What really did happen to Wladimir Klitschko When He Faced Lamon Brewster?
By A.C. McCoy
Conspiracy theorists were on the prowl with the shocking upset of Wladimir Klitschko last year at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. For nearly five rounds Klitschko was handing Lamon Brewster a savage beating until suddenly Klitschko found himself with an empty tank. It was as if life itself had been snatched from the body of Klitschko. The 11 to 1 underdog Brewster picked up the WBO trinket to match the IBF charm held by Chris Byrd and John Ruiz' WBA title making Don King the majority stock holder in the Heavyweight division.
King now holds three of the four major heavyweight titles and lands him in the drivers seat of the heavyweight division. With Don King laughing and predicting prior to the fight that Brewster would knock out Klitschko are the conspiracy theorist on the right path? Could it be Don King had knowledge that most of us did not? With Top Rank under investigation by the FBI and indictments on the way, could the conspiracy theorists be on to something? For months after the fight, we heard a lot about fixed fights. You would have to be deaf and blind not to have heard, seen or read about these allegations. With Klitschko being 11 to 1 favorite to win back his title maybe the conspiracy theorist are closer to the truth than we would like to believe or could it be their imagination has gotten the best of them. Lets take a closer look at some of the post-fight allegations that were swirling around the sport;
-Don King paid off Referee Robert Byrd and Emmanuel Steward.
-Emmanuel Steward put forth the wrong fight strategy on purpose because he hates the Klitschkos.
-Wladimir Klitschko was poisoned.
-Universum set Wladimir Klitschko up because the Klitschkos were going to switch promotion companies.
-Wladimir Klitschko is a diabetic.
-Fritz Sdunek was pissed off at his new position as the ringside water boy and over trained Klitschko with intent.
-Wladimir spent himself while warming up with big brother, Vitali prior to the fight.
-The Russian Mafia threatened the Klitschkos thus forcing Wladimir to throw the fight.
-The Klitschkos purposely threw the fight because Wladimir was 11 to 1 favorite and that is a whole lot of money to be made.
-Wladimir Klitschko had sex with three different women the day prior to the fight, thus the reason he had no legs in the fight.
And it goes on and on. Some are down right absurd, although some may have merit. I will explain:
Would Emmanuel Steward take a back seat to Freddy Roach? Lets say hypothetically Emmanuel was pushed to the side and Lennox Lewis brought Freddy Roach in as a second trainer. Would Steward be able to swallow his pride, being reduced to the ring corner water boy? Would Steward be able to take that embarrassment? I don't think he could, or would. I don't think Steward would remain in the Lewis camp. Do any of you? Now lets deal with reality. Fritz Sdunek has been trainer for the Klitschko brothers since day one. In my opinion Sdunek is very under rated as a trainer in the United States. How much humility do you think it took for Sdunek to step aside and allow Steward to take over his position, reducing Sdunek to nothing more than a glorified water boy? And that is how it looked that night at the Mandalay bay. I am not implying Sdunek did anything improper, all I am doing is pointing out the obvious situation that was viewed on the night of the fight. It is no secret that the Klitschko brothers were attempting to get out of their contract with Universum. They were engaged in a court battle in Germany to do just that. Why would their long time trainer Fritz Sdunek make comments such as he has that if Wladimir lost he should retire?
Then there is the diabetic theory. I am not a doctor but I am a diabetic and I know that with one simple blood test they would have known whether or not Wladimir was a diabetic. The idea that it would take several days to come to that conclusion is absurd. In the need to lose weight, could have there been use of Efedrin that caused the collapse of Klitschko? The Efedrin rumor was floating around for some time after the fight. Is there any validity to this theory?
Most of these conspiracy theory are totally baseless and without merit, not deserving to be repeated. Yet a few do make valid objections and deserve a second look.
Perhaps Larry Merchant was right when he said that Klitschko didn't have the strongest chin there is, but he doesn't have the weakest either. He punched himself out, he didn't pace himself in the early going of the bout. Then there is the Don King prediction. I know many distrust Don King. Anything can and will happen in a Don King fight. Don't take me wrong people, I like Don, I think he puts on some of the best fights in the world. But let us not forget, he is Don King. And King has said many disparaging remarks about the Klitschkos, like the remarks he made on the Jimmy Kimmel show.
I have met both Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko. They are good hearted, kind and trusting young men. Maybe they are too trusting. Or they could be at a point where they are confused about what direction to take in their careers. They have had Tommy Brooks, Freddy Roach and Emmanuel Steward along with Fritz Sdunek as trainers in the last two years. Maybe this many trainers and the court battle with Universum, not to mention their move to California contributed to the fall of Wladimir Klitschko. What was once a bright and promising career for Wladimir Klitschko has turned into a dark corner filled with uncertainties. I do know the fighter that I watched obtain decision wins over Jameel McCline, Chris Byrd and Monte Barrett has now lost 2 of his last 4 fights. His critics will say he was never any good and just a 6 round fighter. That he is a quitter and has no heart. These statements are not and were never true. Only Wladimir Klitschko knows what is in his heart and only Wladimir Klitschko knows what is in his future. If his heart is full of fear of losing, if he no longer has the desire, he by all means, should walk away. But if he has the mind of a champion the only decision he can make is to vindicate himself.
A.C. McCoy is a freelance journalist who resides in Louisville, Kentucky.