Sergei Liakhovich has lost two straight and is being brought to Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California to pad the record of prospect Deontay Wilder.
No secrets here.
Liakhovich is 37, and lost to Robert Helenius via TKO9 in August 2011, and was stopped out against Bryant Jennings in March 2012. He could have hung up the mitts, but instead, he wants to give it one more go. The man born in Belarus beat Lamon Brewster and took hold of the WBO heavyweight crown, before dropping it in his first defense, against Shannon Briggs. Liakhovich was counted out at 2:59 of the twelfth and final round of a scrap he was enroute to winning on the cards. He could rest on the title laurels and move on to another vocational path, but seeks to prove on Friday night that he still has some worth in the heavyweight realm.
Wilder carries a 28-0 record, with 28 KOs, into the ring, while Liakhovich is 25-2 with 16 KOs. Here is video proof of Wilder's nasty power.
The Liakhovich-Wilder bout will run on Showtime's "ShoBox." The three-bout Golden Boy Promotions program kicks off at 10 PM ET.
Liakhovich's advisor, the Boston-based attorney Anthony Cardinale, who was instrumental in securing meaningful fights for client John Ruiz, weighed in to TSS about Liakhovich's chances against Wilder, a certified bomber who still looks green much of the time, but usually overrides that with his pop.
"Here is the thing about Sergei, he is double tough and has vast experience," Cardinale said. "If he can stay away from right hand bombs (the only real weapon in Wilder's arsenal) for a few rounds, and frustrate him, there will be openings he can take advantage of. He has to stay out of any fire fights, like when he lost in the last few seconds to Briggs."
Cardinale said that Liakhovich has been well served working with former three division champion Mike "The Body Snatcher McCallum," who won his first crown, at junior middle, against Cardinale client Sean Mannion, in 1984.
"I believe Sergei is ready mentally and physically, working with McCallum over the past six months," Cardinale continued. "We thought he had a fight lined up before this one and he worked a couple of months with Mike preparing for that, so this is in effect his second camp with Mike. They seem to be on the same page. I think his last fight against the kid from Philly, Jennings, was not a true barometer, he was way, way over confident and really coasted the week of the fight, no workouts except runs, and was flat the night of the fight, unable to do what he wanted."
Cardinale is well known for repping LCN figures John Gotti, Frank Salemme and other notorious sorts in the New England area, and holding the FBI's feet to the fire, in seeking that organization to admit that some of their agents worked in concert with "Whitey" Bulger, the fabled gangster awaiting his fate in a Boston court-room following 16 years on the lam.
"All that said, this is Sergei's last hurrah," Cardinale admitted. "It would be hard to continue with a loss. He knows that and is prepared to fight for his life."
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV