Brewster vs. Klitschko: Can Lamon Do It Again?

lamon brewster27-06-07 - By Paul McCreath: On July 7, in Germany, Wladimir Klitschko (48-3-0 with 43 KOs) will put his IBF heavyweight title on the line against challenger and former WBO champion Lamon Brewster (33-3-0 with 29 KOs) in a rematch that has the whole boxing world talking. While this is not a unification bout, it is a match that will go a long way towards establishing who is the true world's best heavyweight. Lamon is the man who handed Wladimir his last defeat three years ago with a 5th round stoppage. Can it happen again?

Predicting the outcome of a rematch is always rather tricky. You have to consider what happened in the first fight and also what may have changed since then to cause a different result this time.

So what did happen the first time? There is still disagreement about that. We all know the official result, a KO in five for Brewster, but what really happened? Many believe that Wladimir Klitschko simply ran out of gas from throwing too many punches in the first four rounds of the fight, while others say it was just a case of Brewster landing a few big ones that would have stopped any heavyweight; Still others claim it was a matter of Wladimir's glass jaw doing him in again.

I won't even go into the claims of Wladimir being drugged or the other theories that some put out at the time. Personally, I am inclined to accept a bit of all of the first three explanations. Wladimir did appear tired for whatever reasons and Brewster can certainly hit hard. Wladimir's chin, while not great, is not that bad either. I have never bought the theory of his glass jaw, and I think his KO losses are more the result of poor pacing as with the Ross Puritty fight, getting really clocked by a great puncher with Corrie Sanders, and then the above reasons against Lamon.

Before the first fight, Brewster was very lightly regarded. The WBO had him rated #1, but most fans felt this was mostly due to his connection with Don King. He had never beaten any rated fighters and had lost to both Charlie Shufford and Cliff Etienne, neither one a world beater. On the other hand, Wladimir Klitschko had every reason to expect an easy win and boy was he wrong. After four rounds of out-boxing and nearly stopping Brewster, Wladimir came seriously apart in the 5th round.

The fact that Brewster defeated Klitschko the first time has to give him a great deal of confidence he would not have had for the last bout. Successful defenses against Kali Meehan, Andrew Golota, and Luan Krasniqi certainly helped as well. While not always impressive, he did show he could win at this level. When he lost his title to Sergei Liahovich, there was the factor of the injured eye. Now which Lamon Brewster will we see this time?

Much has been made of the 14-month layoff since Brewster's last fight. It should be noted that he had been out about the same length of time for the first fight and it didn't bother him. though, This should not be a factor. The injury could on the other hand be a problem, mostly from a psychological point of view. Physically, the eye should not cause any trouble. Many fighters have come back from the same type of surgery with no ill effects.

Now what about Wladimir Klitschko? He has now had over three years of working with Manny Steward to improve his technique. Manny cannot improve his chin but he can and has taught him how to avoid getting hit so much and that has to help. Wladimir has won six strait bouts over mostly strong opposition since the first fight, nnd his confidence has to be much better as well.

In short, we know that Wladimir can definitely out-box Brewster but for how long? We also know that either fighter can hurt or presumably KO the other so anything can happen there. In conclusion, I believe that Wladimir has learned his lesson and will be more careful this time in a fight very similar to his bout with Sam Peter. He will either win a clear decision or score a late round KO.

Article posted on 28.06.2007

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