On July 7 at the Kolnarena in Koln, Germany, we will have what is perhaps the most appealing heavyweight match up of the year so far.
Current IBF and IBO Heavyweight Champion Wlamamir Klitschko, 48-3 (43), faces American Lamon Brewster, 33-3 (29), in a rematch from their first fight in 2004.
Brewster won the initial bout by TKO but it was a win that many proclaim had more to do with Wladimir, who was winning the fight on all three scorecards, running out of steam than Lamon running over him.
Now three years later, things are in somewhat of a paused state, if you will, almost as if the two fighters have stopped everything and just moved it up three years. Wladimir is the leading name in heavyweight boxing and Brewster is the contender who has plans to spoil the party.
Here is what was said during yesterday's confrence call:
Boxing Press: Wlad, how do you feel about this fight taking place and the significance of it? There is now going to be a unification bout Between WBA Champion Ruslan Chagaev, 23-0-1 (17), and WBO Champion Sultan Ibragimov, 21-0-1 (17); with it being so hard for a unification bout to be had due to sanctioning bodies and mandatories, do you think more focus will be towards that than this bout?
Wladimir Klitschko: "I think it is good for the division. One name or less names as champion makes the division stronger. But sometimes titles mean nothing. Four champions and four belts or one champion and one belt, either way. The champion that is important is the one who is the best and beats the best. Titles can not decide that. The only thing that decides who is the best is the man who beats the best."
BP: Lamon, what is your opinion of Wlad? In the past ,you have fought friends and it has lead to poor performances. You and Wlad are on a friendly basis. Will this again effect your performance like it did with Kali Meehan?
Lamon Brewster: "I have always thought a lot of Wlad. I think he is a good guy that represents the sport well. He is the type of guy that gives boxing a good image. He has what I desire, though. I know he is not just going to hand it over so I have to come and take it."
BP: Lamon, what have you done different with your training since your last fight and the loss to Serguei Lyakhovich? Has buddy McGuirt done anything to change you?
LB: "Buddy has helped make me a better fighter. He has helped me improve in so many ways, but fact still stands. Old fashioned hard work is what is best. Have a plan, stick with it and work hard at it. Good clean hard work will always succeed if you truly apply yourself. With Buddy, he makes you stay on the path."
SaddoBoxing: Lamon, with you being the number one ranked American heavyweight right now by the IBF, you are the only American fighter having a title shot at this moment and what appears to be anytime in the near future. Does this put added pressure on you? Shannon Briggs won the belt from the man that beat you, then loses it in his first outing. The heavyweight title is one that has been held mostly by Americans. It is a division they have always had the strong hold on. Will the added pressure from fans at home effect you at all? Or inspire you?
LM: "It makes me better when I put it into that perspective. I am the best American born heavyweight out there right now. I am in my prime. Right now the Europeans are dominating the division. So, to have the chance to bring the title to America is an inspiration."
BP: Wlad, you have been with Manny Steward for a while now; how did you two come to hook up?
WK: "I was looking for a new trainer. One that would be respectful of what I already knew as far as boxing skills but also help improve on it. Someone with the will to work at things but not insist on controlling things . Someone who I could have a mutual respect with. Emmanuel and I have that respect."
BP: Wlad, just to go back on the unification of titles one more time. Is it more important for you to try and unify the titles or is it more important for you to keep your title and take on all comers?
WK: "If I can capture all the belts, great. But if not, I will just continue to hold on to what I have. The fans know who the best heavyweight in the world is. If can can bring all the belts together, I would like that. If the opportunity does not happen, I will continue to win and prove I am the best."
SaddoBoxing: Wlad, although you are considered the best heavyweight in the game, there is always the losses that linger and the fact all came by KO. Your skill is in no way questioned by anyone, it is your chin that people seem to have little faith in. Your losses to Purity and Sanders seemed to be more or less from the fact that you panicked once hurt. Your loss to Lamon seemed to be that you just ran out of gas and had nothing left.
Yet, when you faced Sam Pete,r you went down three times but recovered well from each and then went on to dominate. In fact, the only time that you did not control the fight is when you were knocked down; has working with Emmanuel Steward helped you with that at all? Has he taught you how to better handle the situations when you are hurt, whereas at one time it seemed like you just fell apart once caught on the chin?
WK: "Well, I want to address the chin part of the question first. If you look at the heavyweight division throughout it's history, we all know that all it takes is one shot by another heavyweight and things can be ended. I could give many examples. So my chin is not really a question as much as some people make out.
"As for working with Emmanuel on it, I have matured a lot over the years. In my 20's, all I knew was to go and beat my opponent with strength. I always thought my power and skill would win every fight. Even after my first loss. I have become a better fighter since then.
"Working with Emmanuel is like working with a great musician. We sit down and we write the music. We put the notes together. Then, when we train, we play them out. We work at the notes until they are perfect. When the time comes to play the notes out, we know what is coming. If something in the notes changes, we know what to do and how to handle it. Emmanuel has made me a better fighter and helped me mature. He writes the great music and I play it."
Both fighter's seemed determined and both want to be known as the best in the world. On July 7, the rematch happens live from Germany. Hopefully, this will be the next step in bringing us the best heavyweight in the world, once and for all