Thirteen-year veteran Grady Brewer (30-14, 16 KOs) probably thought he’d seen just about everything in the ring as a fighter. Brewer had fought his way up from nowhere to land a spot on the nationally televised Contender series season two. Broadcast on ESPN and showcasing welterweight boxers hoping to break through obscurity to contender status, Brewer outfought his sixteen competitors (a field that included notables Steve Forbes and current IBF junior middleweight champion Cornelius Bunrdrage) to become champion of the tournament and five hundred thousand dollars richer.
Brewer parlayed that experience into a solid boxing career. His resume is littered with bouts against the very best of the sport. The list of fighters he’s tangled with includes Forbes, Bundrage, Kelly Pavlik, Jermaine Taylor, Marco Antonio Rubio and Erislandy Lara.
Never in his life, though, had he experienced something like he did last weekend against Giorbis Barthelemy (25-10-2, 10 KOs). After being floored in the third round by a good shot, Brewer got off the canvas and employed what can only be described as a veteran’s guile to take the fight right back at his opponent. The 41-year-old began pressing the action with hard, heavy shots and started getting the better of Barthelemy.
Apparently, Barthelemy just couldn’t handle it. First, he used a Karate Kid-type takedown to swipe the legs right out from under Brewer. As if that wasn’t enough, Barthelemy then summoned his inner-Mike Tyson to take a bite out of Brewer’s neck.
The referee halted the action when he realized what happened and awarded Brewer the DQ win. In the process, Brewer nabbed the IBO Inter-continental junior middleweight title along with the notoriety of being involved in a "bite fight."
Brewer was in good spirits afterwards and was surprised about how it all went down.
"I stepped on the gas to let him know I was turning the fight around. I busted him up pretty good. His nose was bleeding…his mouth and his eye."
Brewer felt the fight was going his way and thought he’d put his opponent away soon, but that’s when he says things took a turn for the worse.
"I felt that he was fading out and couldn’t really take much more, and that’s when he bit me!"
When Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear in their 1997 rematch (aka Bite Fight 1997), Holyfield was sure it was because Tyson realized he was in for a beating and wanted a way out of the fight. Brewer isn’t so sure his opponent was looking for a way out of the fight. Instead, he thinks Barthelemy was just looking for a way to strike back at him after he had taken it to him the previous rounds.
"I think he was frustrated and he didn’t feel like he could get me back without biting me. He couldn’t make nothing happen. He just got frustrated and bit me."
Needless to say, Brewer was surprised by his opponent’s tactic when it happened. In the buildup to the fight, Brewer said Barthelemy appeared to be a normal professional.
"He walked around with his team like they were on top of the world. I felt like he was a good sportsman and a good fighter. When it happened, it really threw me for a loop."
And what does one say to someone after getting DQ’d for biting them? Barthelemy took the denial approach.
"He said he didn’t bite me,” said Brewer. “But I had the bite mark on my neck to prove it."
A win is a win for a solid veteran like Grady Brewer. With a regional title belt in tow, and perhaps a little more buzz because of the way he won it, Brewer is already looking forward to his next fight.
"I’m looking for whatever comes next. I’m ready for whatever!"
Given most recent history, I’d say that’s a good thing.