An intriguing 'B' level heavyweight fight for the WBO title. Brewster is still an unknown quantity in today's moribund flagship division, whereas Golota is, as Winston Churchill once quoted about Russia, "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." Supremely talented but with some serious psychological issues, Golota has been a top-ten contender on and off for over ten years, starting off with his fifth round TKO (and biting) of Samson Po'uha in 1995, eight round stoppage of Dannell Nicholson in 1996, and the two well documented disqualification losses to Riddick Bowe later that year; fights which the Foul Pole was handily winning against the supposedly superior ex-champion. He followed this with a first round knockout loss in a title shot against Lennox Lewis, in which he claims he was hindered by injections given to him just prior to the bout for sore hands. He fought on against C level opposition for the next three years until a stoppage loss against undefeated Michael Grant (a fight in which he had Grant down twice in the first) seemed to spell an end to his top-level career. Golota quit in that fight and quit again one year later when he stayed on his stool after two rounds against Mike Tyson.
After three years out, he came back with a couple of wins before meeting, and drawing with Chris Byrd for the IBF title in April 2004 and then losing a razor thin decision to John “Jab-Grab” Ruiz in November that year. At thirty-seven, this must surely be his last shot and it is a winnable one against a thirty-one-year-old Brewster in front of his adopted hometown of Chicago (where twenty-five-percent of the white population claim Polish ancestry).
Brewster burst onto the scene last year with a fifth round stoppage of Wladimir Klitschko for the vacant WBO title after receiving a battering for the early part of the fight. Prior to this, his career was unspectacular with wide decision losses to Clifford Etienne and Charles Shufford in 2000. After rebuilding against modest opposition, Brewster got a shot versus Klitschko and staged an amazing comeback after being on the wrong end of a pasting in the first couple of rounds. This was followed with a split decision win against Kali Meehan (the same Meehan bombed out in thirty-two seconds by Danny Williams and four rounds by Hasim Rahman), which Brewster claims he was put off by his friendship with Meehan’s family, which is an admirable quality in a human but not so good for a boxer. Anyone who remembers the brutal fight between good friends Simon Brown and Maurice Blocker can testify to that.
Brewster has youth (and God) on his side, while Golota is undoubtedly one of the better opponents Lamon has yet to meet. If “The Foul Pole” can turn back the years AND keep his head together for the full twelve-rounds, but this writer doubts that his body can keep up the pace required to take the title. Brewster to win by a close unanimous decision.
Rupert Wricklemarsh can be reached at email@example.com