older brother Vitali’s best career performance was a TKO loss on a cut against a faded, but still powerful Lewis in his last fight. Byrd has had tough fights as the longest active heavyweight champion (3 ½ years), but has not dominated the division.

Brewster has displayed a much needed blend of hand speed, power, and aggression in recent fights that the heavyweight lacks.

Also, Brewster, at 31, is younger than Hasim Rahman (32), Vitali Klitschko (33) Ruiz (33), and Byrd (34). Brewster has been knocked down, but never been knocked out and he is not ring worn, bruised, and battered to a pulp.

Aside form the other champions, Brewster has recorded an impressive recent string of KO victories – the same cannot be said of Ruiz, Toney, Holyfield, Tyson, Both Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, and Byrd, even though every one he fight tried to knock him out with every punch, or elbow, or forearm thrown at him because of his illusiveness.

Ruiz’ performances have been dreadful. Toney is suspended for steroids. Holyfield is only an old shell of what he once was. Vitali is injured and his brother is like Humpty-Dumpty. Once you put Wladimir back together after a devastating KO, you have to put him back together again.

Byrd has fought the best fighters available in recent years (McCline, Golota, and Oquendo), but he does not pack the power punch to take care of business the way Brewster has in his last few fights (KO!)

The only fighter other than to have had an impressive recent string of victories is Rahman. Since losing to Ruiz in Dec. 2003, Rahman is 5-0, with 4 KOs and is the No. 1-ranked challenger by the WBC.

If Rahman can beat Barrett for the “interim” WBC title followed by a second title victory against Vitali, the WBC champion, all fingers could point to a Rahman-Brewster, WBC/WBO heavyweight title unification fight.

In the heavyweight division, any and everything is possible.