Klitschko-Brewster: Tale of the Tube

lamon brewster04.07.07 – By Morgan Morgan Field: Looking forward to the Wladimir Kiltschko - Lamon Brewster, a fight which Klitschko (48-3, 43 KOs) will attempt to cement himself in the public conscience. A search of YouTube clearly shows the two contrasting visions the public has of him. At the time this writing, the number one search result is the pummeling Wladimir received from Lamon Brewster (33-3, 29 KOs) in 2004, whereas the second result is Wladimir's one-handed destruction of Ray Austin in March, 2007.

The two videos now topping the world's most visited site under the search phrase 'Klitschko,' show one of the two faces that Wladimir may put forward in four days. In 2004 Wladimir Klitschko had gone from heavyweight champion heir-apparent to the second-string Klitschko, behind his brother Vitali, whom had become the WBC heavyweight champion with an 8th round destruction of Corrie Sanders.

Wladimir, for his part, after a shocking defeat by seldom active but incredibly hard-punching Corrie Sanders, a bout in which Wladimir was knocked down four times en route to losing by a shocking 2nd round TKO, he was looking to regain confidence and steam by taking on Brewster. Indeed, this was supposed to be an easy win for Wladimir, something that was thought to be a fight that could restart his career and bring back fans, many of which had lost confidence in him after watching how easily he had been beaten by Sanders.

Lamon Brewster, on the other hand, was coming off a string of victories in 2004. Although never heralded as the next great heavyweight like Wladimir was, Lamon had at that point had a long and somewhat successful career fighting middling opponents and knocking most of them out. The only blemishes on his record were two decision loses in 2000, to Clifford Etienne and Charles Shufford. However, unknown to Wladimir, Brewster had strong knockout power, much like the kind that had derailed Wladimir a year earlier in 2003.

The first YouTube shows the end result of Wladimir's fight with Brewster, in which Wladimir looks like he's run a marathon, and can barely keep his arms up, and has little pop on his punches. The footage clearly shows that Brewster is able to land powerful shots on Klitschko in the 5th round and the referee giving Wladimir a standing eight count with 46 seconds remaining in the round. When the action resumes, Brewster attacks but doesn't land anything terribly effective. Still, Wladimir looks drained and on the verge of collapsing like a heat stroke victim. As the bell rings to end the fifth round, a Brewster punch misses and his arm goes around Wladimir's neck, sending Wladimir to the ground like a rag-doll. The referee gives Wladimir time to stand up, but he can barely summon the strength to get up, as he then wobbles one step towards his corner before referee Byrd wisely steps in and stops the fight.

wladimir klitschkoIn the intervening fights since then, we've seen the paths of the two men diverge greatly. Brewster defended his title three times against mostly weak competition before losing his belt in April, 2006 to Serguei Lyakhovich, a bout in which Lamon suffered a detached retina in his left eye, making it necessary to have eye surgery following the bout to repair his injured eye. Since then, Brewster has been inactive for the past 15 months.

Wladimir, on the other hand, has blossomed under the tutelage of trainer Emanuel Steward, winning the IBF heavyweight title with a win over Chris Byrd in April 2006. Previous to this bout, Wladimir fought Samuel Peter in an IBF title eliminator bout, a fight that turned out to be one of the most exciting bouts in 2005. Strangely enough, Peter has a fighting style similar to Brewster in many respects, and some pundits assumed that Wladimir would lose to Peter as well, mainly because of his awesome power and the constant pressure that he puts on his opponents. Wladimir, in fact, was in fact knocked down three times in the fight, but he looked entirely different than he did in the Brewster fight. Instead of looking exhausted and drained from having punched himself out, Wladimir appeared in control, even after suffering the knockdowns. On each occasion, he rose easily from after each knock-down, immediately firing back scorching punches at the stiff-jawed Peter. It's fair to say Wladimir dominated almost every moment he wasn't on the canvas and in an impressive manner, despite the three minor blips.

Following this bout, Klitschko went on to fight top heavyweights Chris Byrd for IBF heavyweight belt and then-undefeated and heralded heavyweight Calvin Brock, both of which he easily won by knockout, a point that leads to our second YouTube video, his bout against Ray Austin. In 2007, few thought Ray Austin had much of chance of beating Wladimir, who was making his mandatory defense of his IBF belt. In the first round of that bout, Klitschko came out strong, showing lots of confidence and mostly working with his stiff left jab. Over the next round and half, Wladimir goes on to easily defeat Ray Austin, using exclusively his powerful left jab and hook. In fact, in the entire fight Wladimir never threw a single right-handed punch, a vast improvement over his bout with Brewter in which he threw constant shots with both hands, but ultimately paid for it by running out of gas and getting stopped.

For him, Klitschko will be in the spotlight this Saturday and will be doing something few heavyweights have in recent history, namely fighting an opponent who defeated him. Now is the chance for Wladimir to show the world the type of fighter we'll be seeing in the future. Will it be the easily tired fighter from the first Brewster fight, or the one-handed monster from the Ray Austin fight?

Wladimir Klitschko VS. Lamon Brewster II will air on HBO Saturday July 7th, 2007 and will be shown live at 5PM and replayed at 10:30PM.

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Article posted on 04.07.2007

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