LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Lamon Brewster put a stunning end to the heavyweight hopes of one half of the Klitschko brother team.
Brewster came off the canvas Saturday night to land a pair of smashing left hooks to turn the fight around in the fifth round, then won in bizarre
fashion after the bell sounded to end the round when referee Robert Byrd waved the fight to an end.
Wladimir Klitschko, the 6-foot-6 Ukrainian who was dominating the fight when he got caught midway through the fifth round with the left hooks, was
knocked out for the second time in his last four fights. He was taken to a hospital for a precautionary brain scan on the advice of ring doctor
"It was kill or be killed," said Brewster, who was fighting for the first time in 13 months and was a 9-1 underdog on the day of the fight.
In the other fight on the card, Cory Spinks won a unanimous decision over Zab Judah to keep his 147-pound titles.
Brewster won the fringe WBO title and put himself in the heavyweight picture, while Klitschko might have to think about whether he will continue to
fight. Klitschko's trainer said last month he would advise him to retire if he lost again.
Klitschko's brother, Vitali, was in the corner watching Wladimir dominate until the fateful fifth round. Vitali fights Corrie Sanders for the WBC
heavyweight title in two weeks.
Byrd stopped the fight after Klitschko had gone down following an exchange with Brewster that lasted after the bell. Klitschko stumbled into the
center of the ring and went down, but it wasn't ruled a knockdown because the bell had already sounded.
Klitschko, though, had trouble getting up, getting to his knees and then haltingly to his feet. Byrd stopped the fight as Klitschko stumbled to his
corner, giving Brewster the win by TKO at 3:00 of the fifth round.
"He couldn't take care of himself," Byrd said. "I tried to get a response out of him but there was none. I've never stopped a fight like that
Klitschko was winning the fight easily with his punishing left jab and knocked Brewster to the canvas in the fourth round with a vicious right hand.
He appeared close to being able to stop Brewster, but Brewster managed to get through the round, with both fighters falling on the canvas after
tangling in Brewster's corner at the end of the round.
Midway through the fifth round, Brewster landed the left hooks that changed the fight. Klitschko was hurt and went into the ropes, where Byrd ruled a
knockdown. Brewster went back after him and had him hurt when the bell sounded, and then Klitschko went down again.
"I know he's a tough guy. I know he can punch," Brewster said. "But what I wanted to do was show Americans don't lay down."
Brewster said he wouldn't be denied, and thought Klitschko's chin was suspect after being knocked out by Sanders last year in Germany.
"I knew he would get tired, he'd either get tired of hitting me or get tired of me coming forward and putting pressure to his face," Brewster said.
In the other fight, Spinks was boxing beautifully and seemingly on his way to an easy win against Judah. Then Spinks got careless, and almost lost his
undisputed welterweight title on one big punch.
Spinks, despite a warning from his corner before the 12th round, had to get off the canvas with 25 seconds left to keep his 147-pound titles with a
unanimous decision over the former 140-pound champion.
Spinks was well ahead on all three ringside scorecards and had knocked Judah down in the 11th round when he got some advice before the final round.
"Don't get reckless," trainer Kevin Cunningham told Spinks before the final round.
Spinks did just that, taking the end of a big left hand to the head from Judah and crashing to the canvas. He managed to get up and survive the rest
of the round, then walked wobbling to his corner to find out if he had still won.
He had, winning 116-111 on one scorecard and 114-112 on the other two. The Associated Press had Spinks winning 115-111.
"I got a little careless," Spinks said.
Spinks, son of former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks, retained the welterweight titles he unified in December against Ricardo Mayorga in a fight
that got better as the rounds went on.
Judah, who was fighting at 147 pounds for the first time, accepted the decision calmly, unlike his November 2001 loss to Kostya Tszyu where he went
after the referee and threw a ring stool.
"I think I could have done more, especially in the early rounds," Judah said. "But I think I did enough."
Spinks dominated the early rounds and seemed to have the fight well in hand after a flash knockdown with a left hand of Judah in the 11th round. All
he needed to do was survive and he did -- but barely.
"I tried to tell everybody I was more than just a boxer," Spinks said. "I can get mean too."
Spinks (33-2) got a hug from his father before the first bell and came out strong, working his right jab and winning the opening rounds.
Judah not only gave away a few inches in height to Spinks but also some pounds. Judah weighed in at 146 on Friday and 147 in an unofficial prefight
weigh-in, while Spinks was 147 at the official weigh-in and 157 just before the fight.
Spinks controlled much of the fight with his jab and landed the harder punches. Judah had trouble getting inside and threw a lot of wild punches
early, and by the end of the fourth round his father and trainer, Yoel, saw a disturbing trend developing.
"You've got to take it to him," Yoel Judah told his son. "You want the championship, you got to go get it."
Judah (30-2) did go after Spinks in the late rounds, but it was not enough to overcome the big lead on points that the champion had built up.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.