Preview: Krasniqi vs Brewster

27.09.05 - By Michael Amakor: On September 28th 2005, Luan Krasniqi challenges Lamon Brewster for the WBO Heavyweight title across the pond at the Color Line Arena, Hamburg in far away Germany. Brewster is a former WBO, NABO and WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Champion, who exploded into boxings center stage after he defeated china chinned former champion Wladimir Klitchko for the vacant WBO belt.. That fight had some great moments, as Brewster survived the initial onslaught of the towering Ukrainian before eventually knocking him down in the fifth round, in an upset that shook the boxing world.

In his first title defense, Brewster scored a unanimous decision win over Kali Meehan in 2004, in a fight many thought Brewster had lost. However, Brewster rebounded from that fight to give us the best performance of his career, when he unleashed less than twenty wild punches, to knock out the always tough and sometimes foul, Andrew Golota, three times, en-route to scoring a TKO at the 0.53 mark of the very first round. That fight aroused the boxing world and ignited interest in Brewster's career.

However, the hype of those sensational victories does not quite suppress the fact that Brewster has mostly faced B-level competition, from the likes of Tommy Martin and Nate Jones, in Brewster's other title winning efforts, before recently stepping up in competition against Klitschko and Golota. Nevertheless, you have to wonder about Brewster when you find out that he also lost to Charles Shufford, and glass jawed Clifford Etienne, earlier in his career. Still, Brewster's record stands at a respectable, (32- 2, 28 KO’S) which tells you that he is a very dangerous slugger, who packs a punch, as both Wladimir Klitschko and Andrew Golota can testify.

Brewster's professional record is slightly better than Krasniqi's, who earned this shot by knocking out NABA Heavyweight Champion Lance Whitaker in the sixth round to become Brewster’s mandatory challenger. A review of Krasniqi's record shows victories over vaguely recognizable fighters, like Sanil Sam Samil, Julius Francis and a draw against Timo Hoffman (at least stateside). Krasniqi is virtually unknown in America, due to the fact that most of his campaigns have happened across the pond in Europe. However, the picture gets brighter, since Krasniqi became the European Heavyweight Champion. He not only sparred with retired champion Lennox Lewis in the past, but was also an Olympic bronze medalist. Krasniqi's record now stands at ( 28-1-1,14 KO’S).

Everything about this bout is unusually tipped in Krasniqi's favor. One advantage is that not only is the bout scheduled on the 100th birthday of popular late heavyweight champion Max Schemeling, Brewster is also defending his crown in Germany, Krasniqi's home turf. It is very important to note that American fighters dread competing in Germany for fear of coming in at the wrong end of a politically induced judging decision. Needless to say, the crowd will definitely be rooting for Krasniqi to win, and their ovation alone would be enough to pump up the extra adrenaline for him to land something big against Brewster. Most likely scenerio, however, is Krasniqi winning by decision, largely due to his superior boxing skills. It's doubtful that he will be able to make a dent in Brewster's chin, as Krasniqi doesn't have the same kind of power of a Wladimir Klitschko, who wasn't able to even slow Brewster down for a second with his ferocious power.

Some experts give Krasniqi better than a punchers chance of dethroning Lamon Brewster for the crown, especially since he claims to have promised Max Schmeling that he would bring back the heavyweight title to Germany. In Krasniqi's last fight against Whitaker, he showed true ring generalship by proving that he can handle a bigger man's punching power. However, in this fight, Krasniqi better keep a tight defense, as Brewster is brimming with the confidence of a man, who will begin flailing away at him from the opening bell with a combination of powerful hooks and right crosses, looking for the knockout. I seriously doubt, in my opinion, that Brewster will have any respect for Krasniqi's limited power, and will likely try to walk right through his defenses to destoy him on the inside, much as he did against Wladimir Klitschko and Andrew Golota.

A win for Krasniqi will signal the takeover of the heavyweight division by fighters of European vintage, as he could join Vitali Klitchko atop the heavyweight champion mountain. This current crop of European fighters, in my opinion, are clearly more sill than their American counterparts, who seem to lack the refinement when it comes to boxing ability. A win for Krasniqi will set him for a rubber match against Wladimir Klitchko, in a super fight that could be held in Germany.

There must be a huge payday in it for Brewster to accept this challenge despite his comments that a champion should take risks. He may have had the option of defending his strap at home, but then again, Germans love their boxing just as well as Americans, and besides the fight would garner more interests there than in the US. A win for Brewster will improve his bargaining position for a super fight against John Ruiz or the winner of the Byrd vs Williamson showdown, but at the end of the day, the only meaningful fight out there for him would be a rematch against the comeback kid, Wladimir Klitchko, to settle their score. I personally hope the impending battle against Klitchko does not waver his resolve to get past Krasniqi because that path is filled with dollar signs.

Enough said, may the best man win.

Article posted on 27.09.2005

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