Lamon Brewster

Growing up in the late 1970's-Indiana, little Lamon had the same aspirations of many young of that time - to be a Kung Fu fighter. Five-year old Lamon would pretend to sleep, but then stay up and watch Kung Fu Theater. Then, fascinated by what he saw, coupled with just being rambunctious as boys are, he demolished a drum set bought for him as a gift. It was after this incident that his mother decided Lamon, eldest of four boys, should find a more appropriate outlet for his energy. However, Kung Fu was not offered in his neighborhood; the only similar activity was boxing. So from age seven he could be found boxing at the Riverside Gym in Inidanapolis, Indiana.

It was there in the Riverside gym, that Lamon garnered both the belief in his talent and also the attention of others who trained or instructed at the gym. His trainer, eighty-year old Bill Brown, a friend and teammate of Jack Dempsey, supported and nurtured Lamon's natural taent and gave him his first taste of success. He would aslo incourage Lamon to continue his disciplined training even when other neighborhood kids heckled him on a hourly basis. When Lamon reached eighth grade, Indiana Pacer (a pro basketball player) John Long paid his class a visit. At the time, Lamon was quite a versatile athlete, excelling at swimming, football, basketball, and of course, boxing. Long mentioned something that Lamon took to heart and changed his life forever: if a person is good at many things, but narrows his focus down to one, he can be great. Gradually, Lamon weeded out the other sports until boxing was his sole concentration. By age fifteen, he was fighting adults at the amateur level.

In 1991, ready to turn all of his attention to boxing, Lamon risked a move to Los Angeles to become, as he puts it, just "another fighter". Yet he had faith that God would make a way for him and that his ability would open doors. This is exactly what happened. Under the guidance of legendary West Coast boxing trainer, Bill Slayton, Lamon honed his skills and rose through the amateur ranks. While under Slayton's guidance, Brewster won the California Golden Gloves Championship in both 1992 and 1993. In 1995, he won the U.S. National Championship, a silver medal at the Pan Am games. In early 1996, he won the Western Regional Trials, took home the Olympic Tiral Runner-up Award, and was voted "The guy most likely to succeed as a Professional originating form the 1996 Olympic games."

Brewster made the transition to professional boxing in Spetember of 1996, Since then, he has won all his proffessional fights holding a record of 23-0 with 20 knockouts. Lamon Trains six days a week at the Broadway Boxing Gym. As part of his regimen, he practices martial arts two to three days a week. An avid chess player, he feels that the game of chess has helped him figure out ways to dismantle his opponent.

The Official Lamon Brewster website: Visit Lamon's website to keep track of his rise through the rankings and news on his career.

I am very happy that Lamon kicked off our new contender's section in Boxing Wise. 
Brewster is an articulate, intelligent and above all patient gentleman. He listed 
his top 10 heavyweights not once but twice. During our initial interview my trusty
recording machine did not tape properly and I was forced to call Lamon back to ask 
him to run over his top 10 a second time. Throughout it all Mr. Brewster was happy 
to be of help go over his picks and talk about boxing in general. The discussion 
at one point turned to the Rocky Marciano vs. Roland Lastarza fight in the 1953.
Which shows that Lamon is a student of the game as well as a possible contender 
to the heavyweight throne. Anyone who comes into contact with Lamon will come away 
with positive thoughts of him and no doubt root for him in his future pursuits. My 
thanks go out Lamon Brewster, Gena (who was instrumental in setting up this 
interview), Carrol A. Gettko (public relations) and the whole Brewster team.

                          Lamon Brewster ranks his top 10 heavyweights

10. Hasim Rahman - He is a proven fighter, and a game fighter. But he made the 
    mistake in the heavyweight division of only looking for the big shot. You can't 
    afford to throw the big shot and not have your guard up. That is what he did 
    against Oleg Maskaev. When he fought against Tua upon being hurt he should have 
    tried to hold on. You want to hold instead of trying to role against the ropes. 
    Especially when your back is against the ropes. I think it was a learning 
    experience for him so that is why I put him at number 10.   

9. Oleg Maskaev - I would say Oleg Maskaev, he is a tough guy. I am not sure how 
   proven he is? I haven't seen a lot of his fights. I think I have seen two of 
   his fights against Rahman and Tua, which shows he will fight anyone. He showed 
   in the Rahman fight that he can beat anyone. 

