Ten years ago today, a U.S heavyweight who is best remembered these days for being the last man to defeat the mighty Wladimir Klitschko, scored one of his most ruthless and impressive wins. In Chicago, “Relentless” Lamon Brewster, defending his WBO heavyweight strap, annihilated troubled Pole Andrew Golota inside a single minute of action.
Some interesting facts about the fight:
31-year-old Brewster was sporting a 31-2 record and he was making the second defence of the WBO title he had won by stopping Klitschko in shocking fashion the previous April. Golota was 37-years-old and his record read 38-5-1. The shot at Brewster was generally seen as Golota’s last chance at winning a title and of him living up to his earlier potential.
Golota, who had previously been in with big names such as Riddick Bowe (twice), Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, was known the world over as a head case who could, at any given moment, throw blatant low blows and an assortment of other fouls or even quit during a fight. The fight with Brewster was his third crack at a world title; having lost previously to Chris Byrd and John Ruiz.
Brewster had very little fan support in the Golota fight, with many thousands of Polish fans loudly cheering on Golota. As Brewster later explained, Chicago has a big Polish community. Earlier that night, these fans had seen another of their heroes, light-heavyweight Tomasz Adamek, capture the vacant WBC title with a thrilling win over Paul Briggs. These passionate fans would have nothing to cheer about during the evening’s main event.
Brewster, motivated like never before, came out smoking and jumped right on Golota. Using his fast and powerful hands to great effect, the smaller man decked his challenger with a cracking left hook to the head with mere seconds gone. Golota, as shell-shocked as he had been when Lennox Lewis iced him inside a round a year-and-a-half ago, was soon put down by another hard left hand to the head, this one sending him through the ropes. A third left put the Pole down again ending matters after just 52-seconds of the opening session.
Brewster, as pumped up as can be, gave MC Michael Buffer a huge hug in ring centre. Golota stood still, gazing through a daze in a way that suggested he was trying to work out what had just happened to him. Brewster’s promoter Don King entered the squared circle, his familiar stars and stripes flags at hand.
Brewster went on to retain his belt on one more occasion, before losing a 12-round war to Siarhei Liakhovich, after which he had to undergo retinal surgery. Brewster would return to the ring after 15-months of inactivity, only to be soundly beaten by Klitschko in a rematch. Brewster boxed on until 2010, when he was stopped by Robert Helenius.
As for Golota, he disappeared for just over two years after the Brewster loss, coming back to win three fights in 2007/2008. “The Foul Pole,” as the press had dubbed Golota, was never again in contention, however, losing two by stoppage, one of these losses coming to countryman Adamek. Golota wasn’t quite finished yet, though, returning for one more fight, another loss, in 2013.
Years later, when looking back on his career, Brewster told this writer that the Golota fight was the one and only time he fought with real anger in his heart: “I’m actually in The Guinness Book of Record for that fight,” Brewster said of his win over Golota. “Jim Jeffries held the record for the fastest [heavyweight championship fight] KO ever at 55-seconds. I beat that record by three seconds when I beat Golota (laughs). Anyway, Chicago has the largest Polish population in America and Golota was trying to get brave and trying to bully me. There was a time before the fight, when he tried to jump on me, get in my face. That pissed me off and then, on the walk to the ring, his fans were actually spitting on me! I was so mad, so angry. I took it all out on Golota. That was the only fight where I actually wanted to murder the other guy!”
How good was Brewster? Pretty darn good, that’s for sure. Just imagine how exciting it would be to see a peak Brewster rumbling with new kid on the block Deontay Wilder!