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Articles of 2005

Brewster-Golota Fight Predictions



'Tis the season to be fighting and week after week of interesting matches seem to be the norm. This weekend is no different. Perennial foul-meister Andrew Golota gets another shot at the heavyweight crown. He was this close to winning the title in his last two outings. This time it’s Lamon Brewster’s belt Golota wants, in a bout that could go either way. How do the writers of The Sweet Science see it?

Golota by decision in a somewhat exciting fight.
Mitch Abramson

Golota finally seems to have some common sense to go along with his solid all-around boxing skills. And, perhaps more surprising, the “Foul Pole” is relatively well-preserved despite being around for almost a decade now. With his new mental stability, Golota ought to outclass Brewster, who's tough and willing but outmatched here. Golota by unanimous decision.
Matt Aguilar

I have a feeling I'll be alone on this, but I like Brewster, and quite possibly by late stoppage. Golota has been “close but no cigar” in two fights many felt should have gone his way, so many are looking for the third try to be a charm. I believe the opposite to be true. While he hasn't offered the meltdown we were all looking for in his recent bouts, Brewster is durable enough to have Andrew second-guessing himself as the fight goes on. Lamon may be limited, but one thing he never does is lie down. I hate basing my pick on intangibles – especially when I know that one guy is more skilled than the other – but I see them playing a huge role in this fight. Brewster TKO 11, with Andrew up on all three cards at the time of the stoppage.
Jake Donovan

The Foul Pole has come extremely close in his last two title tries (vs. Chris Bryd & John Ruiz). This one'll be third-time lucky for him. Lamon Brewster won't be able to handle Golota's strength on the inside nor his power. Barring a mental breakdown–which we all have come to expect from Golota–look for Brewster to fold up under Golota's pressure and become an ex-champion around the ninth round. At long last, Andrew Golota will become a champion.
Randy Gordon

Now for the prediction: Golota by unanimous decision. Brewster is a durable fighter and should be able to withstand Golota's power for 12 rounds. But the Foul Pole can bank enough rounds, and if he stays on his best behavior and doesn't surrender any points, he should finally receive that elusive world title.
Tim Graham

Lamon Brewster, holder of the fringe – but suddenly important – WBO belt, is quickly dismissed as a one hit wonder. That’s what losses to Clifford Ettiene and Charles Shufford will lead to. Don’t rule out the possibility that his power is the real thing. We should also recognize that with his victory over Wladimir Klitschko came a boost in confidence – confidence gained by coming back from the brink. But hold that thought. Andrew Golota, easily a candidate for boxing’s most wasted talent award for past misdeeds, is coming in with some boosted confidence of his own. Robbed in successive title shots at Chris Byrd and John Ruiz, Golota should be fighting a title unification bout with Brewster instead of challenging. He has a proven ability to go the distance and fight hard along the way. He’s not a great hitter, but he’s very strong and his chin, if not concrete, is solid. He’ll get to Brewster late. Golota by KO in 10.
JE Grant

I'm going with Brewster. No sound boxing reasoning here, I simply like him better.
Amy Green

The outcome of this WBO Heavyweight title fight will be determined by its champion, Lamon Brewster. Brewster is the better skilled, more athletic boxer and, at this point, the better fighter than the past-his-prime (yet still very dangerous) Andrew Golota.  Brewster's greatest attributes – his heart and character – can never be questioned. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about his conditioning. If Brewster comes to fight, battle ready and in shape, he will beat Golota. If Brewster disrespects the championship belt which he has worked so hard to attain and enters the ring in “Kali Meehan shape,” he will lose his WBO belt to the rugged, title-starved Golota. I have faith in Lamon Brewster, originally trained by the late Bill Slayton (one of boxing's greatest all-time trainers) and feel he is much better than what most boxing writers say. Lamon Brewster will beat Andrew Golota via TKO . . . 8-10 rounds.
Mike Indri

The arena figures to be teeming with more Golota supporters than ever before, and history suggests that under the weight of such circumstances poor Andrew won't be able to help himself: Brewster by DQ in six.
George Kimball

