Wednesday, October 10, 2007
WBA #2-rated former WBO Heavyweight Champion Sergei “White Wolf” Liakhovich (23-2, 14 KOs) and his manager, Ivaylo Gotzev, say they’re enraged at the “weak attempts” being made by former WBA Champ John Ruiz and his people to discredit Liakhovich’s hard-earned reputation.
Responding to a press release issued today, in which Ruiz’s legal advisor, attorney, Anthony Cardinale, tries to paint Liakhovich as a reluctant warrior for his refusal to face Ruiz this Saturday in Chicago, Gotzev paints a clearer picture of the situation.
The original offer, until a few days ago, was for two ex-champions to fight each other without any guarantees that it would be for any kind of improved position in the rankings. The most we could have won (by facing Ruiz) was to remain WBA number two. There was nothing to gain other than two ex-champions fighting off-TV. We are in a position in the rankings to fight for a championship soon if we don’t take any stupid offers like this one.”
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Ruslan Chagaev’s victory over Nickolay Valuev to capture the WBA version of the title could be the start of a chain reaction that may change the whole landscape of the heavyweight picture. There was immediate talk of a rematch with Valuev but nothing more has been said. There have been rumors of Chagaev meeting former WBO titleholder Sergei Liakhovich but as of right now they are just that, rumors. Current WBO champion Shannon Briggs is set to take on Sultan Ibragimov. WBC title claimant Oleg Maskaev will put his title on the line against dangerous Samuel Peter. The IBF champion and the boxer regarded by most as the best heavyweight in the world, Wladimir Klitschko will defend against previous conqueror Lamon Brewster. It will be very interesting to see which four are left standing after the smoke clears.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
In April of 2006 in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio two heavyweights battled in what I felt was by far the heavyweight fight of the year. The World Boxing Organization’s version of the title was up for grabs. Lamon Brewster was defending his title against Sergei Liakhovich. Brewster had come from behind to batter Wladimir Klitschko in five rounds to win the title. Among his defenses was a one round blitz of Andrew Golota.
Sergei’s claim to fame was an upset decision over then highly regarded Dominick Guinn. Sergei was expected to put up a decent fight but most expected Brewster to win.
When the two men met it turned out to be a thrilling twelve round slugfest. There were many shifts in momentum but in the end Liakhovich won the decision and the title. If a fight ever screamed rematch, this was it. Brewster though was injured in the fight and has not been in the ring since although it is rumored that he is ready to make a comeback.With Brewster sidelined Sergei took on veteran contender Shannon Briggs. Years ago Shannon won a very disputed decision over George Foreman. Even though George had been stripped of title recognition he was by rights the lineal champion.George had defeated Michael Moorer who had defeated Evander Holyfield who had lost and then won back the title in bouts with Riddick Bowe. Evander had originally won the title from Buster Douglas who had beaten the “Baddest Man On The Planet”, Mike Tyson to a pulp.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Former WBO Heavyweight Champion Lamon Brewster has been cleared by doctors to return to the ring. Brewster suffered a detatched retina during his fight against Sergei Liakhovich in April of this year.
“Contractually I am a free-agent,” says Brewster, “and I am ready to move on and go after what the public demands, and that’s an exciting aggressive American heavyweight who will unify the belts.
“The eye injury was an unfortunate injury, and it cost me the title, but I learn from every fight, and I intend to be very aggressive in all my future bouts. My strength is my power and I intend to KO all opponents from now on.”
Brewster has stated that he is eager to get back into the ring as soon as possible. Who is he gunning for? Every single one of the champs of course…
“I have one goal and one goal only: to unify the heavyweight division with resounding power and exciting bouts. I want to keep my promise to the people. Maskaev, Briggs, Valuev and Klitschko, if you have the heart, and you’re not scared let’s do it, let’s give the people what they want, and let’s return the heavyweight division back to the glory days with one unified champion.”
Friday, November 17, 2006
Here we go again. Sergei Liakhovich’s loss to Shannon Briggs set the division back about five years. Wladimir Klitschko’s win over Calvin Brock may have solidified his claim as today’s best heavyweight. Wlad has a great jab and is fairly mobile for a man his size. If he can keep you at the end of that jab, he has a very effective overhand right. Just ask Mr. Brock. My question is…Was Wlad that good or was Brock that bad? Three things I don’t like about Wlad. If a fighter does get inside on him, he becomes very ordinary. In his prime Riddick Bowe who was a big man could beat you on the outside or the inside. Bowe was a very good in fighter. Klitschko lacks this trait. Wladimir rarely goes to the body. This is something that Liakhovich does very well. Last but not least, his chin. Corrie Sanders and Brewster parked him and Williamson and Peter had him down. To be a great one, you’ve got to have the whiskers. I’ve always said that if Wlad had Vitali’s chin and heart, he would be something.
