Saturday on HBO we get a break from the mega-fight schedule that has made up a good portion of the start of this year to catch our breath and take it easy with Andrew Golota challenging Lamon Brewster for the WBO heavyweight title. For Brewster the fight will mark his second defense of the title he won by outlasting Wladimir Klitschko just over a year ago. Golota will be making yet another – his third consecutive – run at a heavyweight title, having come up empty-handed against WBA champion John Ruiz (L UD12) and Chris Byrd (D 12) the IBF titleholder.
Despite being the reigning champion on a seven fight win streak and facing a 37-year-old Golota who hasn’t won either of his past two bouts, the line makers have installed Golota as a consensus -250 betting favorite. A bet on the dog Brewster will get his supporters +210 in return for their $100 investment. The Total rounds for the fight is 7.5 rounds, meaning 7 full rounds of action plus 1 minute 30 seconds of round 8. “Over” bettors must risk $145 to win $100 while backing the “Under” 7.5 will return a profit of $125 for each Benjamin Franklin wagered.
The Warsaw, Poland native Golota will have his adopted home crowd behind him and a sort of “home field” advantage fighting in Chicago, where he now resides. Unlike other professional sports, home cooking doesn’t usually count for much when two fighters take to the ring. If the fight were in Poland I might be more inclined to give Golota a slight edge based on the location, but Brewster was born in Indianapolis and now resides in Los Angeles – negating any perceived disadvantage due to the locale. If a European boxer was coming to the United States, or vice versa, the fight site would have to be factored into the fight to some degree. In this case it is not an issue.
Looking at the favorite, Andrew Golota, he has a professional record of 38-5-1 with 31 victories coming by way of knockout. Golota left the ring after his October 2000 fight with Mike Tyson and disappeared until coming back in August of 2003 to TKO Brian Nix inside seven rounds. After being knocked down in the first round by Tyson and refusing to come out after two rounds the fight ended up being declared a No Contest when “Iron” Mike tested positive for marijuana after the bout. Officially the fight was recorded as “No Contest” but the fact is that Golota lost by TKO.
Of the five times Golota has lost – or six if you count the Tyson fiasco – the “Foul Pole” has been defeated inside the distance all but one time. It seems that the way to get to Golota is to knock him down and out, or take away his will to continue. We all remember how he fouled his way out of two victories against Riddick Bowe, losing both times by disqualification due to low blows, he was KO’d in 1:35 by Lennox Lewis, TKO’d in 10 by Michael Grant, and unofficially TKO’d in 2 by Tyson.
In addition to the mental collapses against Bowe, the Golota-Grant and Golota-Tyson bouts help shed some light on a decent way to invest in the fight with Brewster. While Michael Grant never had much of a chin, he did have decent athletic ability and the will to win. Golota was never short on skill but has always seemed to be hampered by a fear of success. In the 1999 fight with Grant, Golota dropped the undefeated prospect twice in the first round yet let Grant get out of the round when he was ready for the taking. Michael Grant, given the opportunity to get back into the fight, did just that. Moving along to the tenth round and needing a knockout for the victory, the hard-hitting Grant caught and dropped Golota, and it was over. It wasn’t that Golota couldn’t get up and continue because he did in fact get up. However, he made the decision not to continue and exited yet another fight he was winning on all three judges’ cards (87-80, 86-81, 85-83) after nine rounds.
Against Tyson, Andrew was dropped in the first, and after another three minutes of catching heavy shots and then being verbally abused after the second round by his corner, walked away from the ring. Having demonstrated a pattern of managing to lose or evacuate every big fight he has been in it seems that financially backing such a fighter at the heavy price of -255 is not a wise financial decision. If John Ruiz has introduced heavyweight fight fans to the “jab-and-grab” style, Andrew Golota is the spokesman for “get hit-and-quit” boxing.
The question then becomes, can Lamon Brewster hit Andrew Golota and make him quit? For a potential profit $210 for each $100 invested I like his chances. However, the more lucrative opportunity comes in the form of “Exact Outcome” wagering on this fight. “Exact Outcome” betting is a wager offered on most major fights where the sportsbooks put up lines on which fighter will win and exactly how he will get the victory. A look at consensus lines for the Golota-Brewster match up offers these prices:
L Brewster by Decision +800
L Brewster by KO, TKO or DQ +330
A Golota by Decision +350
A Golota by KO, TKO, DQ -115
Fight is a Draw +2000
Not wanting anything to do with Golota in a major heavyweight fight like this makes sense, plus there are some attractive things to be found in WBO heavyweight champ Lamon Brewster. He is 31-2-0 with 27 knockouts and definitely carries some pop in his punches. Against Wladimir Klitschko he proved he had heart and can take a punch – two key ingredients to look for when going against the Pole. The two losses were unimpressive defeats to Clifford Etienne and Charles Shufford, but none came in the style of defeat that Golota has demonstrated. Brewster hits hard enough to hurt Golota and I have shown that once he is injured he often goes into a shell and chooses the the path of least resistance to get out of the fight.
The odds on Lamon Brewster to win this fight by KO, TKO or DQ seem to be highly attractive, so much so, I feel a bet brewing . . .
(All information is presented for entertainment purposes only.)