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Liahkovich Back Saturday After Hiatus

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Unfinished Business for Heavyweight
Sergei “The White Wolf” Liakhovich

LOS ANGELES (March 21, 2011) – Former world heavyweight champion and 1996 Bellarusian Olympian, Sergei “The White Wolf” Liakhovich, has some unfinished boxing business to take care of starting April 9, when the consummate boxer-puncher returns to the ring for the first time in nearly a year.

The 34-year-old Liakhovich (25-3, 16 KOs), rated No. 13 by the WBC, takes on Johnnie White (22-4, 18 KOs) in the 10 round co-feature on Main Events’ pay-per-view-card, headlined by Tomas Adamek versus Kevin McBride, at Prudential Center in Neward, New Jersey. Integrated Sports Media will distribute the fight action in North America on both cable and satellite PPV via iN Demand, DIRECTV, DISH Network, and Avail-TVN in the United States, as well as Bell TV and Viewers Choice in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $29.95.

Liakhovich had been on his former promoter’s shelf for the past 3 ½ years, fighting only three times during that period, including the last on May 22, 2010. “It was very frustrating,” Sergei explained his inactivity. “I tried everything but my promoter didn’t get me fights. My new advisor, Tony Cardinale, did an awesome job getting me out of that contract. I then signed a promotional contract with Main Events because I saw what they’ve done with Adamek and other fighters.”

Back in 2006, Liahkovich was on top of the boxing world having won a unanimous decision (117-110, 115-113, 115-112) against Lamont Brewster for the WBO crown and sporting a 23-1(13 KOs) pro record, including notable wins against world title contender Dominick Guinn and previously undefeated Friday Ahunanya.

In his first world title defense, however, Liakhvich lost his belt to Shannon Briggs by way of a 12th round technical knockout with only one second remaining in the fight, in which Sergei led in scoring 106-103, 106-103 and 105-104.

“After that fight he was put on a deep freeze shelf by his promoter,” noted Cardinale, a Boston-based attorney who guided 2-time WBA heavyweight champion John Ruiz to 12 world title fights. “He may as well have been sent to Siberia because he’s had only three fights since his Briggs defense in 2006. One was a tough fight against former world champion Nicolai Valuev (in a WBA title eliminator), in which Sergei fought hurt, but he’s had two stunning knockouts since that bout (Evans Quinn and Jeremy Bates). Main Events has a current specialty in resurrecting careers of former champions. We saw what Kathy (Duva) did with Adamek and Zab (Judah).I believe that they’re about to have another champion in Sergei. What I like most about Main Events is how fair and capable they are. I can truly say that they under-sell and over-produce, something extremely rare in this business.”

“We need to keep Sergei active. He’ll fight April 9th and again in July and September, after which we hope to get him in a world title shot. Sergei is 6-4, 240 pounds and he can box and bang, too. He has great boxing skills he learned from his Russian background when they started teaching fundamentals to kids. He’s tall, smart and has fast hands. His fight against Brewster was incredible. He had to get up off the mat to win and he was doing that to Briggs when he got caught at the end. Sergei Liakhovich has everything it takes to challenge and beat the Klitschkos.”

The new and improved Liakhovich has top-notch training under the combined auspices of Tommy Brooks and Kenny Weldon, who have handled countless world champions between them. “I’m very comfortable with my new team, especially Main Events for what it does with its fighters,” Sergei commented. “Tony’s already proven to be a great advisor and he’s a great man, too. Tommy and Kenny are two of the best trainers in the world and they’re both working together with me. I’ve been with Tommy and Kenny worked with me five years, including when I won the world title.

“I took my next fight against White because everybody knows I don’t want easy fights. He has good power. He’s a tough guy who is capable of taking you out in a second. This is the opponent I want in the ring to prove to myself and everybody else that Sergei is here and will win the world title again. That’s what this is all about – fighting again for the world title!”

Two other important reasons Sergei has a new attitude in the ring is his wife, Irina, and their first child, 3-month old son Nazar. “I’m the happiest dad in the world,” Liakhovich concluded. “Right now, I have so much to fight for.

“I will show people by best. I don’t want them to judge me on my fights against Briggs and Valuev. I’m happy to know that fight fans in North America will finally get an opportunity to watch me fight again. My last two fights were great wins by stoppage, but both were overseas and nobody saw it. People haven’t seen the best of me but they’ll see the best and what I’m capable to do when I return April 9th. I’ve very excited about getting back in the ring. I’ve been in Los Angeles at training camp with Tommy and Kenny. Everything has gone very well and I’ve had some good sparring. I’m very happy.”

Sergei Liakhovich is ready to take care of his unfinished business in the ring.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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