Andrew Golota is a better boxer than Lamon Brewster, but it may not matter. Despite two losses to mediocre Clifford Etienne and Charles Shufford and absent a name victory over anyone who didn't beat themselves, I find myself picking Brewster to beat Golota in the Pole's Chicago hometown where he finds time to fight for heavyweight titles in-between impersonating police officers. Golota failed in his past two trips into the ring as he challenged for the IBF (D12 Byrd) and WBA (L12 Ruiz) belts and goes for the trifecta taking on Brewster for his WBO title. Unfortunately there are plenty more alphabet titles for Golota to chase after this one, but he is now 37 years old and one brain cramp away from leaving the sport for good … this time. If nothing else, Brewster can take a shot and will be there in Golota's face all night long. He hits hard enough to hurt Andrew – and once that happens it is all downhill. No point in overanalyzing this one from an Xs and Os perspective, as these two don't leave much to breakdown, but it could be a very entertaining fight nonetheless. Brewster is the mediocre man's champ, but he gets to see another title defense. Brewster over Golota.
Joey Knish

Andrew Golota has been too quiet, too normal lately. Believing that most things in nature revert to their mean, I expect something bizarre to happen (i.e. the final blowup of Andrew Golota). He knows this is his final shot at a title and the glory, riches, and pressure that comes with it. Lamon Brewster, while not the most talented boxer in the division, has as much heart as anyone. I see the early rounds going much as Brewster's fight with Klitschko, with Brewster taking a beating. But in the middle rounds, Lamon will take Golota's soul as he storms back, prompting the Foul Pole to implode around the 8th round.
Marc Lichtenfeld

Surely, surely, surely Golota has to succeed this time. He's been active and effective in good company and has the tools and stamina to outbox a very ordinary champion. Brewster can carry a shot though and I doubt Golota will crush him early. I'll go for a mid-rounds stoppage, with Brewster bloodied and battered and rescued from his own bravery. Golota TKO8.
David Payne

Let’s see, do I want to have a root canal, or do I want to sit through an IRS audit? Lamon Tajuan Brewster, who rules the WBO, or Andrzej Golota, who once mugged a guy out of his shoes in Warsaw? Brewster, who beat Wlado the Horrible Klitschko, or Golota, who has made a living losing the Big Ones? Ugly. Somewhere Joe Louis is asking: Why do they keep matching my Bums of the Month? It comes down to this . . . if Brewster remembers to wear his protective cup, he’ll win by decision.
Pat Putnam

Brewster, like always, will absorb a lot of punishment — especially early — with sharp combinations … But he'll suck it up and — behind on all cards — he'll impose his will with his left hook. And then it will be a level playing field — who wants it most. When it comes down to character, Brewster will find a way to win … and once more leave a big part of himself in the ring. But can he retain his belt in a town with a bigger Polish population than Warsaw? That's the real question; he'll earn it … but will he get it?
Joe Rein

On paper, this should be a blowout victory for Andrew Golota, since heart and determination are never factored into the tale of the tape. If they were, Lamon Brewster would be ranked much higher. Golota will start off strong, firing his jab and right cross with pinpoint accuracy. But Brewster, who has proven dangerous even after absorbing great punishment, will make his presence known when the fight looks way out of reach. Brewster by KO in 10.
Aaron Tallent

Articles of 2005

In Boxing News: Floyd Mayweather An All-Time Great, Valuev & More



A Shot of Boxing on the Last Day of the Year

The Guardian reports that talks have already taken place between Nicolay Valuev‘s co-promoters – Don King and Wilfried Sauerland – and Danny Williams‘ promoter Frank Warren for Nicolay Valuev to face Danny Williams. I’d suggest Danny Williams needs to worry about Matt Skelton (who Williams is reportedly scheduled to fight in February) before he entertains notions of facing the Beast From The East.

The Mirror in the UK looks forward to a big year in boxing for 2006. The Mirror considers what the future might bring for Joe Calzaghe, Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton, among others.

The Parksville Qualicum News has an interesting column on the travails of former Canadian Super Middleweight title holder Mark Woolnough. Woolnough’s career turned controversial – as widely reported in the Canadian press – at the beginning of this year when Woolnough and four other men were charged with manslaughter and assault after a fight outside a Parksville nightclub. The case returns to court next month. It’s an interesting read, as Woolnough is still looking to the future with hope.

Our own Marc Lichtenfeld provides plenty of food for thought with his Top Ten Wish List for boxing in the New Year. There’s plenty of good stuff here, but what really jumped out for me is Lichtenfeld’s opinion that a win over Zab Judah could have Floyd Mayweather knocking on the door of all-time great status. Seems to me this might be jumping the gun a little. Or is Marc right? Will it soon be time to call Floyd Mayweather Jr. an all-time great?

