Everyone in boxing agrees it's imperative for the heavyweight division to shake off its lingering malaise marked by multiple belt-holders and move toward a unified title.
Everyone, it seems, but a man who currently holds one splinter of that fractured heavyweight championship.
You won't hear Lamon Brewster, who puts his WBO heavyweight title on the line Saturday night against Andrew Golota in Chicago, demanding a unified championship anytime soon.
Perhaps resigned to the reality of boxing's arcane politics, perhaps just looking for a silver lining in the dark cloud of his sport's signature weight class, Brewster chooses to see the heavyweight division as a sort of equal-opportunity employer.
"I've got my own theories about that," Brewster said at a recent workout at Barry's Boxing Center in Las Vegas. "I think that what happens, when you start to unify titles and move in that direction, I think you lose some boxing fans.
"Some fans want a Hispanic champion, some people want a white champion ... and if you have only one champion, you're probably going to lose some fans. Maybe you lose the Hispanics, maybe you lose whites, maybe you lose blacks."
Hey, the more champions there are, the more freedom of choice for boxing fans in picking their favorite.
Call him the undisputed champion of looking on the bright side.
Yet even Brewster, with his unique point of view, acknowledges the historical value of having a "linear" champion -- informally defined as the man who beat the man who beat the man, and so on.
"There are pros and cons ... but for the sport of boxing you need one (recognized linear) champion," Brewster said. "Lennox (Lewis) did it, Mike (Tyson) did it, back to (Muhammad) Ali, and all the way back before that."
A victory Saturday against Golota, who's a minus 250 favorite, would keep Brewster squarely in the mix to emerge as the world's leading heavyweight.
"I definitely believe I can do that, with all my heart," Brewster (31-2, 27 knockouts) said. "But from being in camp and having the obstacle of Andrew Golota in front of me, the only thing I ever think about is him. So, you know, I can't get my mind past this fight. If I don't beat him there won't be any unification fight for me."
Brewster, 31, won the WBO belt when he stopped Wladimir Klitschko as a big underdog last April, then successfully defended it with a split-decision victory against his good friend Kali Meehan in September. Both fights were at Mandalay Bay.
Brewster said he was not at the top of his game in either fight, as he was still recovering from the death of his longtime trainer Bill Slayton in late 2003.
For the Golota fight, he prepared with trainer Jesse Reid in Las Vegas in order to get away from the trappings of his home in Los Angeles and create a more rugged atmosphere, Brewster said.
"Whenever you take on a different trainer you haven't spent years with, there's always a different outlook," Brewster, an Indianapolis native, said. "You have to put your experience together with his experience, your thoughts with his thoughts, and it's just an adjustment.
"The reality is I had to start digging deep. ... (Reid) has a lot of experience at this level and he's bringing out best in me."
At age 37, Golota, a Warsaw native known as the "Foul Pole" for his history of using dirty tactics, knows time is running out in his quest for a heavyweight championship.
"This is my last chance to win a world title," Golota (38-5-1, 31 KOs) said. "I want this fight very bad my whole life."
Brewster said he'd take no special pleasure in sending Golota into a likely retirement if he beats him.
"It doesn't mean anything to me at all," Brewster said. "It's kill or be killed. I have three beautiful children, I have a beautiful wife. It's a fight for survival, to give them a good life. It doesn't bother me whether he retires or not. My responsibility is to myself and my family."
The World Boxing Council has announced it will form a committee to review the May 7 lightweight title fight between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo in Las Vegas, which Corrales won by technical knockout.
In a prepared statement, the WBC said it was responding to protests from Mexican and Latin American media members that Corrales was allowed too much time to recover from two 10th-round knockdowns.
Not to be outdone, Corrales' promoter Gary Shaw announced he would form a committee of his own to monitor the WBC's committee.
There was no immediate word on whether the WBC plans to form a committee to review Shaw's committee that will be monitoring its original committee.
Las Vegas Sun, May 19, 2005