By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Revenge: Klitschko Outboxes, Stops Brewster
NEW YORK — IBF/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko avenged his knockout loss to Lamon Brewster of several years ago. Klitschko (49-3, 44 KOs) made it look easy, as Brewster (33-4, 29 KOs) couldn’t get past the champ’s left jab. The fight was stopped when Brewster’s trainer and former welterweight champion Buddy McGirt stopped the fight after the sixth round.
Televised live on HBO from at Cologne Arena in Cologne, Germany, it was Klitschko’s third defense of the IBF heavyweight championship he won in April 2006 when he knocked out Chris Byrd. Klitschko is also the longest reigning heavyweight champion at fifteen months.
During their first encounter for the then vacant WBO heavyweight title in April 2004, Klitschko punished Brewster during the first four rounds of an exciting fight. He dropped Brewster in the fourth round before tiring and getting stopped in the fifth round.
Through famed trainer Emanuel Steward, Klitschko hasn’t lost since the shocking defeat to Brewster. The 31 year-old from Kiev, Ukraine, Klitschko has learned how to use his 6-foot-7, 245-pound physique to his advantage. Klitschko has improved his balance, punching range, left jab and overall punching accuracy. He’s fighting tall by using range, distance, and punching power.
Brewster, 34, from Indianapolis, had a terrific run as WBO champion making three successful title defenses. Brewster lost WBO title on a 12-round decision to Sergui Liakhovich in March 2006. Brewster suffered a detached retina in his left eye and hasn’t fought in the last 16 months.
The general consensus heading into the long-awaited rematch between two of the biggest punchers in the heavyweight division was that Klitschko would beat Brewster. But no one expected Klitschko, perhaps more determined than ever, to win so easily.
“I can’t lose tonight,” Klitschko said. “It’s been three years. This fight was my trademark fight three years ago. My image was damaged. People said I’m a dead man walking without a chin.”
Klitschko continues to prove to the world that he can fight and that he has courage. His ability and willingness to compete on the world stage should be highly regarded, as Klitschko feels “very confident and consistent. I love what I do.”
In the opening round, Klitschko quickly established his left jab and landed it effectively. Klitschko was more illusive on his feet than Brewster, who appeared flatfooted. Brewster stood on the outside of Klitschko’s punches.
Klitschko was so difficult for Brewster to reach; the challenger lunged forward at times. Klitschko countered either by clinching or using his left arm to physically push Brewster away.
In the third round, Klitschko continued to land his jab consistently against Brewster’s face. Brewster was trapped in a corner and Klitschko continued to jab and sporadically throw his right hand.
As the bout continued, Brewster was simply target practice for Klitschko. Brewster simply couldn’t get inside of the champion’s left jabs. Hecontinued his dominance, as he staggered Brewster in the sixth round. Klitschko landed a solid right hand on two separate occasions in the sixth, as well.
It was clear that it Brewster simply could not get inside of Klitschko’s punches, the fight was stopped by the influence of McGirt after the round.
“It didn’t give me problems,” Brewster said referring to his surgically repaired left eye. “He was just a better man tonight. I tried to get past his jab and I couldn’t.”
Klitschko vs. Holyfield Could Happen
If HBO can squeeze room for Klitschko in their schedule for the final quarter of this year, it would be very interesting to see Wladimir make his fourth heavyweight title defense against four-time heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield.
At 44, Holyfield looked terrific during his 10-round unanimous decision victory against Lou Savarese on June 30. Holyfield scored two knockdowns and improved to 4-0, 2 KOs since his return in August 2006.
Holyfield, looking to win an unprecedented fifth world heavyweight championship, is still exciting to watch and has proven that he can still fight. Holyfield, at 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, would be giving up a little more than 25 pounds to the taller Klitschko.
Holyfield has fought the best fighters in boxing history: George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, Ray Mercer, and Dwight Muhammad Qawi to name a few.
If there is anyone with enough experience and relentless determination to weather a storm and can test Klitschko it is Holyfield.
Chagaev-Ibragimov To Unify Heavyweight Titles
WBA champion Ruslan Chagaev and WBO titlist Sultan Ibragimov, a pair of unbeaten southpaws, will unify the world heavyweight championships they won earlier this year. The two will meet at a venue to be determined in Moscow, Russia on October 13.
Chagaev won the WBA crown with a surprise 12-round decision against a 7-foot-3, 325-pound mountain named Nikolai Valuev in April. Ibragimov won the WBO title with a 12-round decision against Shannon Briggs in June. Since both Chagaev and Ibragimov were mandatory challengers for their respective organizations and won, they were free to pursuer fights with anyone else.
However, Wladimir was focused on abstracting revenge from Brewster and his older brother Vitali preparing for a September return with Jameel McCline the Klitschko brothers were unavailable. WBC heavyweight champion Oleg Maskaev has an October 6 date at Madison Square Garden with No. 1-ranked challenger Samuel Peter with the winner to fight Vitali.
Therefore, it makes sense for Chagaev and Ibragimov to fight.