Who is Sergei Liakhovich?
By Bobby Jones (Mach 30, 2006)  
Photo © Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
This Saturday WBO champion Lamon Brewster 33-2 (29) will put his title and future huge paychecks on the line when faces once beaten Sergei Liakhovich 22-1 (14).

Liakhovich, if known at all by boxing fans, is best know for his convincing victory over Dominic Guinn. That was in 2004, also the last time Liakhovich was getting paid to be in a boxing ring. 2005 was a bad year for the ‘White Wolf’, a year which he suffered through visa problems and a torn chest muscle. While the win over Guinn was a big win and a step in the right direction it also may be misleading. By all accounts Guinn wasn’t fully there mentally for the fight. He kept his gloves in his pockets most of the fight, barely throwing a punch let alone combinations.

Liakhovich’s lone loss came against veteran heavyweight Maurice Harris. Albeit, Harris has been in the ring with a virtual who’s who of the current heavyweight division, but at the same time has lost to nearly all of them. Liakhovich and his team blame the loss due to an adverse reaction he had from a vitamin B12 shot he took moments before the fight. Athletes in all sports have been known to come up with excuses for why they didn’t perform to their highest level. Some of them are true, and, well, most of them are false. But, for what it is worth, and it may be an indication that this excuse or reason is valid, is that his fight before the Harris loss was against, at the time, undefeated Friday Ahyunaya. So, it’s up to you if you want to give him this one or not.

After swearing off the B12 Liakhovich has won six straight fights, including the one against previously mentioned one time hot prospect Guinn. Overcoming the ring rust, while a big concern, will probably be the least of Liakhovich’s problems. Brewster’s punching power, which ranks near the top of the heavyweight division, is most certainly Team Liakhovich’s main concern. Brewster’s last two fights were against Andrew Golota and Luan Krasniqi. Many gave Golota more than a fair chance to win and Luan Krasniqi was also given a shot at upsetting the champion.

First up was Golota, 52 seconds down goes Golota. Next up was Luan Krasniqi. Although Krasniqi probably didn’t deserve to be up on all scorecards going into the 9th, it was a close fight nonetheless. After somehow rising off the canvas at the end of the 8th round, Krasniqi was shown the canvas again shortly into the 9th round, giving Brewster hiss most dramatic win to date.

Brewster, while not facing the same ring rust as Liakhovich, is going into this fight with a new trainer. Brewster replaced long time trainer Jesse Reid with the high profile trainer Buddy McGirt. How will that change Brewster? Will he be aggressive like he was against Golota? Or will he show up passive like he did for Kali Meehan. How will McGirt change him? Will he change him? Those are all questions that should be answered either immediately after 11 PM E.T. on Saturday (scheduled fight time) or early Sunday morning sometime. If Liakhovich pulls off the upset not only will it catapult him up the rankings, but it will also keep his name fresh in the minds of boxing writers such as myself. That way, I can spell his name without having to look it up every time.
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