Klitschko, 48-3, 43 KOs, nearly a 4-1 favorite in the third defense of his version of the heavyweight title vs. former champ Brewster, 33-3, 29 KOs, an upset winner in their first fight in April of '04.
In that first fight, Klitschko beat Brewster from pillar to post for four rounds, holding a 109-28 edge in total connects and landing nearly half his power shots. Brewster finally went down in round four, but did not quit. Wladimir fought as if he had to catch a red-eye out of Vegas later that evening, as he fired off 78 total punches in round one, 55 of which were jabs, landing 33 total punches and 24 jabs. He landed 32 of 77 total punches in round two, including 21 of 57 jabs. The heavyweight average is 46 total punches thrown per round and 19 jabs thrown per round. His total punch output dropped to 59 in round three (42 of which were jabs), but he still managed to outland the shell-shocked Brewster 24-9. Wladimir landed 20 of 58 total punches in round four to just 6 of 27 for Brewster, who was thisclose to having the fight stopped. Brewster made it thru the fourth and rallied in the fifth, as the now fatigued Klitschko managed just 39 total punches thrown for the round. Brewster landed 12 of 27 power shots (as many as he had landed in the previous two rounds combined) before the end came at 3:00 of round five. Overall, Klitschko landed 46% of his power shots, but apparently the furious pace he set in the opening six minutes took its toll on him.
Last March, Klitschko KO'd the overmatched Ray Austin in the second round. A series of questionable left hooks put the joke a mandatory #1 contender on the canvas. He was up at nine, but not willing to fight on.
Last November, Klitschko made his first defense at New York's Madison Square Garden, vs. the boxing banker, Calvin Brock. Wladimir was sleep-walking over the first four rounds, landing just 34 total punches, 26 of which were jabs. Brock had a 49-34 edge in total connects thru four rounds. KlitschKOs newly-adopted "less is more" strategy was evident, as he averaged just 40 total punches thrown per round. Wladdy got his wakeup call in the fifth, landing 27 of 65 total punches, 22 of which were jabs. He fell back to 44 total punches in round six, landing 14, including 8 of 27 jabs. The awkward amd inexperienced Brock was outlanding Klitschko, but never really got the champion's attention with any punches and wasn't really busy enough to steal rounds, averaging 42 total punches thrown per round over the first six rounds. A crashing Klitschko right hand sent Brock face down to the canvas in round seven. He beat the count, but was in no shape to continue.
In April of '06, defending champ Chris Byrd foolishly fought a "big man's" fight vs. Wladdy and left Germany minus his heavyweight title. Byrd, who's never seen a fight card he wouldn't consider attending, stood in front of Klitschko all night. As a result, he was clubbed to the canvas in round five and again in the seventh before the end came :41 into the round.
To get to Byrd, whom he also decisioned in 2000, Wladimir had to first get past Nigerian power puncher Sam Peter in September of '05. He did, but it wasn't pretty. Wladimir survived three knockdowns (twice in 5th, again in 10th), clinching and holding his way to a 114-111 3x decision win. Wladdy's smothering tactics allowed the ko-happy Peter to land an average of just six power shots per round- half the heavyweight average. When Wladdy wasn't clinching he was mostly jabbing. Adopting a "less is more" strategy following his collapse vs. Brewster, Klitschko averaged just 44 total punches thrown per round, 32 of which were jabs, landing 34%. He also landed 52% of the 12 power shots he threw per round, 15 less than the heavyweight average, but enough to hold off the crude Peter. He nearly dropped Mt. Peter with a thunderous left hook in the last round.
Brewster has not fought in 461-days, the longest layoff of his nearly 11 year career, following surgery for a detached retina in his left eye (that he claims he had coming into the Lyakhovich fight). In that fight, a candidate for 'fight of the year' for '06 and certainly the best heavyweight title fight fought last year, Lyakhovich landed 54% of his power punches, 13% higher than the heavyweight average. Brewster, who landed 42% of his power shots among his 50 total punches thrown per round, rocked Lyakhovich in the fifth and forced him to take a knee in round seven. Both fighters were hurt in the sixth round as well. Lyakhovich recovered to outland Brewster 30-12 in power shots in round nine enroute to a unanimous decision win (115-113; 115-112, 117-110) and a share of the heavyweight championship (which he lost to Shannon Briggs in his first defense.)
In May of '05, Brewster blasted out the unpredictable Andrew Golota in just :52. A series of left hooks dropped Andrew three times.
Just five months after his bruising upset win over Wladimir, Brewster was life and death with the limited Kali Meehan, winning a split decision in his first title defense. Brewster landed 57% of his power shots vs. Meehan, who landed 41% of his non-jabs. Meehan was destroyed in four rounds by Hasim Rahman in November of '03. The game Brewster, who was out on his feet in the eighth, won the last two rounds on two cards to keep his title.
Other blemishes on Brewster's resume include decision losses to Charles Shufford (10/21/00) and Clifford Etienne (5/6/00). Shufford, who lasted just six rounds with Wladimir in '01, landing an average of 3 (that's right 3) punches per round, outlanded Brewster 158-77 in total punches. Brewster averaged just 33 total punches thrown per round vs. Shufford, landing just eight total punches per round.
Etienne looked like a young Joe Frazier on the inside vs. Brewster, landing 52% of his power punches. Etienne outlanded Brewster 311-138 in total punches- an average of 33 punches landed per round, 27 of which were power shots, more than double the heavyweight average. Brewster took a tremendous beating, but did not quit.
Klitschko was nearly an 8-1 favorite in their first fight. He's less than a 4-1 favorite this time around (Klitschko -450, Brewster +300) against a fighter who hasn't fought in 15 months, coming off eye surgery.
Brewster's not hard to find. Klitschko, Lyakhovich, Meehan & Etienne landed 50% of their power shots vs. Lamon. They did so despite landing just 5 of 22 jabs thrown per round. Wladimir landed an average of 10 of 31 jabs in his recent wins over Calvin Brock and Sam Peter. He's also conserving more energy, as he averaged just 44 total punches thrown vs. Brock & Peter after getting off 77 per round in the first six minutes vs. Brewster in their first fight. He's not only conserving energy, he's also offering less openings for his opponents. He averaged just 12 power shots thrown and 5 landed vs. Peter & Brock. Crowd pleasing? No...effective? Yes...especially since Wladimir can crack with either hand.
Unless Brewster is totally shot, this one will go rounds, given Wladimir's new "deliberate" style. Eventually KlitschKOs heavy jab and occasional power shot behind it will wear down the game Brewster, probably around the ninth round.
HBO WCB - Jul. 7, 2007