CHICAGO—A world heavyweight championship will be decided in Chicago for the first time in 24 years when WBO heavyweight champion “Relentless” Lamon Brewster puts his title on the line against Andrew “Powerful Pole” Golota at the United Center on May 21.
Another world title match will also be featured when Australian Paul “Hurricane” Briggs takes on Poland’s undefeated Tomasz Adamek for the vacant WBC light heavyweight crown.
Brewster (31-2 27 KOs) won his title by defeating Ukrainian giant Wladimir Klitschko with a spectacular fifth-round technical knockout at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on April 10, 2004.
He successfully defended his title with a split-decision victory over Australian Kali “Checkmate” Meehan in his last appearance at Mandalay Bay on Sept. 4.
“Golota has overcome a lot of demons in his life to get back in the ring,” Brewster said, “but he will not be able to overcome me . . . Chicago was the first major city I ever visited as a child and I have a lot of family there. I tried to get this fight in Indiana so the next best thing is to fight Golota in Chicago. I will make the Midwest proud.”
Golota (38-5-1 31 KOs), who has lived in Chicago since 1991 after emigrating from Warsaw, Poland, will make his third attempt in a row to win a world heavyweight title.
The third time may be the charm.
Golota fought IBF Federation champion Chris Byrd to a draw at Madison Square Garden on April 17, 2004, and after knocking down WBA heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz twice in the second round at the Garden on Nov. 13 He still suffered a decision loss. Many felt Golota won both contests.
“I feel that I should have been named the IBF champion after I fought Chris Byrd,” Golota said. “After I fought John Ruiz, I should have been the IBF and WBA champion. Still, I am happy to be fighting Lamon Brewster for his WBO title. If there is any justice in this world, I will win the world title at home in Chicago on May 21.”
This marks the first time a world heavyweight championship will be decided in the Chicago area since WBA heavyweight champion Mike “Hercules” Weaver won a unanimous 15-round decision over James “Quick” Tillis at the Rosemont Horizon on Oct. 3, 1981.
“We’re bringing big-time boxing back to the Windy City and I’m very excited about it,” Don King said. “It’s great to be doing this with my old friend Bill Wirtz at the United Center. Together we’re bringing boxing back to the people in one of America’s greatest cities.”
On the undercard, No. 1-ranked contender Briggs (23-1 17 KOs) will face No. 4-ranked Adamek (28-0 20 KOs) for the vacant WBC light heavyweight championship. This will be Adamek’s first fight in the U.S. and Briggs will be making only his second stateside appearance. Briggs is training in Big Bear, California under Jack Mosley, while Adamek is trained by Sam Colonna in the Golota camp in Chicago.
“I am stoked that we are fighting in Chicago because there are a million Poles in the city and I get to smash Adamek in front of 20,000 of them,” Briggs said. “I intend to eat, sleep and breathe Tomasz Adamek and on May 21 I will be ready to show the boxing world that Paul Briggs is the future of the light heavyweight division.”
Adamek says he respects Briggs’ ability but will prevail.
“I have seen Briggs fight on TV,” said Adamek. “In every fight he shows a lot of heart but I will win. The Polish community in Chicago is very happy to support me. I am working hard in training with Sam every day to win. He is very good to work with. He's Italian with a very big heart.”
Tickets priced at $35, $75, $100, $200, $300 and $500 are on sale now and can be purchased at the United Center Box Office, www.ticketmaster.com, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling (312) 559-1212. The event is being promoted by Don King Productions in association with the United Center.