The Saga of Sergei and Lamon: Life Comes at You Fast
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.
By rights Shannon’s win over George made him the rightful linear champion. Later Briggs would meet Lennox Lewis. Although Shannon put up a game effort, Lewis took him out in round five. Now years later a bulked up Briggs was meeting the young champion Liakhovich. I have it from reliable sources that Sergei was much less then 100% physically for this contest. Shannon’s was massive but his added bulk took away his greatest assets, hand and foot speed. Briggs was slower then a statue and although Sergei was not on top of his game he still was ahead on points going into the twelfth and final round. Late in the fateful twelfth Briggs caught Sergei and sent him down. When Liakhovich got up Briggs sent him sprawling through the ropes and out of the ring ending the battle and awarding the crown to Briggs.
In less then a year from being involved in the fight of the year Lamon and Sergei have fallen into the category of “Where are they now?”.What is in their futures? Although Brewster is reportedly ready to come back no date or opponent has been determined to best of knowledge. As for Sergei who is back in training, no viable opponent or decent payday has been offered to this former titleholder. Boxing politics? Boxing is a shady game that is run by shady people. Either you’re in or your out. Right now Sergei appears to be on the outs. It’s a shame because in peak condition Liakhovich may be the most talented heavyweight out there and that includes the Klitschko brothers.
I’d like to see Brewster matched with someone of stature but not a top guy. Former champions Oliver McCall or Michael Moorer come to mind. These are fighters Lamon should beat but it’s no walk in the park. A win would put Lamon back in the heavyweight picture. It would also give McCall and / or Moorer a decent payday to go out on.
As for Sergei… Well it depends on what doors will be opened for him. Time will tell but this whole situation justifies the popular saying “Life comes at you fast”. Just ask Lamon and Sergei.
Weight Classes • Heavyweight • Lamon Brewster • Sergei Liakhovich
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