Lyakhovich surprises Guinn; Juarez displays KO of the Year!

03.12.04 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: The first fight of the evening was the one I was more interested in seeing, as I thought Lyakhovich had the ability to pull off the upset over Dominic “The Southern Disaster” Guinn. I say upset only because anyone and everyone who I have heard speak about this fight, believed Guinn, who up to then was the more proven boxer, would walk over this complete unknown from Belarus. However, based off the Lyakhovich vs. Ahunanya fight, in which Sergei outpointed another undefeated prospect, I felt Sergei had the chin, and experience, to steal this fight, whether it be by KO, or more likely points. After watching, what else can I say but boy is it fun to be right!

Round 1

Guinn definitely starts out much better, working with an active jab, and landing the bigger shots, while mixing in a good uppercut. While Sergei is slow to throw, but does not show any signs of being discouraged. Scouting round but one in which Guinn does just a bit more.

10-9 Guinn

Round 2

Guinn is still controlling the round with his jab, but Lyakhovich mixes in good combos and lands two very good shots. It seems at least to me that Sergei wakes up when he gets hit, in that each time Guinn throws it forces him to try and answer back, and ultimately that was partly why he won the fight. Guinn still finishes strong. Tough round to score, but Guinn stole it on my card. 10-9 Guinn

Round 3

Sergei lands the cleaner body shots that also seem very “judge friendly” because they sound good, and connect hard. Lyakhovich also moves forward and Guinn seems a bit dejected that, the “White Wolf” is very active in the movement department, if not the punch output. Guinn lands a good shot to the top of the head to end the 3rd but its not enough to take the round.

10-9 Lyakhovich

Round 4

The pace slows down some, but Lyakhovich still shooting the better combos and starts to utilize an effective uppercut, which lands well into Guinn’s guard.

10-9 Lyakhovich

Round 5

Guinn lands three good shots and Lyakhovich pulls a Mayorga by dropping his hands nodding and mouthing “come on.” After smothering a Guinn assault, Lyakhovich comes back with his own combo to the body and head. Towards the end of the round, Guinn comes back and hurts Sergei Lyakhovich, who looked very tired after the bell.

10-9 Guinn

Round 6

Lyakhovich, still landing the good body shots, keeps moving forward. Both fighters seem to be content to get inside where they feel they would get an advantage, but the difference being Lyakhovich is content to fight on the inside while Guinn after being hit does not usually answer back. Lyakhovich steals it by moving his hands more inside, even though Guinn does land 2 decent counters in the round.

10-9 Lyakhovich

Round 7

Even round until Guinn hurts Sergei with about one minute to go. Lyakhovich, as if woken up, fights back strong and twists Guinn’s head 90 degrees with a lead uppercut, that most of the fans and the announcers seemed to miss. Lyakhovich also comes forward well after Guinn hurts him.

10-9 Lyakhovich

Round 8

Guinn counters well but not often enough, he is very discouraged by the fact that Lyakhovich is choosing to fight on the inside rather than hold. He does land but not often enough to make Lyakhovich back off. The pace is slow, but of the two guys it is benefiting the slower Lyakhovich more, because he can choose how to approach and throw without worrying on any really danger. Lyakhovich hurts Guinn with a big right to close out the round.

10-9 Lyakhovich

Round 9

More of the same with Lyakhovich moving forward, and Guinn looking to counter and not choosing to do so many times. Both fighters clinch at times, but in between the clinch and when the ref splits them apart, Lyakhovich is doing more work in general. Guinn may counter with one or two shots, but Lyakhovich has that good head position where he keeps his chin tucked and half protected by his shoulder, and therefore does not have to worry about getting caught with anything serious.

10-9 Lyakhovich

Round 10

Lyakhovich again does his Mayorga impression when hit in the beginning of the round, and keeps moving forward. Lyakhovich controls most of the round, even though both guys are economical and don’t fight when moving to go inside, but only really work once there. As I said, this can only benefit Lyakhovich. With one minute to go, Lyakhovich again lands a good hook to hurt Guinn, and finishes the fight in command.

10-9 Lyakhovich

Guinn landed the cleaner, better looking shots, but there was not enough of them to give him this fight. I think the key was not so much that Guinn was discouraged, but that he was discouraged by what Lyakhovich was doing, which is fighting. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t anything special, and I found Lyakhovich to be very slow in throwing at times, but when he did throw, the punches were good, and it was because of that that, Guinn chose not to engage as often. The deciding factor in this fight was that, when Guinn landed, Lyakhovich always tried to, or did answer back with a combination or some sort of punch to let the judges know he is there. While when Guinn was hit, he didn’t sense any urgency to do anything. To Guinn’s credit, he did come into the fight in decent shape (it was bigger for him, but he still looked good for a heavyweight), which is more than I could say for Lyakhovich, who although winning, looked to have a very “relaxed” midsection, which consequently Guinn didn’t focus on very well.

The judges had it 96-94, 96-94 and 97-93 for Lyakhovich.

I had it 97-93 for Lyakhovich. I hope he comes into his next fight in better shape, because a contender who is more active, will definitely target his torso, and will not be afraid to fight back when pressed.

Although the first fight was the one I was more interested in, I cannot lie and say the second one was less interesting. I was very glad I stuck around to see what I think was probably the best knockout of the year. Juarez and Espadas both came in good shape, and both went to work after the bell to start the fight. Espadas the naturally, taller guy tried to use that, as is typical, while Juarez, similar to Rahman against Meehan, crouched and tried to get underneath Espadas’s Jab, and connect with straights and uppercuts. Honestly, there was not much to score. Juarez landed the better shots in the first round, even though Espadas was not giving it to him and was fighting back. In the end, his desire to fight back was what got him viciously knocked out, unlike in the first fight where Guinn lost because he failed to do this.

The final combo was devastatingly pretty. Juarez hits Espadas with a right to the body and follows up with an uppercut to the head, which shook Espadas up and, visibly hurt him. Instead of clinching or covering up, Espadas tried to fight through it, and received one of the most beautiful finishers I have ever seen. Juarez took a step back and as Espadas came forward with a weak right, Juarez stepped back and proceeded to land a monster left hook, straight at Espadas’s nose. Guys, the only best way to appreciate this one is to see it on instant replay, where in slow motion, the punch makes Espadas’s face, do a ripple affect. Honestly, I think he broke Espadas’s nose. The guy was out and pretty much fell straight down. He sat up, and at the count of five, as he made a feeble attempt to get up, his mouth piece flew out and blood came gushing out of his nose. The fight was over even before the referee reached ten. The affect of the punch was still seen at the end of the fight, as Espadas’s eyes were teary as he was finally allowed to get up by the ringside physicians. It was as if he was hit in the face with a soccer ball at full speed.

Juarez is definitely a world class contender, a fight with Morales, Barrera or any other top contender at or around that weight, is fully justifiable and something I will look forward to with great expectation.

Thoughts to

Article posted on 03.12.2004

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