Fight fans the time is now for Memphis to welcome championship boxing events with open arms. First it was Tyson vs. Lewis, then Jones Jr. vs. Glen Johnson, now Memphis will play host to the WBO Heavyweight Championship bout between current WBO Heavy Champ Lamon “Relentless” Brewster (31-2, 27KOs) vs. Andrew Golota (38-5-1, 31KOs) on April 16, 2005, at the magnificent FedEx Forum.
Both Golota and Brewster have controversy swirling around their recent fights, however, Golota’s far outweighs Brewster’s. The beauty of these bouts, for Memphis, may not lay with the fighters but with the beholder and the beholder is Don King.
The significance of Don King Promotions’ (DKP) bringing fights to Memphis is resounding. It tells Memphis several things but largely that Memphis is full of fight fans who will support fights like Tyson/Lewis & Jones Jr./Johnson. Memphis has what it takes.
What was the catalyst for Memphis’ playing host to big fights? Yes, it has everything to do with the FedEx forum, however we are going a little deeper. It was not Tyson vs. Lewis – although Memphis did get the fight due to the Tyson/Lewis press conference mêlée, after which Tyson’s Nevada boxing license was revoked (Tyson also didn’t have a license to fight in New Jersey at that time). Why not Tyson vs. Lewis? Well, those guys could sell tickets on the moon. People were going to come see them. The catalyst was Jones Jr. vs. Glen Johnson. Glen Johnson, who is currently considered to be the top Light Heavyweight in boxing after defeating Jones Jr. and Antonio Tarver, was relatively unknown before he dramatically KO’d Roy Jones Jr. in 2004. Granted, people bought tickets to see Roy Jones Jr., who will go down in history as one of boxing’s pound-for-pound best. We expected to see Jones, Jr. KO Johnson in his come-back fight. Jonhson’s boxing ability and record was underestimated and things didn’t work out the way the Jones camp had hoped. Point is, fans bought tickets to see a fight that might not have been a spectacular matchup and it ended with a spectacular conclusion…..the people loved it.
If Memphis were to write a letter to DKP. Lets just say it had the sound of a letter written from summer camp. It would read like this,
“Memphis is great, Send more fights.”
Signed – Fight Fans