8. Wladimir Klitschko - The Klitschko that was defeated (laughs). He poses a threat
   because he is a tall boxer. A lot fighters don't normally like to fight the 
   southpaws, plus he is a big strong guy with a big right hand. That will cause 
   a lot of trouble for people. I think his European style can also cause trouble 
   for American fighters who don't know how to fight a European fighter. With a 
   tall guy with leverage, you just can't walk right in to him and try to bang 
   him out the American way.

7. Kirk Johnson - I think he is not proven, but I am going to give him a good 
   ranking because he has shown good skills. He showed determination in the Cole 
   fights. I think 7 is about right for him. 

6. David Tua - I like Tua because he pressures fighters and he is a big puncher. 
   A lot of fighters can not handle pressure. As long as they can box and not have 
   to worry about a guy pressuring them they can think and do some great things. 
   He does not allow fighters to think in the ring because he constantly pressures 
   them. When a guy like Tua is constantly coming, he mentally breaks them down 
   no matter how physically strong or big they are. That is why I like Tua.

5. Michael Grant - Well HBO is very picky as to whom they choose to represent them. 
   For them to sign Michael Grant they must know something or see something in him 
   that he has not shown yet (laughs). He is a undefeated fighter and he is schooled, 
   so I think he causes a threat in the heavyweight division. He got hit with a 
   great shot in the Golota fight and I really didn't think he would recover from 
   it. For him to recover and actually come back to win the fight says a lot.

4. Vitali Klitschko - He is a tall guy with a awkward style as compared to a 
   American fighter, with the way he fights with that big arm out front. He tries 
   to drop that right hand in and being tall he has that good leverage behind his 
   punches. He also has the experience of fighting in the amateurs which I think 
   carries you a long way in the professional ranks. So he is a dangerous fighter.

3. Lennox Lewis - I don't have Lennox at number 1 or 2 because he doesn't show me 
   the true desire that a champion has, he doesn't fight with ferociousness. He 
   fights to win he doesn't fight to be a champion. Not to take anything away from 
   him or try to discredit him because I think Lennox Lewis is a good fighter. To 
   me he only fights good with a guy who allows him to fight his style. Like when 
   he fought Shannon Briggs. At first Lewis didn't do anything except look amazed 
   (by Briggs). But then he saw opportunity, he hit Briggs with a shot and his 
   confidence came on all of a sudden. That isn't the way a real champion is. This 
   is just my opinion, but he is a questionable champion.  

2. Mike Tyson - Mike Tyson is a guy who I truly believe is going to surprise a lot 
   of people. I think it is very smart and mature on his behalf to say 'I know I 
   am not ready for the top guys.' He is not looking for the top guys right now, 
   he can make the money and at the same time get the experience fighting lesser 
   opponents and wear the rust off. By the time he has the 3 or 4 fights the rust 
   will be off and he will show the world that he is better than what they think. 
   You can't count a man out in life who has never had anything growing up. Remember 
   the power is always the last thing to leave a fighter.

1. Evander Holyfield - I have Evander Holyfield at number 1 because he is a proven 
   old bull ! He has fought the best. He has fought the very, very best. To me 
   after Mike Tyson if it wasn't for him I think heavyweight boxing would have 
   virtually dissapeard. But he held it up on his shoulders and proved to be a very 
   worthy champion. He is also a exciting fighter, he isn't a devastating fighter, 
   but Evander Holyfield was great without having the one punch knockout power.
   He is a great fighter because he is a thinker in the ring. Anyone he fought,
   they were in for a fight.

BW: If you could choose one of the fighters on your list to fight, who would it be? 

Brewster: Lennox Lewis because he got the belts. I would make a good payday and
          not have anything to loose by fighting him. He would be the one that has 
          everything to loose. He doesn't fight with the ferociousness that I feel 
          you need to be a heavyweight champion. To be the heavyweight champion 
          of the world you must possess more than size and strength. You  have to 
          really show that killer desire. He hasn't yet shown me that killer desire 
          except when he has fought someone who is scared of him. 

BW: Which fighter that you ranked suits your style of boxing the best? 

Brewster: All, I would train to beat any of their styles. Why would you train to 
          run sprints if you are in against a marathon runner? If I fight a guy
          I know is a tough hard puncher, then it is only logical that most hard 
          punching guys get tired. So I would have to get them into the later 
          rounds. I can adapt.

