Is Lamon Brewster the Best Heavyweight in the Division?


14.10.05 – By Tim Neilson: Previous to Lamon Brewster’s bout with Wladimir Klitschko in April 2004, Lamon was a heavyweight languishing in relative obscurity. He had been beaten twice at that point, by marginal fighters, such as Clifford Etienne and Charles Shufford, neither of whom will likely ever become heavyweight champions. At that point in Lamon’s career, no one ever expected the sudden surge in his development and confidence that sprang from his incredible destruction of Wladimir Klitschko on April 10, 2004. In that fight, Wladimir landed countless power shots to the head of Brewster, who merely shrugged them off, like a warrior, and kept on coming. It was that exact warrior mentality that carried Brewster through to victory, when he connected with a big Tyson-like left hook in the 5th round that drained the fight from Wladimir.

Although some people buy into the excuse that Wladimir was supposedly exhausted in his fight with Brewster, which, they claim, is the real reason he lost.

However, they completely ignore what made Wladimir exhausted in the first place. Namely, it was the pressure from Lamon’s constant “Relentless” attack-style offense that brought about the early end of the fight for Wladimir, not merely Wladimir imploding on his own. No, it was because Brewster never took a step backwards, always moving forward, throwing bombs, fighting like a throw back fighter from yesterday.

Before that victory, Lamon didn’t seem to grasp how good he really was. However, since then, Lamon has suddenly become, in my opinion, the best heavyweight in the division by far. He was won his last 9 fights, with 8 of them coming by knockout. His offensive syle is similiar to a slower, slightly less powerful version of Mike Tyson. However, Tyson never had the great chin, nor the heart or the will to win like Brewster. It’s not even close.

What makes Lamon so dangerous as fighter is several factors. First of all, Lamon has the best left hook in the heavyweight division, which he uses like an oversized axe to soften up and ultimately chop down his taller opponents. Also, he’s very patient and waits until just the right moment where he leans forward and let his left hook fly with devastating results. Based on his height, 6’1”, he’s not a tall fighter, however, he leans forward when punching. Thus, he increases his reach by almost a foot when letting his punches fly. Most people don’t realize that he’s doing this and thereby mistake his short stature for being limited in reach.

Another advantage that Lamon has, is his ability to throw combinations. He doesn’t merely look for just one punch to try and stop a fighter. Instead, he walks forward, absorbing a few punches, gets close, and then throws multiple combinations until the other fighter flees or folds from the pressure. As soon as his opponent gets some distance, the process starts all over again, with Brewster, again, obsorbing a few punches, before he gets in close and unloads. Without a doubt, it’s an effective style that puts a lot of stress on the opposing fighter.

I’ll be the first to admit that Brewster isn’t be best boxer in the division. It’s not even close, he doesn’t even rank in the top 10 in that department. However, what he lacks in boxing ability, he more that makes up with his sturdy chin, power and heart. Brewster can come back after sustaining vicious punishment, while most fighters simply can’t.

For some reason, Brewster was born with the ability to take punishment that would put a normal man into a coma. With his huge heart and chin, there’s no one in the heavyweight dvision that can take a punch like Brewster. Samuel Peter comes close, but I rule him out because he was mortally hurt by Wladimir in the 12th round, and probably would have been knocked out if Wladimir had put the slightest amount of pressure on him.

Against the other heavyweight champions, Chris Byrd, John Ruiz and Vitali Klitschko, I see Brewster winning against each of them by knockout. For obvious reasons, Vitali would be the most difficult of the bunch due to his huge size and reach. However, Vitali would actually be an easier fight for Brewster than Wladimir, in my opinion, mainly due to Vitali’s lack of hand speed and foot work. I think Vitali would end of taking a ton of punishment before succumbing to Brewster’s power late in the fight. Vitali is used to being in control of his fights, however, with Brewster, he never stops coming for a second. He would put so much pressure on Vitali, that it would cause him to expend a huge amount of energy just to try and keep Brewster off of him. Brewster wouldn’t allow him to rest and pace himself like he’s grown accustomed to in his fights. Brewster would presure Vitali and throw constant punches, hurting him again and again. If Vitali was a good inside fighter, I would give him a chance in this fight, however, he is mainly a long range fighter, who avoids close contact on the inside. To be honest, Vitali can’t fight backing up, and he would eat left hands all night long before being sent to the canvas late in the fight by one of Brewster’s beautiful left hooks.

So, who’s next for Brewster? Well, I have serious doubts that Wladimir will come anywhere near Lamon anytime soon, for obvious reasons. Wladimir doesn’t want to go back into the Lion’s den and take on someone with the relentless style like Lamon’s. I think a rematch with Wladimir would be just like the first fight, except Wladimir would fold faster next time around. Wladimir is currently ranked number # 2 in the WBO, but has the safe option of facing Chris Byrd for his IBF title, if he so chooses. You better believe that Wladimir will decide on fighting Byrd rather than fighting Brewster. However, after Wladimir, Samuel Peter is next in line at # 3. This sets up an intriguing matchup, where you have two lethal sluggers going at each other nonstop.

Based on what I’ve seen of Peter, I’d predict a late knockout victory for Brewster. Peter has devastating power, true, yet he only throws punches one at a time, which makes it easier to time his attacks and get out of the way of his bull charges. Strangely enough, Peter stops attacking when the other fighter is throwing punches and is often off balance after absorbing a punch. With Brewster throwing constant bombs, Peter would be forced to play defense for most of the fight, while eating countless left hand hooks from Brewster. I don’t know if Brewster would be able to stop Peter, but based on Wladimir’s fight with Peter, where he had him hurt in the 12th, I think there’s a good chance Brewster could stop him late.

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