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Klitschko gets revenge against Brewster: State of the heavyweight division!

Last Saturday night at the Koln Arena in front of 17,000 fans in Cologne, Germany, IBF Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko exacted revenge against nemesis and Former WBO Heavyweight Champion Lamon Brewster. From the outset, Klitschko fired his jab frequently, more frequently that I have seen in recent outings, to keep the shorter Brewster at bay and in his range. Brewster, who had been off for 15 months due to recovery for a detached retina, was never really in the fight from a competitive standpoint.

As soon as Klitschko had Brewster in range, he began to fire right hands that were moving Brewster back and keeping him on his heals. In the third round, Brewster managed to land some shots to the Klitschko's midsection and that momentarily slowed Klistchko's jab output, but Klitschko resumed control in the second half of the round when he started fighting Brewster with his right hand. As the rounds progressed, Brewster was less and less active and Klitschko was beginning to punch Brewster with combinations. As Jimmy Lampley pointed out, with Lennox Lewis now retired, Klitschko may very well have the best right hand in the heavyweight division. Perhaps, the best right in hand in the sport of boxing. At the end of a punishing sixth round, Brewster's trainer Buddy McGirt mercifully called a halt to the action. He didn't want to see his fighter get hurt permanently, opting to stop the fight and let his fighter live to fight another day.

As I had predicted, Klitschko outboxed Brewster and stopped him in the middle rounds. The 15 months off may very well have tainted Brewster and the ring rust looked apparent, but that is not to diminish Klitschko's performance. Klitschko's offense as well as defense looked the best I have ever seen. He was more measured in his attack and he was firing an average of 40-50 jabs per round to set up some really crisp combinations. Where does Klitschko go from here? He stated to Larry Merchant in the post fight interview that he would not be satisfied until he unified the belts with the other titlists.

Maybe his next fight will be against the winner of the unification match between WBA King Ruslan Chagaev and WBO Titleholder Sultan Ibragimov. Fighting the winner of that match, Klitschko would enter with one titlebelt and more than likely leave with three all together. The fourth major belt out there is held by Oleg Maskaev, who is tenatively scheduled to defend that crown against mandatory challenger Sam Peter. Klitschko already has a win over Peter dated back to September 2005, and if Peter dethrones Maskaev, a Klitschko vs Peter rematch could very well be the most significant fight in the heavyweight division today. After all, Peter is very much an improved fighter ever since his loss to Klitschko, judging by his outstanding performance earlier this year in his rematch with James Toney.

In recent days, Brewster indicated to the press that he is far from a finished fighter. He wants to take a little time off to rest and then come back in about three months for a tune up fight. Referring to how the media perceived Klitschko to be a shot fighter after his destruction of him three years ago, Brewster is quick to imply that he can come back and restore his credibility following this defeat just as Klitschko was able to resurrect his career following his loss to Brewster in 2004 and change his style to become a better fighter.