By Ognian Georgiev / Bulgaria Today
Lamon Brewster (35-6, 30 KO) is the last man, who beat WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. The American knockout machine met the Ukrainian in April 2004. Klitschko was knocked out in the end of the fifth round. 10 years later Fightnews speaks with Brewster about the bout.
Mr. Brewster, you are the last man, who beat Wladimir Klitschko. How would you describe that fight?
It was a fight, that I recognized, I wouldn’t be let to win on scorecards. I knew, that if the bout would go to distance, he would be heavily favorised. So, I made a plan to go near. Not to win the fight early, but to make him use as much energy as possible. I knew that he has stamina problems. Wladimir is the best fighter in heavyweight division and if you let him sit back and allow him to fight in his own rhythm, he is almost unbeatable. I wanted to go out there and to break his rhythm, to pressure, to pressure, to make him hold, to make him fight. To do everything that he didn’t want to do, by making him uncomfortable. I prepared myself for this kind of fight with non-stop boxing at high attitude, so I can be strong enough to go to the later rounds, making him fight like that. As a result I was able to defeat him.
You received some heavy blows in the first rounds. Did you have some moments that you considered you will not be able to last?
No, I told myself I got to hold on, to sustain the storm. I knew it’s going to be hard. The fighter never should enter in the ring with thought that the fight is going to be easy. If I wanted to beat Wladimir, I was obligated to give everything that I have.
The question was if I was really willing to give everything. I made up in my mind, before the fight even began, that If he is going to beat me, they must care me out of the ring. I told Wladimir to his face, I said that he must kill me to win. That were my words.
Did you feel that Wladimir was slowing down in the fifth round?
In the third round I knew that I had him, because I hit him with a body shot and he lifted his face. I heard him breath really, really hard. At that point I knew I was get it to him, but I just got to hold on, because he was doing all kind of barrage of punches. He forced me to fight the way I didn’t fight ordinarily with both hands up, but it was necessary fighting like that against him. This is how he punches himself out. When I got a chance I hit him to the body. One shot here, one shot there.
The people, who saw the fight, was seeing only what Wladimir was doing, but if you go back, watch once again and turn down the volume, you will see a totally different fight. You will see how I hit him to the body here and there. Every time I hit him, he slowed down a little, and a little, and a little more. Until he couldn’t hold his hands anymore, because he punched himself out.
In the German press after the fight there were some information that Klitschko was drugged. Do you think this was some kind of cheap excuse by Wladimir and his entourage?
Yeah, of course. Because if you see how he punched at the beginning of the fight, how was it? Nothing was bad for Wladimir until he got tired. And then he did what George Forman said: “Whenever a fighter losses a fight, right away he’s making excuse, because that draws the sympathy support of the fans.”
So it’s understandable he made an excuse. But if you ask him today, he will not say the same thing. Because he’s got enough time to think. He’s got enough time to review the fight. Everybody, even his fans, who review the fight, you have to see that this man punched himself out. He didn’t get drugged. He punched himself out, because I just had a better game plan than his. His game plan was to come here and to narrow me with all those punches. This is what he tried to do.
Why weren’t you in your best shape for your second fight?
I had been in a hospital for 9 months. I lay there face down. The minute I came out of the hospital, they only gave me three months to be ready to fight with Wladimir. It’s one thing to be off in the hospital and the other is to be off, but still being active. I couldn’t even pick up my new born daughter. I had stitches in my eyes.
When they call me, I asked them to give me a tune up fight. You can’t just jump to the top like that. So they said may we pay you to not have a tune up fight? I already knew that they want me to lose. I knew that there is no way that Wladimir will give me another fight if I wouldn’t take that fight. I am sure of that. He knows that, people know that. Why they want from me to not have a tune up fight? That’s because they want to win. They don’t want a fair fight. That’s why I looked so bad. I had not been outside the hospital for 9 months. And they want me to fight for world heavyweight title against the guy who was already sharp.
People said – hey man, you lost to Wladimir. Even in the fight, what did he do? He didn’t knock me down. He didn’t hurt me. He didn’t do anything. He hit me with the jab and he ran from me. Watch the fight! He didn’t stand toe to toe with me. If the people want to be proud that Wladimir beat me in the second fight, go ahead. He beat a man who lay in a hospital for 9 months, who couldn’t pick up his kids. If you want to be proud of the fact that you beat Lamon Brewster, you can kiss my butt!
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Tomorrow you can read the second part of the interview. You’ll see how Lamon Brewster rates Kubrat Pulev’s chances against Wladimir Klitschko, why all the contenders are looking so bad against the Ukrainian and how the former World heavyweight champion became blind after his last fight with Robert Helenius.
Ognian Georgiev is a Bulgarian sports journalist and author of the book “The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski’s Secret Story”. You may find more about him on his blog: http://ogigeorgiev.wordpress.com/