(More Boxing News Links at

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Articles of 2005

ShoBox Friday Night Fights




Hot bantamweight prospect Raul “The Cobra” Martinez heads back to Chicago next Friday night as he is featured in the co-main event of SHOBOX “THE NEW GENERATION,” an action packed evening of professional boxing presented by Dominic Pesoli’s 8 Count Productions,’ HOME OF THE BEST IN CHICAGO BOXING, Kathy Duva’s Main Events Inc., along with Miller Lite and TCF Bank.

The two-time national amateur champion sporting a perfect 12-0 record with 9 knockouts, six of which have come in the first round,  will take on Colombian Andres “Andy Boy” Ledesma, 13-1 (8 KOs) in a scheduled eight round bout.

Speaking after a training session at his home gym in Georgetown, Texas, Martinez said, “I’m truly looking forward to returning to Chicago. The fans were terrific in September, they were very supportive from the start of the fight,” an internationally televised first round knockout of Miguel Martinez on September 16th at the Aragon Ballroom.

Regarding his upcoming fight with Ledesma, “The Cobra” said, “I haven’t seen him fight, although I understand he’s fought at higher weights and will be naturally bigger than me. I’ve had great training for this fight and feel very confident. I really haven’t left the gym in months, just taking off Sunday’s and even then I get my running in. My thinking is that fights are won in the gym and complete preparation is the key.”

When asked about his being mentioned by Dan Rafael, ESPN’s boxing writer as one of the top prospect’s in the boxing world the 23-year-old San Antonio native said, ‘It’s a great compliment, but I still have much work to do. I want to be a champion for Main Events like Fernando Vargas and Arturo Gatti. But like Fernando said while he was in town, ‘be patient, work hard and your time will come.’”

Finishing the conversation, Martinez said, “I’m looking forward to starting out this year with a bang. I might have a couple less fights than the seven I had in 2005, but I’m looking to stepping up the competition, move up to ten-rounders and climb in the rankings.”

Headlining the evening is a ten-round welterweight showdown between boxing’s hottest prospect, unbeaten Joel Julio of Monteria, Columbia, and Ugandan native Roberto “The Doctor” Kamya. Julio, turning 21 years old the day before the fight, is 25-0 with 22 knockouts, twelve of which have come in the first two rounds. Kamya, now fighting out of West Palm Beach, Florida is 15-5 with four knockouts.

Tickets, starting at $30, are on sale in advance by calling 312-226-5800. Cicero Stadium is located at 1909 S. Laramie, at the corner of 19th and Laramie, just ten minutes south of the Eisenhower Expressway and ten minutes north of the Stevenson Expressway. Doors for this evening will open at 6pm with the first bell at 7pm.

The full bout lineup for the evening is:

Joel Julio vs. Roberto Kamya, ten rounds, welterweights

Raul Martinez vs. Andres Ledesma, eight rounds, bantamweights

Miguel Hernandez vs. Butch Hajicek, eight rounds, middleweights

David Pareja vs. Derek Andrews, eight rounds, light heavyweights

Mike Gonzales vs. Tony Kinney, four rounds, lightweights

Omar Reyes vs. Luis Navarro, five rounds, featherweights

Reynaldo Reyes vs. Ricardo Swift, four rounds, middleweights

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Articles of 2005

Pick ‘Em: Plenty of Big Upcoming Fights in ’06



Here’s the early call on many top matches scheduled for the first half of 2006: Happy New Year!

As the new calendar dawns, there are already a considerable amount of premium bouts on the horizon. Things don’t look to be bogged down by undetermined championships next year. In many cases the scheduled face-offs involve the best fighters in the division, or at least close enough for general bragging rights. If anybody else with proper qualifications signs up to force the issue, all the better.

It can be argued that some pairings could have taken place within a more optimal timeframe, or that some headliners carry distracting baggage, but there are certainly enough heavy hitters on deck. That nobody can deny.

It doesn’t matter whether one considers the proverbial glass half empty or half full; there’s still the same amount of juice in the vessel. It’s nice to know that even with a high number of cancellations, there will still be plenty of important contenders on tap.

With elite fighters in weight divisions from top to bottom on the agenda, it’s an equivalent to what fans in more mainstream sports expect in a consistent championship format.

