Lamon Brewster: “I can not allow him to take my belt.”
Part 1 of a 3 part interview by "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr. (February 1, 2005)
The date is set and the champ is ready to go! WBO heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster, 31-2 (27), is locked and loaded and is anticipating one of the biggest match-ups of his nine years in the professional ranks when he faces the Polish powerhouse Andrew Golota, 38-5-1 (31), on April 16th at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. The fight will be televised on HBO. No doubt this will be Lamon’s coming out party for the hard-hitting heavyweight and with a convincing win he will show the world that he is a force to be reckoned with and he is as legit as any of the other titleholders and that he most definitely deserves respect!
In April of ’04 Lamon stepped in the ring against the heavily favored Wladimir Klitschko and five rounds later Brewster would be crowned the WBO heavyweight champion. But the victory was quickly over shadowed when Team Klitschko accused foul play which sparked questions with controversy and doubts over the champions upset win over the Ukrainian. After no proof of the allegations surfaced and five months later Brewster would step in the ring with former sparring partner and good friend Kali Meehan. For twelve rounds the two faced off in front of the Mandalay Bay crowd and in the eighth round Lamon would get caught with a barrage of punches while on the ropes, but the hard chinned champion hung on to get a split decision win and proved that not only is he a champion but he possesses a champions heart. He earned the belt, he successfully defended it, but the belt never seemed to produce the respect you think a fighter would deserve.
In March Brewster will take on the infamous Golota, who very well could and in some eyes should be sporting the IBF and the WBA heavyweight titles. He is certainly no pushover and as long as he doesn’t get discouraged or frustrated in the ring he is a dangerous opponent for anybody. Lamon knows that, and most of all Brewster knows he needs this win more than anything and after taking on old schooled trainer Jessie Reid he is focused more than ever and most of all, he is ready for the win. So say what you want to say about Lamon, but one thing you can’t do is question his heart and his will in the ring, and that is what makes Lamon Brewster so dangerous in this division. The Champ took the time out of his extensive training to hook up with the Doghouse for an exclusive interview; here is what he had to say.
Benny Henderson Jr.: How are things going for you and how is your training?
Lamon Brewster: Everything is going good and the training is everything I could have hoped for a training camp to be.
BH: Can you give us your thoughts on your upcoming bout against Andrew Golota?
LB: You know man I just look forward to a good fight, Andrew is a good fighter. I just look at this fight as a proving ground for myself and I look forward to just successfully defending my title.
BH: How important is this fight to your career?
LB: It means everything to me man because Andrew Golota has fought the best and beating Andrew Golota says a lot about me, you know what I mean?
BH: I know Lamon that you want more than anything to successfully defend your title, but how about the respect aspect of this fight? For some reason you don’t get the respect I think you deserve, but this bout is more than just a title bout for you isn’t it, you are actually fighting for respect, don’t you agree?
LB: You know man they say respect is earned and not given so obviously in the minds of certain people I’ve not earned it, so hey man, I’m going to keep knocking them down as they continue to put them up. Whoever they put in front of me I am going to beat them and then there is going to come a point where I have beaten everybody who they say I should have to beat and then they will have to give me my just due. So I’m not going to worry about the respect as much as I am going to worry about winning. Because as long as I am winning that is the only that matters.
BH: Well with saying that do you think just a win isn’t going to be good enough for the public or do you feel you have to come in there and get a convincing win and maybe even destroy Golota, do you think that will get them going?
LB: I think that I have to come in there and successfully defend my title, because the bigger picture is providing for my family, the bigger picture is being able to walk away and say I am still the heavyweight champion of the world. You can go out and fight like the devil and lose, but I’m going to go out and I’m going to win, and whether they like it or not. Man you look at Lennox Lewis, man he had some fights people didn’t like but guess what he was still the champ, and that was the most important thing. That was something that I learned form Lennox, he didn’t worry about what they said about him, his object was to win so to the extent I am just feeling like I am adopting that theory. I want people to like me yes but what I have to realize is that you will never ever completely make everybody like you no matter what.
