PHILADELPHIA’S Charles “The Hatchet” Brewer, who held the IBF super-middleweight crown from June of 1997 to October of the following year, is to be presented with a prestigious award on January 12th – The Joe Frazier “Living Legend” award.
Frazier’s daughter, Jacqui Frazier-Lyde will be on hand in Philadelphia to present the award to the 45-year-old, and a number of boxing greats are expected to be in attendance.
Brewer, who boxed as a pro from 1989 to 2005 and compiled a 40-11(28) record, speaks to Boxing News about his upcoming big day:
Q: You must feel very proud to have your fighting achievements appreciated and honoured with The Joe Frazier Living Legend award. When did you first find out the great news?
Charles Brewer: “I actually heard around two weeks ago. I had received a lot of e-mails from Jacqui Frazier, but I initially thought I was just being invited to be a guest at the awards. Then I read how they wanted me be present, so they could actually present the award to me! I thought, ‘Wow. Ok!’ It is a great honour.”
Q: Aside from Joe’s daughter, who else do you expect to be in attendance to honour your great career?
C.B: “I don’t have a complete list, but I do expect a lot of fighters from the [Philly] area, from the scene to be there. Up and coming fighters, current and former champions, they’ll all be there. Larry Holmes is coming, The Easton Assassin himself, and it’s possible Bernard Hopkins will be there. Steve Cunningham also.”
Q: What does the late, great Joe Frazier mean to you, Charles?
C.B: “He is the symbolism of a Philadelphia fighter: determination, true grit, pride, hard work. He is the perfect example of a Philadelphia fighter; he put all the attributes on the table each and every time he fought. It is a real honour for me to be recognised with this award.”
Q: In your opinion, is Joe Frazier THE best Philadelphia fighter ever?
C.B: “Come on, now; how can I answer that (laughs) I’m going to give Joe his full credit and he deserves all the credit in the world, but I’m a Philadelphia fighter myself! Come on, man, how Can I list any one of us at number-one! All I can say is, WE all deserve to be rated as number-one; we’re all number-one. There are so many great Philadelphia fighters, just look at the scene. Any time another fighter stood across the ring from a Philadelphia fighter, he knew he was in tough and against a guy who would never give up. The only way I can say it is we’re all number-one; I can’t categorise just one of us as the best.”
Q: You received another honour back in August of 2014, when you were awarded with your IBF championship ring (pictured above), for having retained your world title three times?
C.B: “Yes, I had remembered I was due [my ring] but then I had forgotten. I was at the awards for another fighter and I suddenly remembered I was due a ring. I said so to (IBF President) Daryl Peoples and he told me they were coming to Philadelphia to present me with my ring. It’s another bauble, another tribute. It’s on my finger right now. It makes me look at myself as a world champion each and every day, that’s how I symbolise it.”
Q: You had a great career with a lot of memorable and exciting fights. If you had to name your greatest single victory, what fight would it be?
C.B: “That’s easy and I’ll tell you why. It was my win over Herol Graham. He was a very tricky, cagey guy, no pushover at all. He was in no way a guy I was looking at as a sure win for me. He dropped me in the early going and I badly injured my ankle; I had actually torn two ligaments. I was in pain and also so angry. I said to my corner, ‘I’m gonna f**k this guy up bad!’ I went out and I threw the hardest right hook ever. As soon as that shot landed flush, I knew it was over with. So that was my toughest fight and my best win. That fight had so much complexity to it. To have been injured so bad and to have not given in but instead come back, against such a skilled fighter, a southpaw, and to have won by a knockout – in a fight that was dead even until I stopped him – that was a great win for me.”
Q: What do you think of today’s super-middleweight division, and who is the best at the weight in your opinion?
C.B: “Well, first and foremost, I think the middleweight and super-middleweight divisions are something of a joke, really. Look at Jermain Taylor coming back from nowhere and getting a title shot and winning a world title again. And Taylor looked terrible in that fight actually. The money these guys get, too! Andre Ward is the best at the weight [at super-middle] without a doubt. But that’s another bad part of things, his being out of the ring with problems. I don’t know all the ins and outs of what’s kept him out of the ring, but it’s bad when he doesn’t have the opportunity to become even more phenomenal as a fighter. He’s a very educated fighter and I like everything he does in the ring.”
Q: Do you feel that, with his inactivity, if he was to fight Carl Froch in a rematch in, say, March or April, Ward would have a much tougher fight than the first one against Froch? Would he need a tune-up before taking such a big fight?
C.B: “He would definitely need a tune-up. No way do I see him going straight into such a serious fight. I think he would repeat the win, but he would need to fight a tune-up first, after the time out he’s had.”