Lamon Brewster Finds A Way To Win

By Tom Donelson
Updated: October 3, 2005

NEW YORK — It has been said that when a fighter becomes a champion, he becomes a better fighter. Lamon Brewster may be proof of that old adage. Going into the eight round of his recent bout with Luan Krasnigi, he was behind on points.

Krasnigi used his boxing skills to build up a significant point lead. Brewster seemed befuddled by Krasnigi’s consistent barrage of left and right combinations and incapable of mounting a significant offense. Just as in the Klitschko and Meehan fight, the taller boxer-puncher proved problematic for the rugged Brewster.

The eighth began as the others ended, with Brewster using his head to block incoming blows. Just as in the fifth round of his fight with Klitschko, Brewster nailed Krasnigi with a left hook near the end of the round. This hook sent the German fighter sprawling for an eight count. Brewster finished the job in the ninth as he took control and stopped his challenger.

Over his last four fights, Brewster has shown a will to win under difficult circumstances. In three of the four fights, he had to find a way to come back to win against determined foes. With Klitschko, he had tasted Wladimir power and hit the canvas once in the fourth.

Going into the fifth round of that fight, Brewster had been staggered and knocked down but his left hook changed the fight in the last 30 seconds. He pulled out victory out of the proverbial jaw of defeat. Against Meehan, he was staggered by a Kali Meehan combination. He survived to win a shaky and controversial decision.

His most recent title defense was not exception as he fell behind on points before his left hook bailed him. Only the Andrew Golota fight was an easy affair as he pounded the enigmatic Polish fighter from one ring post to the other in the first round.

Brewster is not the best fighter in the world but he is one of the toughest. His use of his head to block punches is not the best strategy toward a long career but his powerful punches are proving to be a great equalizer. What Brewster has is strength and power.

He can take a punch or several punches on a rock solid chin. His weakness is his defense as he seemly takes a lot of punches on that concrete chin of his. So far as champion, his chin and power punches have allowed him to prevail.

What can we make of Brewster? In a heavyweight division that is essentially a toss up from top to bottom, Brewster may just be one of the elites. The difference between Brewster and Peter was that when Brewster had Klitschko in trouble, he did not allow him to escape. Peter did. Which is why Brewster has to be rated above either Klitschko or Peter.

Brewster strength and durability gives him advantages over John Ruiz, whose losses have come to superior boxers or stronger punchers just as David Tua. If Brewster can take Klitschko’s best, he could certainly take Hasim Rahman best. Byrd is the superior boxer and could give Brewster trouble simply because Byrd quickness would allow him to escape harms way and Byrd toughness would allow him to take Brewster best.

The biggest disadvantage that Byrd has is his age as he is approaching 34 and the quickness that has allowed him to elude bigger fighters is slowly slipping away. And against Samuel Peter, Brewster chin and power would allow him a even chance to win. If nothing else, a Peter-Brewster match up would be a fascinating slugfest that every boxer would love to see.

Brewster’s biggest obstacle would be Vitali Klitschko, simply because Vitali would not tire against Brewster, like his brother did, and his power would be sufficient to hold off the hungry American slugger. Brewster may be slowly becoming America best heavyweight.

Brewster is one of those fighters whose abilities are both under appreciated and underestimated. Right now, Brewster holds one of the four major titles but it could be surmise that he could at least hold his own against two of the other belt holders- Chris Byrd and John Ruiz. Brewster may just be peaking at the right time in his career.