A Few More Rounds
Things that take longer than 53 seconds to do:
* Pick out a shirt to wear.
* Reheat a cup of coffee in the microwave.
* Dial long distance with a calling card.
* Wait for my dog to find the perfect spot to do her business.
* Unwrap a new CD.
* Listen to Larry Merchant complete a one-sentence thought.
Fifty-three seconds is all WBO heavyweight champ Lamon Brewster needed Saturday night to chop down Andrew Golota in Chicago.
Take away the two 10-counts referee Genaro Rodriguez administered and there were only 33 seconds of action.
Golota, the betting favorite, suggested before the bout he was feeling added pressure because he was fighting in his adopted hometown. Brewster took advantage of Golota's terminal nervousness and pounced from the opening bell, not giving the flatfooted Foul Pole one moment to get comfortable.
It was a terrific gameplan, the same one beautifully executed against Golota by Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson.
Perhaps Brewster received some advice from stablemate Drederick Tatum, the Tysonesque boxer from "The Simpsons." Sam Simon, executive producer of the animated series, is Brewster's manager.
Brewster's destruction evoked memories of when Tatum knocked out The Supine Swede to win the 1984 Olympic gold medal and bludgeoned Homer Simpson.
Reporter: Drederick, what do you think of Homer Simpson?
Tatum: I think he's a good man. I like him. I got nothing against him, but I'm definitely gonna make orphans of his children.
Reporter: Uh, you know they do have a mother, Champ.
Tatum: Yes, but I would imagine that she would die of grief.
Well, it wasn't quite that dreadful for Golota. But it still was pretty bad.
"Andrew Golota was made for me," Brewster said. "No man can stand in front of me. That’s suicide."
Golota is 0 for 4 in world title belts, having a go at each major sanctioning body belt. If he were a baseball player he would have struck out looking (against WBC champ Lennox Lewis in 1997), lined out to third (controversial draw with IBF champ Chris Byrd 13 months ago), flied out to the warning track (a loss despite twice dropping WBA champ John Ruiz in November) and struck out looking again (Brewster).
“I prepared for this fight since the beginning of the year," Golota said, "and I cannot believe it is so quickly over.”
* * *
HOLY DELUSIONS: Evander Holyfield won't give up the ghost.
The faded, former heavyweight champ made an appearance this past weekend at a minor league indoor football game in Alabama, and he still insists it's his destiny to retire not merely as a champion, but with all three major belts. He said he plans to fight in September, but the opponent or site hasn't been determined yet.
Holyfield, suspended by the New York Athletic Commission after his embarrassing performance against Larry Donald in November, is 42 years old and has won only two of his past nine fights since 1998.
"There are some good fighters out there," Holyfield told the Montgomery Advertiser, "but I feel I have everything necessary to win the title again."
DEADWOOD: It sure was a difficult couple of weeks for HBO. The network aired two retirement-worthy blowouts and decided not to show Saturday night's phenomenally gruesome bout between Tomasz Adamek and Paul Briggs for the vacant WBC light heavyweight title.
HBO had a tough act to match when it followed Showtime's instant classic between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo with back-to-back weekends of action. But then Winky Wright manhandled Felix Trinidad for 12 rounds on pay-per-view and seven nights later Brewster zapped Golota inside a minute.
Adamek's majority decision victory could've made up for those main event whitewashes. But while the fists (and blood) were flying, HBO televised the replay of Wright-Trinidad and then wished it had more to offer when Golota experienced technical difficulties.
NOT ALWAYS GOOD TO BE THE KING: The past month hasn't exactly been rosy for Don King, either. The skyscraper-quaffed promoter had trouble moving tickets for James Toney and Ruiz in Madison Square Garden, paid Trinidad $10 million and watched him retire, and barely got his ringside seat warm before Golota got smoked.
King also took a hit in the wallet when a Las Vegas judge -- the kind with a gavel, not a pencil -- agreed with promoter Art Pelullo's claim that King had heisted Ruiz. Pelullo had signed a promotional agreement with Ruiz in 1996, and the U.S. District Court ruled King owes Pelullo $7.5 million plus interest for the trouble.
SPRINGFIELD'S A FIGHT TOWN: "The Simpsons" is loaded with great boxing references, probably because of Simon's involvement. Remember how Tatum got his heavyweight title back after serving five years in the slammer? That's right, it was Tatum-Watson II: The Bout to Knock the Other Guy Out.
The television ad for his fight against "The Brick Hithouse" (aka Homer): "Society put away Drederick Tatum for his brutal crime. But he has paid his debt, and now he's going to get revenge -- on Homer Simpson." The Springfield Shopper's headline the day of the fight read "Champ to Whale on Local Man."
The show's greatest boxing match, however, took place in international waters to avoid the athletic commission killjoys. That, of course, was Tyson-Secretariat: Slaughter in the Water.
BURNING QUESTIONS: Why do boxers always insist on cocking a fist when posing for photographs? It's one of the silliest customs. I once saw a fan hand his baby to a fighter for a quick snapshot, and the pug reflexively made a fist. What was he going to do, punch an infant? Do football players get in a three-point stance when their pictures are taken?
After his head-turning victory, will the WBC finally stop listing the WBO heavyweight champ as "Lamont" Brewster?
Am I the only one who suspects Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Hector Camacho Sr. still will be fighting when their sons retire?
Why does the British media fawn over their fighters so much when they leave the amateur ranks? The latest is Olympian Amir Khan, who will turn pro for Frank Warren on July 16. Give the kid 10 or 15 fights and then get back to me.
MORON OF THE WEEK: Ricardo Williams, a 2000 Olympic silver medalist, was sentenced to three years in prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine in Cincinnati.
QUOTEMARKS: "Andrew Golota was the only thing keeping me from the land of milk and honey … I'm going forward to show that I’m more than just tough, I’m more than just heart. I actually got skills … I'm an F-16, and he's a B-52 bomber. If I stand still he'll bomb me to death. But I'm going to outmaneuver him in an air-to-air dogfight and shoot him down. That's what I did." -- Lamon Brewster
"Mike Tyson doesn't intimidate me at all. I idolized the man growing up, but when I hit Mike Tyson, he's going to think the whole of Ireland hit him on the chin." -- Kevin McBride
"If the steroids were supposed to make me look bigger or stronger, steroids would be out of business because my body looked terrible that night." -- James Toney to ESPN2
"To have one fight that will go down in history as a legendary fight and another fight where my fighter beat a legend is remarkable. As a promoter, I'll never have a finer two weeks in my life." -- Gary Shaw on Corrales-Castillo and Wright-Trinidad
"I know Ricky is a firm underdog, people are saying it's a premier league team against a third division side, but that's utter tosh … Tszyu has not fought that many rounds, has been injured, is 35 and he is fighting in front of a crowd who will frighten the living daylights out of him." -- Former featherweight champ Barry McGuigan on the upcoming Kostya Tszyu-Ricky Hatton match