Byrd & Brewster Retain Heavyweight Titles

By Francis Walker
Updated: October 2, 2005

Chris Byrd and Lamon Brewster
Chris Byrd and Lamon Brewster

NEW YORK — Chris Byrd and Lamon Brewster have a contrast in fighting styles. Byrd is a southpaw, difficult to hit, and lightly regarded for having punching power.

Brewster is not a southpaw, he can be an easy target, and has knockout power in both fists. One thing they have in common is the fact that they both defended their heavyweight championships against mandatory challengers within the same week.

Byrd (39-2-1, 20 KOs), making the fifth defense of the IBF title, but only his first in 11 months, won a 12-round unanimous decision against IBF No. 3-ranked, DaVarryl Williamson (22-4, 18 KOs) on September 30, in Reno, NV.

At 6′ 2,” 215 pounds, Byrd’s previous four challengers included Jameel McCline, Andrew Golota, and Fres Oquendo were at least 6′ 4,” 245 pounds with plenty of aggression. Williamson, fighting in his first world title fight, was smaller at 6′ 3,” 225, but not a big puncher.

Williamson appeared confused on how to attack Byrd, who faked, jabbed well with his right hand, and simply made his challenger miss often. Williamson did not prove to a threat to Byrd’s title reign.

The three judges scored the bout 116-112 (twice) and 115-113 for Byrd.

Brewster (33-2, 29 KOs), however, was engaged in a more competitive bout. Fighting on the 100th birthday of German boxing legend, the late Max Schmeling, the champion needed a ninth-round-round TKO to stop Luan Krasniqi (28-2-1, 14 KOs) in Hamburg, Germany on September 28.

Krasniqi was aggressive from the opening bell, but a right-hand from Brewster floored him in the eighth round. Brewster went on to KO Krasniqi in the next round.

This was not the first time Brewster needed a knockout to win a title fight. Brewster rallied from an early knockdown and surprisingly knocked out Wladimir Klitschko in the fifth round to win the WBO title in April 2004.

Brewster has defended his title three times. In his previous bout in May, Brewster knocked out Andrew Golota in the first round.

Klitschko Mandatory for Byrd, Brewster

Wladimir Klitschko, the younger brother of WBC heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko, survived three knockdowns and saved his career by winning a 12-round unanimous decision over Sam Peter to emerge as the No. 1 contender for both the IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.

Klitschko, who was knocked out by Brewster, has a victory over Byrd. Klitschko was simply too big for Byrd when they fought more than five years ago.

Since Klitschko fought both Byrd and Brewster, he has struggled to regain his once dominant style. Meanwhile, Byrd has emerged as the longest heavyweight champion at two years and ten months. Brewster is enjoying a near one-year reign on top of the heavyweight division.

In early 2006, it would be very interesting to see if Wladimir can join his brother as a heir of the heavyweight championship throne. But he must reprove himself by going through either Brewster or Byrd.