BH: You know Golota has never strapped on a belt in all his years of boxing and his last two bouts against Byrd and Ruiz some say or actually a lot say he won those matches. So you know more than anything he is hungry than ever for a title and you are his last resort in his career for a major title, ands with this being Golota’s last hurrah I guess you can say he is going to come at you hard. But, Golota also seems to be a fighter who can easily get distracted and lose sight of a bout when it doesn’t go his way, and that has led him to commit numerous fouls on occasions. Do you feel you can pressure Golota enough to make him lose his mind set and is that your fight plan to do so, and are you worried about him resorting to any dirty tactics?
LB: Well, as long as the referee does his job, hey I’m not worried about him doing dirty tactics. Me, you know there has only been one fight he has fought that can match my power and that was Mike Tyson. Even the people that he has fought and I have sparred with have said that I punch harder. SO we don’t know how he is going to act. I mean you know he can fight Chris Byrd like that because Chris doesn’t punch like me. And he can fight John Ruiz like that because John doesn’t punch like me, but you know he can’t do that with me. I mean hey man he can try is he wants but you know I’m not trying to talk tough or anything but I don’t think that he is that crazy, but if he is great, it will be a short night.
BH: How are you preparing mentally for this fight?
LB: Well you know, just like Golota man, I fully understand that if I lose this fight, the way certain people feel about me I will probably never get this opportunity again. So I have to make the best with this opportunity to try to provide for my family man. I can not allow this man to take this belt from me after I have worked so hard and I have prayed so long, I can not allow that. So I just have to have faith that God will guide me though this battle and that I have put my best foot forward to try to be successful in this fight and leave it in God’s hands.
BH: You took on Jessie Reid as a trainer, how has that been working out for you and do you feel he can bring something out of you that the boxing world has never seen before?
LB: Yeah man you know, you got to understand the thing with Jessie is that he has had nineteen world champs so for a man to have nineteen world champs he has obviously had countless other contenders so what I am saying is that Jessie has so much experience and I worked with him when I first came out to California man, so we are really just picking up where we left off. We are going to the other level because he has more knowledge since then and I definitely have more knowledge since then and we are going to put it together man and we are just going to pour it out to the whole world come March 12th.
BH: From the dressing room to the ring entrance, to the stare down to the sound of the bell for round one, what goes through your mind?
LB: Just what I have to do, just that I will not be denied, God is with me, so no man can stand against me. An Army couldn’t stand against me if God has favor in my victory for that night, that moment. It is like I have done everything I can all I can do now is leave it to God and if it is in his will for me, I will walk away victorious.
BH: What are the perks in being the WBO Heavyweight Champion and is there a downside to being the champ?
LB: The downside to it is that whatever you were to people they amplify it more; they expect you to be more than just what you have always been. Which I think is unfair to anybody if they are a fighter or not. A person gets successful than all of a sudden you want to put them on some pedestal and that is not right you know. The downside to it is now people, well not all people but some people have anterior motives, everybody want to get a piece of me, but it is more for the money and they will say how much they like me and this and that but it is just to get money and that is not right.
BH: So I better not ask to borrow a dollar because I was going to ask to borrow a dollar. (Laughs)
LB: (Laughs) Friendship is a different thing.
BH: Is there anything you would like to add?
LB: I think the thing that I would like to add or say on my behalf is that I’m going to go out March 12th and I’m going to give the best performance I possibly can. And doing so, if I do a good job let me know, if I do a bad job then let me know. People have said that I’ve done a bad job according to the last fight and I can accept that, now this fight, I’m going to do a good job and I know it. And once I do a good job I would just like for people to acknowledge that I did do a good job because I am going to put my all and my heart into it. Not just for my sake but for the sake of boxing and for the sake of entertainment, for the sake of the love of the sport. Just try to keep the sport going, I’m not a dirty fighter, I don’t have mean things to say about people that’s not my style. Hey man I’m just trying to represent this sport as all the other great fighters that have passed Rocky Marciano to Joe Louis to Joe Frazier to Muhammad Ali to all the great fighters in the past, and I’m not putting myself in that category at all, I’m just saying I’m just trying to represent and pass the baton like I felt it was passed on to me and hopefully I can inspire other fighters and other people in life to try to be successful and be a gentleman about what they do in life. That’s what I would like to say.
Stay tuned for part two of this part three interview, which will be conducted right before his March bout.
I would like to personally thank Lamon for his time and his thoughts on his upcoming bout and his career, as always it was fun. For more information on the WBO heavyweight champ he would like to invite you to visit his website: www.lamonbrewster.com.
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