|Sergei Liakhovich: “Shannon will not go the distance with me!”
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Oct 22, 2006)
November 4th at Chase Field in Phoenix, AR only on Showtime 9:00 PM ET/PT making the first defense of his WBO heavyweight strap Sergei Liakhovich 23-1 (14) takes on the number three WBO contender Shannon Briggs 47-4-1 (41) in a scheduled twelve round heavyweight championship clash.
Liakhovich, a Belarus born boxer who made his way to the US in 1999, flew under the radar for most of his career beating formidable foe in Ed White (TKO1) and Friday Ahunanya (UD12), but he was overlooked by the majority of the boxing world as just another regular guy in the division when he was stopped by journeyman Maurice Harris in the summer of 2002.
After stringing together five wins Liakhovich came to light when he defeated one time rising heavyweight Dominick Guinn with a ten round unanimous decision on EPSN in December of 2004. But his thrilling throw down with former WBO heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster established Sergei as not only one tough customer in the heavyweight division but also as a titleholder as well when he defeated the ‘relentless one’ with a twelve round unanimous decision.
Now he faces the Brooklyn born brawler Shannon Briggs. Briggs, best known for his controversial win over legend George Foreman, is a hard hitter who has banged out eleven consecutive knock out victories since losing out to Jameel McCline in 2002. But although ‘The Cannon’ is a serious threat, Sergei feels confident in his abilities and willingness to win and projects an entertaining bout come fight night. Sergei took the time out of his training and gave his thoughts on his upcoming championship match-up to the Doghouse, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: Your thoughts on defending your title against Shannon Briggs?
Sergei Liakhovich: He is a big strong opponent with pretty fast hands, he is a good opponent.
BH: How has your training camp been?
SL: Actually it has been pretty good, at the end of my camp I would have probably of sparred close to one hundred rounds with good sparring partners.
BH: Looking at Shannon what do you see as his greatest weapons that can pose a threat and what weaknesses do you see that you can capitalize on?
SL: Ah, great. (Laughs) I don’t know about great but he has a pretty good right hand, not a bad left hook. But before punch he needs to sit to punch, he cannot punch when he is moving. He is like a four to six round fighter, after four to six rounds he is going to slow down.
BH: Do you feel that it would work in your favor to drag Shannon on to the later rounds?
SL: You know, I will be ready for twelve hard rounds, but he will not go the distance with me.
BH: Prediction on the Wladimir Klitschko versus Calvin Brock bout?
SL: It will be an interesting fight, Calvin Brock has a pretty good right hand and if he will open Klitschko he has a chance to stop Klitschko, but I don’t think that will be happening because Klitschko is a much better boxer, and he has the
power, so if he catches Calvin, Calvin will go down.
BH: Your thoughts on the seven-foot Valuev and his bout against Barrett?
SL: You know what, let me tell you something, everybody is talking about how bad that fight was, I agree it wasn’t a great fight but Valuev used what he had, he has height and reach advantage and his power, and that is what he used, and he used it to win that fight.
BH: There has been some negative comments said by Shannon at the press conference, I guess he is trying to ruffle your feathers a bit with the mind games, are they having any affect in you?
SL: No effect at all, because first of all I don’t understand people like him. Disrespect boxing, disrespect himself and he tried to disrespect me but I know who I am and everybody probably knows who I am. He starts talking all this crap, you know it is ugly, it isn’t professional, he talks like a punk.
BH: If you could send a message out to Shannon what would you tell him coming into this fight?
SL: You need to be prepared for this fight, you need to be prepared 100%, 110% for this fight, because if not this fight will not go the distance.
BH: Anything to add in closing?
SL: Ah, I don’t know you know; right now I have worked hard. I have like two more weeks till the fight, I don’t know what to say, and we will see come November 4th, this will be a great match-up.
I’d like to thank Sergei Liakhovich for his time and thoughts. For more info on ‘The White Wolfe’ please visit: www.myspace.com/sergueilyakhovich.
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