Liakhovich Protesting, Seeks Rematch

07.11.06 - Now former WBO Heavyweight Champion Sergei “The White Wolf” Liakhovich and his manager Ivaylo Gotzev are preparing an interesting case for review, in hopes of being granted an immediate rematch against Shannon Briggs.

Liakhovich lost his belt to Briggs by TKO at 3:07 of the twelfth and final round on Saturday night at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, after he fell through the ropes and onto the scorer’s table. Upon seeing Liakhovich fall through the ropes, Referee Bobby Ferrara waved the fight seven seconds after the final bell should have rung, without issuing a 20 count (per the WBO rules) to the still conscious champion.

“If you were watching on television, the Showtime clock stopped after Sergei’s first knockdown,” explains Gotzev. “But what we’re talking about is the official clock. If you watch the tape with your own stopwatch, you will see that Sergei doesn’t fall through the ropes until 2:59 of the round.. And the referee doesn’t wave the fight over until 8 seconds after that! The final bell should have sounded while Sergei was still falling,” explains Gotzev. “If the bell had sounded when it should have, then the referee wouldn’t have waved it off without giving Sergei a chance to get up. On the tape, while Sergei starts trying to get up, the timekeeper is in position and ready to ring the bell, but is watching the referee for when to ring it. If he had sounded the bell when he was supposed to and the referee had known the fight was already over, it would be hard to justify not giving Sergei a chance to get up. He’s not saving Sergei from any more punishment if the fight is over. But because the bell doesn’t ring, he has no idea how much time is left and waves it off to save the fighter from more punches. And if you watch the tape, you’ll see that Sergei starts to try and get up immediately under his own power. Who is to say he wouldn’t have gotten back in the ring in time? He should have had the chance to, but the fight was waved off because of the timekeeper’s mistake.”

Gotzev say he and Liakhovich are currently working on a formal statement that will be officially filed with the WBO and they are confident that the parties involved will do the right thing.

Relaxing at his home, Liakhovich says he just wants what he deserves. “It’s not a true victory when it ends by a mistake. An immediate rematch should be rightfully granted and I hope Briggs doesn’t try to run from me. I didn’t run from him.”

Article posted on 07.11.2006

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