Briggs? I have statues at my church that move better then him. Sergei has got a lot of work ahead of him but I think he beats Briggs if there is a rematch. Sergei can improve. I think we saw the best Briggs had to offer. I admire Maskaev’s heart and he can hit but…I’ve seen too many of his fights where he got clocked. It just seems like he has Rahman’s number. Valuev? Granted he’s huge but for a man his size he doesn’t seem to generate a lot of steam on his punches. He’s very predictable too. Jab, jab, chopping right…He doesn’t deviate too much. I think Wladimir would box him silly.
The best of the rest:
Thursday, November 09, 2006
A win over Calvin Brock would certainly put Wladimir Klitschko on top of the heavyweight world…
Could he be considered the undisputed heavyweight champ, even though there are three other fighters in the division sporting that gold thing around their waist? In my opinion, he already is - a win over Brock Saturday night will just cement it even further.
Let’s take a look at the evidence…
Would everyone be in agreement with me if I said that the only other three that can challenge Klitschko for this title would be the three other champs: Briggs, Valuev, and Maskaev?
Shannon Briggs has been a question mark throughout his career. He always had the potential but never succeeded until now. A rematch with Liakovich is on the horizon. Sergei and his manager are sending a letter of protest to the WBO and actually have a pretty solid case. A rematch could become a reality in the near future…
Nikolai Valuev is a monster of a heavyweight and certainly has the ability to stop anyone in the division. However with the exception of John Ruiz, the level of competition he has faced isn’t that impressive.
It’s going to be interesting to see who Valuev selects as his next opponent…
Oleg Maskaev is probably the closest to Wladimir in terms of who could also be considered the top champion of the four. However Maskaev like the others has his faults. Although he has beaten Hasim Rahman twice in convincing fashion, he has losses to many journeyman heavies.
If Wladimir is victorious two days from now, we may even see a unification bout between the two at some point next year. That depends on Maskaev defeating Peter Okhello in December and whether or not he wants to take up Bernard Hopkins on his challenge.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe many do regard Wladimir as the undisputed heavyweight champ right now. One thing is for certain, a win on Saturday will silence any doubters…
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Sergei Liakhovich and his manager Ivaylo Gotzev have stated that they will write a formal protest to the WBO concerning the result of last Saturday’s fight and how it was handled…
The interesting thing about this is that Gotzev and his client have a real case.
The WBO rulebook states that the referee must issue a 20-count to a knocked down fighter even if the bell has already rung. Instead referee Bobby Ferrara ended the fight just seconds after the final bell rang and Liakhovich was returning to his feet.
Gotzev was pretty adamant is explaining his case and the series of events that went on…
“If you were watching on television, the Showtime clock stopped after Sergei’s first knockdown,” explains Gotzev. “But what we’re talking about is the official clock. If you watch the tape with your own stopwatch, you will see that Sergei doesn’t fall through the ropes until 2:59 of the round. And the referee doesn’t wave the fight over until eight seconds after that. The final bell should have sounded while Sergei was still falling,” explains Gotzev.
“If the bell had sounded when it should have, then the referee wouldn’t have waved it off without giving Sergei a chance to get up. On the tape, while Sergei starts trying to get up, the timekeeper is in position and ready to ring the bell, but is watching the referee for when to ring it.
“If he had sounded the bell when he was supposed to and the referee had known the fight was already over, it would be hard to justify not giving Sergei a chance to get up. He’s not saving Sergei from any more punishment if the fight is over. But because the bell doesn’t ring, he has no idea how much time is left and waves it off to save the fighter from more punches.
“And if you watch the tape, you’ll see that Sergei starts to try and get up immediately under his own power. Who is to say he wouldn’t have gotten back in the ring in time? He should have had the chance to, but the fight was waved off because of the timekeeper’s mistake.”
Liakhovich wants Shannon Briggs to grant him a rematch, saying that it would be the right thing to do…
“It’s not a true victory when it ends by a mistake,” Liakhovich said. “An immediate rematch should be rightfully granted and I hope Briggs doesn’t try to run from me. I didn’t run from him.”
