IBF heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko did all the things right that he had done wrong the first time around and stopped challenger Lamon Brewster after six one-sided rounds before 17,000 fans at the Cologne Arena. Brewster didn’t fall apart but took a beating and after six rounds trailed 60-54 for judges Alfred Buqwana from South Africa, American Denny Nelson and German Michael Fisher.
Brewster had swollen eyes but wasn’t hurt when he walked back to his corner and the retirement came as a surprise. The crowd booed, but it was a compassionate decision by Brewster’s trainer Buddy McGirt.
“I knew Emmanuel Steward in Klitschko’s corner would send out his man for the finish in the next round,” said McGirt. “Why gamble with another man’s life? Better to live and fight another day.” Said Stewart, “Wladimir fought a good controlled fight. He would have knocked Brewster out in the next round. Tonight he answered a lot of questions- no stamina problems, nothing.”
Officially it goes down as a TKO win at the end of the six – very unusual in continental Europe, where by tradition it is the round after the retirement that counts. Brewster (16st 3Ibs) came out fast, but Klitschko (17st 4Ibs) pushed him off. The champion lost his balance doing so, but then established his pawing jab.
One would think a world-class heavy should be able to counter that jab with a right over the top, but Wladimir uses his reach, size, speed well and it isn’t easy to nail.
Brewster kept his left low and tried to slip the jab. After the first McGirt said sternly: “Don’t stand right in front of him- you just can’t do that!”
Brewster tried to jump in with a left in the second and Klitschko missed with a combination but then came a jab, a one-two, a left hook that was blocked and then another left hook and Brewster look unsteady for a few seconds. The challenger tried a big right early in the third but it was blocked and Klitschko moved out of range and kept scoring with a jab.
It was more of the same in the forth and Klitschko put some more power in the jab. McGirt was by now shouting to Brewster get out of the way. “ You are right in front of him you just cant to that, you hear?!”
Klitschko normally looks a bit stiff no matter what, but in the fifth he had a relaxed look about him. He was in full control and looking for openings for his heavy artillery. He scored with a left- right another combination and then a single right. Brewster was still there but looked puffy around the eyes and there was blood from somewhere.
Lamon came out aggressively for the sixth and Kitischo moved away on surprisingly fast legs. When Brewster slowed down so did Wladimir, who nailed the challenger with a very hard right.
Brewster didn’t seem bothered by the punches, but his trainer was and the end was near.
Referee was American Sam Williams. As for the future, Klitschko joked about all the other champions and challengers eliminating each other- but there are a seriously lack of true contenders right now.
Fellow Ukrainian Vladimir Virchis could be one option, but he is unknown in the US. Another name mentioned was Corrie Sanders, who beat Wladimir, but lost to Vitali Klitschko. The South African, though, is too far gone to be a credible challenge.
Brewster vowed to fight on but if he can’t find a way to get untracked and begin to throw punches, we have to ask what for?
How good Klitschko really is remains an interesting question. Stiff upright, questionable chin and stamina- and yet strong, big, hard punching with either hand and with the confidence of a champion. He represents quite a challenge for all contenders.