Brewster/Meehan & Spinks/Gonzales

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31.08.04 – By Paul Rubythepaulruby@hotmail.com – This Saturday, Lamon Brewster will make his first defense of the WBO crown he captured from Wladimir Klitschko five months ago. Facing off against him is 34-year-old Australian Kali Meehan. In the co-feature, Cory Spinks is pitted against Mexican veteran and former world title holder Miguel Angel Gonzales for Spinks’ unified welterweight title. I would love to sit here and tell readers that these are going to be evenly-matched, competitive fights, but I’m relatively certain that will not be the case. Still, the card should be worth watching and does, in fact, contain one elite fighter in Cory Spinks.

Few would consider it bold to predict a Cory Spinks win against this rugged Mexican challenger, but I’m going to go out on a limb. I believe Cory Spinks will stop Miguel Angel Gonzales after giving him a boxing lesson. This is really a dream match-up for Spinks. In this fight, The Next Generation should look to exploit his two greatest advantages over this opponent – physical size and speed. Spinks’ trademark has always been his defense and, barring mental lapses like the 12th round against Zab Judah, this fight should be no different. I think Cory Spinks could coast to an easy victory if he desired in this fight, but I believe he will dominate it.

Spinks is naturally much larger than Gonzales. They have comparable heights and reaches, but Spinks has been a career welterweight. Gonzales, conversely, has fought as low as 128 and has not won a title above lightweight. Spinks also has a pronounced speed advantage. He is simply much fresher at this stage in the game than Gonzales. Gonzales has fought some big names in Oscar de la Hoya, Kostya Tszyu, and the great Julio Cesar Chavez, but the reality is that his best days in a boxing ring occurred roughly a decade ago. Since being stopped by Kostya Tszyu, he has fought seven times in five years against basically inexperienced and club-level fighters. I respect his desire to make some finals dollars by exploiting his name and aesthetically-pleasing record of 49-3-1. Thankfully for him, Cory Spinks is not a terribly hard puncher. Still, Spinks holds every advantage in this fight and should have his way with the tough, but limited veteran Gonzales. Cory Spinks by TKO in 7th.

In the main event, Lamon Brewster takes on New Zealand-born Australian Kali Meehan. Like Gonzales, Meehan has a record that appears nice to the casual observer. He is the winner of 29 professional fights against a single loss. In his most recent fight, Meehan dispatched of unknown American journeyman Damon Reed after a year and a half-long layoff (on the Brewster-Klitschko undercard). Sadly, that could be his toughest test in the ring. Two other names on his record may sound familiar to some observers. One is Justin Fortune who has been stopped by Meehan, Lennox Lewis, and Buster Mathis, Jr., among others. The other is Danny Williams, who recently stopped Mike Tyson. Before you get too excited, make sure to note that Meehan was stopped in 32 seconds by Williams in 2001. Meehan, in other words, has never defeated a fighter in the top 50 and, more likely, in the top 100. I, for one, do not think he’ll shock the proverbial world and beat Brewster on Saturday.

Lamon Brewster, as most now know, dedicated his defeat of Wladimir Klitschko to his late trainer and mentor, Bill Slayton. He has held his championship with dignity, grace, and sportsmanship. Most fans like Lamon’s relentless style in the ring and his humble nature outside of it. In general, people will tune in wanting to see him win. This is a fight he should win with ease and I would be surprised if it goes more than four rounds. The knock on Brewster is that he can be outboxed. It happened to him against Cliff Etienne and Charles Shufford a few years back and it happened to him for four rounds against Wladimir Klitschko. It could happen to him if he faces a fighter like Chris Byrd in the future. It will not happen against Meehan this weekend. Lamon is going to come after Meehan. Lamon biggest weakness, it appears, is the lack of a jab. He makes up for by throwing crisp lead hooks and working behind good body punching ability. He also possesses the rock-solid chin that allowed him to withstand four rounds of pretty brutal punishment from Wladimir Klitsckho. People question Lamon’s conditioning, but he still had the energy to unleash the series of hooks that won him the WBO belt so I’m going to look past his paunchy exterior and give him the benefit of the doubt. There is literally no reason to believe Meehan would be able to sustain Brewster’s pressure and power and, on top of that, outpoint him to win a decision. Lamon Brewster wins by TKO 2.

Unfortunately, the most exciting fight of the night is not on the telecast. O’Neill Bell is taking on Ezra Sellers in an IBF cruiserweight eliminator. O’Neill Bell is, in my opinion, the best cruiserweight there is today. Is he the most accomplished? Certainly not, but I would pick him to beat anyone else campaigning at that weight right now. He’s a huge puncher and has knocked out 21 or 22 victims. Ezra Sellers is all excitement in the ring and he’s known for delivering a good blow himself. The knock on him is a shaky chin. Given Bell’s power, that’s not an ideal situation. I think Bell should stop Sellers within a couple rounds, but it will be an exciting and rare match-up of two southpaws while it lasts.

Questions, Comments? thepaulruby@hotmail.com