BW: You talked about amateur background with Vitali Klitschko, what is your amateur 

Brewster: I was the number 1 heavyweight in the USA for almost two years. I beat 
          the number 1 German heavyweight when he was ranked second in the world 
          in 1995. Was chosen as the USA captain for the boxing team from 1994 up 
          until 1996. But I lost the spot in the 1996 Olympic trials. I also won 
          the silver medal in the Pan American games losing to Savon of Cuba in
          the final. 

(Editors note: Brewster was being a bit humble. Lamon also won the 1992 and 1993 
 California State Golden Gloves title. Was the 1995 national amateur champion along 
 with being voted "The guy most likely to succeed as a professional originating 
 from the 1996 Olympic games.")   

BW: Who is your trainer now and the team that surrounds you?

Brewster: Bill Slayton, he is the former trainer of Ken Norten. We train at 108th 
          and Broadway boxing gym in Los Angeles. It is a great gym because what 
          you have there is a community boxing gym. It is owned by Bill Slayton
          and you have a lot of kids that come up there. Hopefully they can be 
          inspired by seeing a up and coming fighter like me come out of that kind 
          of gym and be successful. I love the gym because it is not a glamorous 
          gym. It is a type of gym when you come..... it is like the gym in the 
          Rocky movie. It is blood and sweat. That is the smell, that is the feeling 
          that it gives you. It is all work and no play. I also want to mention 
          and thank my brother Dion Brewster, he has been around me and this boxing 
          dream since I turned pro in '96. He is studying under my trainer Bill 
          right now,  he is coming along to be great. He might turn out to be the 
          next Eddie Futch. I would also like to plug my manager Sam Simon, we need 
          more managers in boxing like him! He is in it more for the fighter than 
          the money, I just think he is a asset to boxing.   

BW: You talk a lot about being positive and having a good mental outlook. Does 
    that come naturally?

Brewster: Oh yes! Because I speak of my own experiences. If I would have listened 
          to people telling me what I could or could not do I would not have made 
          it this far. I made it this far because I believed in myself. I didn't 
          let people tell me what I could or could not do. I was determined do to 
          what Lamon Brewster wanted to do. I want that outlook to spill over into 
          everything I do. Any kind of job, through college, through hard times 
          and peer pressure. I had a lot of friends..... or I thought they were 
          friends who laughed at me. They told me I was too small or I wasn't 
          strong enough. I used that fuel in a positive way, to prove them wrong. 
          So I am here! I want anybody who wants to be anything in life do not let 
          people discourage you. Don't get discouraged when things don't happen 
          the way you want them to, the greatest men in the world were not made
          overnight. They were made through determination. 

Lamon Brewster's Career Record 23-0 (20 K.O's)

- 1996 - Nov-8-1996, Las Vegas, NV KO 1 over Moses Harris Nov-29-1996, Las Vegas, NV KO 1 over Sean Fink Dec-17-1996, Pikesville, MD KO 2 over Greg Mc Ghee Dec-28-1996, Irvine, CA KO 1 over Fabian Meza - 1997 - Jan-9-1997, Beverly Hills, CA TKO 3 over Ron Smith Jan-31-1997, Beverly Hills, CA KO 1 over Trent Surratt Feb-6-1997, Beverly Hills, CA KO 1 over Tim Knight Mar-6-1997, Asbury Park, NJ KO 1 over Mark Johnson Apr-8-1997, Biloxi, MS TKO 2 over Beau Johnson Jul-11-1997, Las Vegas, NV TKO 2 over Cleveland Woods Aug-8-1997, Las Vegas, NV TKO 1 over Aaron Conway Nov-20-1997, Los Angeles, CA W 8 over John Kiser Dec-20-1997, Coachella, CA TKO 1 over Tony La Rosa - 1998 - Jan-9-1998, Biloxi, MS KO 5 over Biko Botowamungu Feb-28-1998, Atlantic City, NJ KO 1 over Artis Pendergrass Mar-23-1998, Ledyard, CT KO 4 over Marcellus Brown May-16-1998, Boise, ID W 10 over Garing Lane Jun-14-1998, Atlantic City, NJ KO 2 over Louis Monaco Aug-15-1998, Los Angeles, CA TKO 4 over Everett Martin Oct-3-1998, Las Vegas, NV TKO 1 over Marcus Rhode - 1999 - May-22-1999, Las Vegas, NV KO 2 over Mario Cawley Sep-17-1999, Las Vegas, NV KO 1 over Quinn Navarre - 2000 - Feb-26-2000, New York City, NY W 10 over Richard Mason