I’ll continue to search for a response from Briggs on the matter…
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Briggs floors Liakhovich for the first time with 26 seconds remaining in the final round. Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime
Talk about a nightmare. What it must be like to lose your prize possession within seconds of retaining it. How badly Sergei Liakhovich must feel right now after losing his WBO heavyweight title to Shannon Briggs in the waning seconds of the final round. The deep inner pain Sergei is feeling now surely hurts worse then any punches Briggs landed.
I felt that this was a good match up for Sergei. Briggs is huge, much bigger then the Briggs that lost to Lennox Lewis. Nevertheless the size took away a lot of the speed that Shannon once had. Sergei has pretty fast hands and he punches well in combination. He is also a good body puncher and I thought that would wear down Briggs. Also Shannon has never been known to have the best chin in the world. Add all this up and on paper it looked like a solid advantage for Sergei.
Where did it all go wrong? The Liakhovich - Lamon Brewster match that won Sergei the WBO title was a barn burner, one of the best heavyweight fights I’ve seen in years.Brewster set a blistering pace and Sergei stayed right with him punch for punch. In the Briggs fight, Shannon set a very slow pace and Sergei seemed to be content to go along with it. Neither boxer seemed to be willing to carry the fight to the other and it made for a pretty dull contest. Still Sergei was doing the better work. He was fighting a smart fight if not an exciting one. This was reflected on the cards as Liakhovich was ahead 106-103 on two cards and 105-104 on the other. Even after the first knockdown, if Sergei would have made it to the bell losing a 10-8 round he still wins a split decision and retains his title. Such a shame for Sergei.
Give Briggs his due. He hung in there and when the opportunity presented itself he took full advantage of it. What’s next for Shannon? I’d like to see an immediate return with Liakhovich but it was a bore and I doubt if the fans will be clamoring for a rematch. I heard talk of Briggs meeting Evander Holyfield if he gets by Fres Oquendo. That would really be a horrible match as both Shannon and Vander are terribly slow these days.
What about Liakhovich? One quick judgement and I may be be wrong is that Sergei fights to the level of his competition. He has the tools and is well schooled but his trainer Kenny Weldon can’t get in there a fight for him. Personally I think Lamon Brewster is a better fighter then Briggs and that is a match up I’d like to see if and when Lamon is ready to box again.
Shannon Briggs (right) lands a shot to the head of WBO Heavyweight Champion Sergei Liakhovich (left). Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime
PHOENIX – Less than 30 seconds separated Sergei Liakhovich from the first defense of his world heavyweight title Saturday on Showtime Championship Boxing. Ahead on all three scorecards, the champion only had to survive the 12th round to retain his crown for the first time. In a shocking turn of events, however, he ended the evening on the scorer’s table at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.
Visibly struggling for breath throughout the world championship match due to asthma, Shannon Briggs scored one of the most dramatic knockouts in recent years when he stopped Liakhovich at 2:59 of the final round to capture the World Boxing Organization (WBO) heavyweight crown. Showtime televised the Don King-promoted fight card at 9 p.m. ET/PT With 26 seconds remaining, Briggs (48-4-1, 42 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., floored Liakhovich with a powerful right-left combination to the head. The dazed champion rose from the canvas and held on to the ropes to catch his breath. Seconds later, Briggs landed a punishing right hand to Liakhovich’s head that left him stunned. Even though Briggs did not land another shot, the cumulative effect of the punches took their toll on the champion as he went crashing through the ropes and landed on the scorer’s table. Referee Bobby Ferrara stopped the contest with one second remaining.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I can’t believe it’s the weekend of November 4th already…
We have two big-time championship fights this weekend - Carlos Baldomir will put his WBC Welterweight belt on the line against the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Floyd Mayweather Jr. As if that weren’t already enough, Sergei Liakhovich will defend his WBO Heavyweight title against Shannon Briggs who will be getting his first shot at heavyweight gold since a 1998 loss to Lennox Lewis.
This is the first weekend in a long time that I can remember a lower weight class fight being more popular than a heavyweight title bout.
David P. Greisman is right however. When Mayweather and Baldomir step into the ring on Saturday night, it’s going to certainly be a gunfight with gloves…
It will be high noon on a Saturday night when Carlos Baldomir and Floyd Mayweather meet for a gunfight with gloves.
On one side will be Baldomir, the underdog champion who must rely on his more powerful weaponry to take out the challenger standing opposite him, Mayweather, a man who is fast on the draw and deadly with his accuracy.
In a showdown for a welterweight championship that isn’t big enough for the both of them, the odds are highly in favor of the brash, slick Mayweather triumphing over a Baldomir who, in the eyes of many, will be cashing out with a one-sided loss.