Former IBF super-middleweight ruler Charles Brewer gave us plenty of thrills during his 16-year pro career (think his classic with Joe Calzaghe for one great fight) and “The Hatchet” is fondly remembered by fans for his all-action style. But what are the gutsy Philly warrior’s own personal favourites when it comes to watching other guys do their stuff?
It’s always great talking boxing with Brewer, who walked away with a 40-11(28) ledger back in 2005, and in a recent talk with the 43-year-old, Brewer gave me his top-five favourite fights of all-time:
1: Marvin Hagle Vs. Thomas Hearns (1985 – Hagler won TKO3)
2: Arturo Gatti Vs. Micky Ward Fight Three (2003 – Gatti won 10-round UD)
3: Riddick Bowe Vs. Evander Holyfield First Fight (1992 – Bowe won 12-round UD)
4: Evander Holyfield Vs. Mike Tyson First Fight (1996 – Holyfield won TKO11)
5: Evander Holyfield Vs. Dwight Muhammad Qawi First Fight (1986 – Holyfield won 15-round majority decision)
“Hagler-Hearns is my number-one and it will always be so,” Brewer told ESB.
“First and foremost, Hagler was always one of my absolute favourites. It wasn’t so much his style – Hagler was not the most outstanding boxer by any means – but he always, always came to fight. His main objective, as he said himself, was to destruct and destroy. I love that. He was no-nonsense.
“And Hearns, there is nothing negative to say about him either. Tommy could box and he could put you to sleep at any moment. That fight, that win, it didn’t come easy to Hagler by any means. It was all action, even the build up was great, and they went at it! Hearns threw right hands like they were going out of fashion. Hagler was bloodied and hurt, but he delivered the KO in the end.”
Not a bad list at all, I think fight fans will agree.
And on his own up-and-down career, Brewer lists one fight as his choice for the most thrilling bout he produced: his 2002 classic with Welsh legend Joe Calzaghe; a war Brewer lost by 12-round UD.
“I dished out a lot more punishment than I ever took during my career, but I’d have to say the toughest and most exciting fight I ever had was with Joe Calzaghe,” Brewer said.
“Joe was not a one-punch KO kind of guy, but he overwhelmed guys; he had those ridiculous combinations! And I deviated from my game-plan that night in Wales, and we just warred; we went two-to-toe for 12-rounds. It was a battle of heart and guts. Joe was just a great technical, mentally draining, puncher. Joe and myself are friends today. It’s mutual respect.”