Klitschko And Brewster To Meet Again

By Francis Walker
Updated: June 29, 2007

NEW YORK — Lamon Brewster will have an opportunity to return to the top of the heavyweight division. Brewster (33-3, 29 KOs) will battle Wladimir Klitschko (48-3, 43 KOs ) in a rematch of their memorable first encounter three years ago.

The two will meet for Klitschko’s IBF heavyweight championship on July 7, from Cologne Arena in Cologne , Germany . It will be Klitschko’s third defense of the IBF title in 15 months and Brewster’s first fight in more than one year.

Klitschko-Brewster II will be televised live on HBO Sports at a special start time of 5 pm ET (2 pm PT). There will also be a same-day replay at 10:30 pm ET.

Klitschko could have fought anyone else in the heavyweight division, but instead wants to fight the best and challenged a very dangerous fighter in Brewster.

“I think this the fight they want to see, the audience, boxing fans,” Klitschko said during a recent international conference call with the media. “I’m pretty much sure this is the fight that everybody wants to see.”

Klitschko preferred to unify his IBF/IBO heavyweight championship with the other champions. Klitschko believes that holding onto one (or two) championships isn’t good enough and that the heavyweight division needs “only one champion” with “all the belts.”

“If we’re talking about unification right now, for which I was looking for, after losing the title. The Russian Giant, Valuev, after he lost his fight there was no competition left in the heavyweight division. All of the heavyweight champions had just won their titles. The promoters, of course, just want to keep them,” Klitschko added.

Klitschko is boxing’s longest reigning heavyweight champion. Klitschko made reference to 7-foot-3, 325-pound Nikolai Valuev losing the WBA title to unbeaten Ruslan Chagaev in April.

Undefeated Sultan Ibragimov just won the WBO title on June 2 with a 12-round decision against Shannon Briggs. WBC champion Oleg Maskaev has to wait until September to fight Samuel Peter with the winner to face Wladimir’s older brother Vitali.

Although Ibragimov and Chagaev will meet to unify the WBA/WBO heavyweight crowns, Wladimir believes that a rematch with Brewster is perhaps the most exciting heavyweight fight that can be made.

“Right now, none of the champions are exciting, but Lamon Brewster is more exciting than any of the other champions right now,” Klitschko said. “In this fight, the audience wants to see — Klitschko-Brewster.”

When the two met for the first time in April 2004 for the then vacant WBO heavyweight championship, Brewster was a decisive underdog. In the opening round, it was clear that when Brewster was on the inside he could hurt Klitschko with left hands.

Brewster took a severe beating while standing outside of Klitschko’s left jab-hook combinations and hellacious right hands. Brewster did stun Klitschko in the third round. Klitschko bounced back to knock Brewster down twice in the fourth and appeared to have had the fight won.

That was until Brewster landed a left hook that caught Klitschko on the chin that drilled him to the ropes in the fifth round. An exhausted Klitschko was issued a standing eight-count although he wasn’t knocked down.

Klitschko went down after Brewster landed a vicious barrage of punches and the fight was waived, even though Klitschko returned to his feet. He was too exhausted to continue.

“I believe I already explained many times what was happening,” Klitschko said. “To me, very important fact after this loss that I’m a healthy person. I don’t have any disease. In the beginning, because I had high blood sugar levels in the blood that may be I’m diabetic — I’m not!”

“However, I respect the win of Lamon over me and it was not an easy fight for him also. But he deserves it, he showed a lot of heart and he continues to fight like a champion.”

Since the victory against Klitschko, Brewster won a 12-round split decision over beat Kali Meehan in 2004. Brewster rallied from behind the scorecards to knockout Luan Krasniqi in round nine before obliterating Andrew Golota in 91 seconds in 2005.

In March 2006, Brewster lost the WBO title in his fourth defense on a 12-round decision to Sergui Liakhovich. Brewster, who suffered a detached retina in his left eye, hasn’t fought since.

Brewster is back after taking time off to recuperate. The rest should help him to regroup, become healthy once again, and prepare for a well-improved and more “mature” Klitschko.

“I believe that I’ve made my way over time not looking for easy fights,” Klitschko added. “I was taking on the best fighter out there who were available, whom I can get.”

During Brewster’s inactivity, Klitschko has been busy. One month after Brewster lost to Liakhovich, Klitschko scored a repeat victory, a seventh-round knockout of Chris Byrd to win the IBF heavyweight championship in April 2006.

In November 2006, Klitschko knocked out undefeated Calvin Brock in round seven at Madison Square Garden. In March, Klitschko scored a one-handed knockout of IBF top-rated challenger Ray Austin in only the second round. Klitschko didn’t throw a single right-hand punch in the fight.

Klitschko has become increasing difficult to hit, as his trainer Emmanuel Steward has taught him how to use his height, balance, left hand, punching range, and distance better. Brewster, trained by the legendary James “Buddy” McGirt, believes that he doesn’t need a knockout to beat Klitschko again.

“I’m the better guy that’s going to judge me as far as what I need to do to win this fight,” Brewster said. “I feel that I will be victorious. There are certain things that I have to do to assure my win.”

“I don’t think by trying to predict a knockout, I don’t think that’s the way a true seasoned professional at our level, unless I’m trying to be Muhammad Ali, would say something like that. I won’t sit here to say I need a KO to win.”

“We’ll just have to leave that in God’s hands.”