He sounds like a guy who was just handed the keys to a new Porsche.
That’s because Buddy McGirt is in his corner now, and the old rah-rah days have come and gone, fondly remembered but put away for good.
Or at least until tomorrow.
WBO heavyweight champ Lamon Brewster says he needed a motivator working his corner during his growing years. He needed a guy who would bend down and whisper into his ear in his corner, telling him how good he was and how great he was going to be.
But now that Brewster has arrived – has won a belt and defended it – he doesn’t need anyone on the sidelines clapping their hands and patting him on the back. He says he needs a coach: a Lombardi, a Parcells, a Cowher. Someone telling him what to do.
A Buddy McGirt.
That’s why Jesse Reid won’t be working Brewster’s corner Saturday night when he defends his title against Sergei “The White Wolf” Liakhovich (22-1, 14 KOs) at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University (Showtime).
It will be McGirt.
“I think (Buddy) is the best trainer alive,” Brewster said on a recent conference call. “Going into this fight, I have the utmost confidence because for the first time in a very long time, I have confidence in my corner.”
Brewster (33-2, 29 KOs) said he didn’t have a problem with Reid. He called him a great motivator.
“And I thought that was what I needed at the time,” he said. “But I needed more than just a great motivator. I needed a great technician.”
The “great technician” says he’s found uncharted territory in his new protégé.
“Lamon doesn’t know how good he really is,” McGirt said on the same call. “Once he finds out how good he really is, the heavyweight division is in trouble.”
Unfortunately, the heavyweight division is already in trouble. Has been for years. But that’s not the kind of trouble McGirt is talking about. It’s in trouble because none of the four champions has stepped up and grabbed the division by the neck and shook it like a wolf shaking a rat.
But that’s what Brewster is trying to do. He says the division doesn’t need a great fight to help it back to its feet. It needs a great fighter. And with McGirt‘s help, Brewster thinks he’s the guy.
And that’s the trouble McGirt is talking about.
“I’m the only one in the division knocking people out,” said Brewster, who has eight knockouts in his last nine fights. “Do you want to see two people throwing a thousand punches at each other, breathing hard and holding onto each other? Or do you want to see a monster?”
Most of us would rather watch Godzilla destroy a village than sit through a heated episode of Dancing with the Stars.
Is Brewster the best heavyweight out there? Maybe. Probably.
One thing is for sure, there’s no one else you can point to and easily say he’s better than Brewster.
“Whoever you think can beat me, just put them in front of me and ring the bell,” he said. “That’s the best answer I can give.”
Respect has been a long time coming for Brewster. Holding the WBO belt hasn’t helped. And he’s right when he claims that every fighter he faces is considered a good fighter until he beats them.
“Then they’re just bums,” he said. “(Wladimir) Klitschko was the next coming of some superior fighter until I beat him, then he‘s a bum. Same with (Andrew) Golota.”
As for Liakhovich, Brewer isn’t treating him like a bum. He says he’s a good fighter and fighters have a tendency to get up for a world title fight. But he doesn’t think Liakhovich has been hit with the kind of punch Brewster packs.
“He’s never felt the power that he’ll feel against me,” he said. “And that makes a big difference. Sometime you can get hit so hard that you start thinking about living as opposed to trying to prove that you’re tough. It’s not worth dying for.”
McGirt is making sure Brewster doesn’t look past Liahhovich.
“When a guy has every thing to gain and nothing to lose, those are they guys you’ve got to look out for,” McGirt said.
A little motivation from the “great technician.”