Baseball fans can almost always count on a World Series. Some hoops fanatics say too much attention to playoffs distracts unmotivated NBA teams during their regular season. In college, they project Sweet Sixteens. Football fans know there’s always a Super Bowl ahead to raise advertising dollars and test the USA’s halftime morals.

So too, there is method in boxing’s current madness.

The midnight crystal ball hasn’t even been unveiled in Times Square and there are already a number of potential thrillers scheduled. Most feature contrasting personalities that almost guarantee going along for the ride will be worthwhile. Any subsequent drops will probably be cheered.

Don King jumps right out of the auld lang gate with a January 7th Showtime card featuring Zab Judah against Carlos Baldomir and Jean-Marc Mormeck in a cruiserweight unification against O’Neil Bell.

It will be the upset of the year, bar none, if Baldomir can tip the applecart before Judah gets to his scheduled super-showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Meanwhile, Mormeck is emerging and should keep on rolling against Bell, who can expose him if he’s not for real.

The proverbial Big Bang starts with a January 21st rematch of one of the finest fights of ‘05, when Erik Morales goes against Manny Pacquaio for the second time on HBO pay per view. The fact that Morales was upset by Zahir Raheem after beating Pacquaio was no real loss in box-office luster. Artful Raheem will get a spot on the undercard and hope his patience is rewarded.

Everyone figures Morales and Pacquaio will pick up where they left off. Like the first time, the rematch is a pick’em contest. Management distractions and glove restrictions cited as Pacquaio’s previous problems won’t matter this time. The two are very evenly matched and their styles will make for another whapathon. It could come down to corners, where Freddie Roach gets the edge since Morales will have a new trainer for the first time since replacing his father after the Raheem lesson.

February features four of the game’s most enduring attractions, in a pair of crucial matchups.

First up, Showtime presents the Jose Luis Castillo – Diego Corrales tiebreaker from El Paso on Feb 4th. This is another pick ‘em pair, barring any sideshow. In boxing that disclaimer may be a stretch, since the sideshow is part of the act and the charm.

As far as action inside the strands goes, every round these guys have fought has been great. There’s no reason to think that pattern won’t continue. Regarding the result, Castillo keeps the pressure on as he did in the second fight, but he’ll walk into trouble from a more reserved Corrales. We still don’t know which coin to flip.

February also holds a better late than never affair between two perennial favorites as Shane Mosley collides with Fernando Vargas on the 25th.  This fight could lead to a winning ticket in the Golden Boy sweepstakes for a fall bonanza against Oscar De La Hoya.

Vargas has been in tougher recently, based on comparable strength of opposition stats, but he’s seen little action. What weight they enter the ring at may have a lot to do with the result. If Vargas has to struggle at the scale, Mosley might have the battle in the bag after round nine.

It’s hard to imagine Mosley getting stopped early, but Vargas doesn’t have to hurt him, he just has to knock him down three times. With natural size, he may be able to do just that, but Mosley would have to box uncharacteristically flat.

Unless Mosley decides to heed the crowd, the most likely scenario is that Shane plays it safe, picks a few shots, and stays away enough to capture a comfortable, dull decision. An unbowed Vargas maintains his fan base but not his bettors.

March both comes in and goes out as a lion.

On March 4th Joe Calzaghe welcomes Jeff Lacy to Manchester UK for what may be the biggest blowout of the headlining bunch. Calzaghe gets the chance to prove his considerable home-based reputation once and for all, but if Lacy creams him as we expect, that glossy record will be severely tarnished.

All Calzaghe has to do is make a respectable stand, but that’s no small task against the rising Lacy. A motivated Calzaghe, songs of England ringing in his ears, could pull a big surprise if he can exploit Lacy’s relatively limited technical development, but that’s a longshot indeed.

It looks like Lacy can get by on power alone. He could soon emerge as a pound-for-pound leader. Old Joe’s hometown advantage will last about two left hooks.

March 11th has the Ides of history to beware for at least one old lion, with farewell (we’ll see) fireworks featuring Roy Jones Jr. against Bernard Hopkins. Less than two years ago they were considered untouchable all time greats. Now between them they’ve lost five in a row.

This goodbye fight is contracted at light heavyweight, for what seems like an oldies night. Hopkins is the senior at age 41 to Jones’s 37, but Roy seems more the grandpa figure, last seen hanging on against Antonio Tarver. Youth, as it were here, will prevail.

