CHICAGO (May 18, 2005) — WBO heavyweight champion “Relentless” Lamon Brewster will defend his crown against Andrew “Powerful Pole” Golota when Chicago hosts its first heavyweight world title fight in 24 years on Saturday at the United Center.
The 31-year-old 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.
“I’m a Midwesterner and the people of Chicago have welcomed me and been very nice this week,” Brewster said. “One of the biggest highlights of this whole thing for me was to speak to the kids at St. Sabina Academy on Monday. That was a big motivator for me to have kids from the ghetto saying they would be praying for me to win. It’s important for me to not let them down. I will be thinking about them on Saturday night.”
Regarding his opponent, the champion added, “I don’t care what Golota is planning to do. I’m just coming to take care of business and retain my titles.”
The 37-year-old Golota (38-5-1, 31 KOs) has lived in Chicago since 1991 after emigrating from Warsaw. This will be his third attempt in a row to win a world heavyweight title.
Golota fought IBF 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 (and Ruiz had a point deducted for hitting on the break in round four). He suffered decision losses in both fights. Many ringside observers felt Golota had won both contests.
“This is my last chance to win a world title fight,” Golota said. “There is extra pressure on me fighting in front of my people in Chicago. The pressure is not comfortable but it is exciting. This is a great thing for Chicago. We haven’t had a big fight like this in ages.”
To his hometown fans in Chicago, Golota added: “Come and support me on Saturday night. I will make you proud.”
This marks the first time a world heavyweight championship will be decided in the Chicagoland area since WBA heavyweight champion Mike Weaver won a unanimous 15-round decision over James “Quick” Tillis at the Rosemont Horizon on Oct. 3, 1981.
A stellar undercard features a second world championship match and two world championship elimination bouts.
No. 1-ranked contender Paul “Hurricane” Briggs will face undefeated No. 4-ranked Tomasz Adamek for the vacant WBC light heavyweight championship. This will be Adamek’s first fight in America, with Briggs making only his second United States appearance.
Briggs, (23-1, 17 KOs) from Australia, is a former kickboxing world champion of the Muay Thai discipline who has said he is looking forward to “crushing Adamek” in front of an expected large contingency of Polish fans.
“Adamek is a very well-schooled boxer, knows all the moves and has beaten all of his opponents,” Briggs said, “but he has never fought anyone with my ability, tenacity and power. If he thinks I’m just a street fighter that will go down the first time he hits me, he’s in for a big surprise.”
Adamek, (28-0, 20 KOs) from Poland, says he represents a new breed of Eastern European fighter.
“I combine the Polish and American styles of boxing,” Adamek said. “Poles jab more and the American style is more power-oriented. You will see how effective it is on Saturday.”
No. 2-ranked World Boxing Council welterweight contender Miguel Rodriguez will meet WBC No. 1-ranked contender Carlos “Tata” Baldomir in a world championship elimination bout to become the WBC’s mandatory challenger. This puts the winner of this fight in line to face one of the biggest stars in boxing, current undisputed world welterweight champion Zab “Super” Judah.
Rodriguez, (26-1, 21 KOs) from Naucalpan, Mexico, earned his shot at this elimination bout after winning the WBC Welterweight Continental Americas title and the Mexican national championship. He possesses devastating punching power and has knocked out 10 of his last 11 opponents.
Baldomir, (40-9-6, 12 KOs) originally from Santa Fe, Argentina, but now fighting out of Los Angeles, has not lost a bout since 1998. Although he is a veteran who has held national and international titles since 1999, this will be his first world title appearance.
Former WBA super welterweight champion Alejandro “Terra” Garcia will square off against WBA No. 1-ranked Rhoshii “The Mongoose” Wells for the WBA 154-pound interim title. When these two met as undefeated combatants on Sept. 20, 2003, Garcia was the reigning champion. Although staggered by Wells early in what turned out to be a very close fight, Garcia rallied late to score a technical knockout in round 10.
The seemingly invincible Garcia then made his third defense against another undefeated 154-pounder, “Tremendous” Travis Simms, in Atlantic City, N.J., on Dec. 13, 2003. The still-undefeated Garcia appeared to be moving ahead of Simms when he forgot the first rule in boxing and inexplicably dropped his hands thinking the referee was stepping in for a break. Simms took full advantage of the opportunity and landed a sweeping left hook for a knockout and walked off with Garcia’s title.
Garcia, (23-1, 22 KOs) from Tijuana, Mexico, defeated Jonathan Corn by fifth round TKO in Las Vegas on Sept. 4, 2004. Wells, (18-1-2, 11 KOs) from Las Vegas, fought and won an elimination bout on the same card.
In a cruiserweight matchup with significant world title implications, former IBF champion Kelvin “Koncrete” Davis will take on the always-tough Guillermo Jones.
Davis, (21-2, 16 KOs) from Reno, Nevada, won the vacant IBF cruiserweight title by scoring an eighth-round TKO over Ezra Sellers in Miami on May 1, 2005. He was then stripped of his title by the IBF in February after a dispute with the organization.
Jones (31-3-2, 24 KOs) is from Colon, Panama, is currently ranked No. 5 by the WBA, and has had an illustrious career. In his last appearance, he lost a disputed 10-round decision to undefeated and current No. 1 contender Steve Cunningham in Worcester, Mass., on April 2.
Mexican bantamweights Genaro “Poblanito” Garcia (32-4, 20 KOs), from Puebla, and Gerardo “El Locomotora” Espinoza (28-7, 26 KOs), from Tijuana, are scheduled to fight for 10 rounds. Three more undercard bouts will also be featured.
Tickets priced at $35, $75, $100, $200, $300 and $500 are still available 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.