This bout was signed quickly as each principal, usually sticklers for favorable contract clauses, agreed to parity in a demonstration of businessman first and fighter second. They may both expect easy marks. How much the boys have left by the time they get down to business remains to be seen. The history books will show this as a climactic career bout between Hall of Famers.

At 175 pounds, Hopkins may be in for rude awakening. Jones may have been more thoroughly outfought recently, but he was rumbling with bigger, tougher men than Jermain Taylor or Howard Eastman. Respectable as he is, Taylor still falls short of the level of Tarver, at least for now. The difference is still fifteen pounds less pop.

It will be quite a feat if Hopkins can stay in the fight, even at Jones’s advanced age. Our stars point to Jones winning in overwhelming fashion.

On March 18th, James Toney meets Hasim Rahman in another pairing of seasoned war-horses.

Toney and Rahman already had their introductions, when they brawled in Mexico during a WBC gathering to bestow Rahman’s new belt. Between formalities, Toney got married, which could bring up the old questions about carnal training.

Let’s hope when they meet in the ring, they restore some of the fire missing from the heavyweights in ‘05.  Toney might have an edge in recent form, but Rahman shows fine tuning he previously lacked. The winner might get newly “crowned’ Nicolai Valuev, an easy payday outside Germany.

Rahman could be the heavyweight that finally makes Toney look like a blown up middleweight. But anything less than a top effort will probably lead to embarrassing night for the Rock and give Toney solid claim to being the true heavyweight champ.

This might not be the most artful fight of the new season, but it could well be the most grueling, and the closest. He who’s faced the better big boys gets the nod. Advantage Rahman.

March 25 features Marco Antonio Barrera, probably the strongest overall claimant to 130 pound honors. The likely opponent is said to be always tough Jesus Chavez.

Chavez seemed rejuvenated when he met Leavander Johnson, but Johnson’s tragic death may have taken some of the steam out of thoughtful Chavez, said to have received Johnson’s family blessing to continue in Leavander’s name. That could mean a lot of inspiration. Either way, if he does meet Chavez, who hung tough with one arm against Erik Morales, Barrera won’t get any slack. The Fates say Chavez, whose wife recently served in Iraq, is a live, live underdog.

Another clash to be King of the Hill finds Floyd Mayweather Jr, arguably the game’s finest practitioner, bumping heads with Zab Judah, one of very few boxers who rivals Mayweather in speed, skills, and brashness.

Their hoedown, scheduled for April 8th, is one of the top pound-for-pound pairings in recent years. Judah will need a career best performance to have a chance of victory. That’s not to say he can’t pull it off, but currently Mayweather is in a different galaxy in terms of punching power. Slow-motion replays may be the only way to follow the flying fists once these two whirlwinds unload.

Mayweather should be around a 4-1 favorite. Judah is good enough to make taking the odds an attractive proposition, since that’s probably as good of odds as one is likely to see on Floyd for a while. Mayweather will stop Judah in his tracks.

The first half of next year is set to conclude with the star power of Oscar De La Hoya, probably against noteworthy foil Ricardo Mayorga on May 6. There could be some snags before a contract is finalized, but if it comes off count on Mayorga for promotional sound bite nastiness. One of the questions is whether or not he’ll be able to get under Oscar’s skin, and it might actually be entertaining to see the classy, model perfect De La Hoya show he’s human and freak out against the Nicaraguan maniac.

Mayorga may have burnt his best bridges already. De La Hoya has not only the boxing skill to negate Mayorga’s offense, but enough power to end it early. If Mayorga rushes in and causes a cut, De La Hoya might get ruffled enough to duck into defense and Mayorga could get a decision that goes to the cards after six rounds or so. It will be wild for as long as it lasts.

Pro boxing, like many sports, had its share of problems during 2005, but there were also many positives. Most notably, as usual, was superior and inspiring action inside the strands. Unless there’s a mass freeze-up at the top, early 2006 figures to see decisive interaction among many well-known fighters.

If even fifty per cent of the aforementioned pairings come to fruition, it’s a strong likelihood the upcoming year has at least one very positive half. Arturo Gatti, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Brian Viloria, and Shannon Briggs, to name a few, are also on deck. No matter how you chose to look at or measure mass qualities, there’s still just as much good to be seen.

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