With his promotional ties to Don King Productions severed and his shoulder injury now fully healed, former WBO Champion Sergei “White Wolf” Liakhovich says he is ready to return to heavyweight glory in 2009. “I want to make a statement in the heavyweight division this year and have some great fights. I’m a free man and I’m 100% healthy. I did my shoulder rehab with one of the best in the States and now everything is great,” asserts the eager Belarusian slugger..
The return to top form comes as welcome news, as Liakhovich hadn’t had much luck on his side since winning the WBO title against Lamon Brewster in impressive fashion in 2006. First he suffered a highly debatable stoppage to Shannon Briggs at 2:59 of the 12th and final round to lose his title. And then, in a WBA Title Eliminator in February of last year, he suffered a rotator cuff injury against Nikolay Valuev and was shut out over 12 uneventful rounds.
Manager Ivaylo Gotzev maintains that several lucrative opportunities were lost due to the boxing business world claiming to be reluctant to deal with Don King. “There is no Don King excuse anymore for not fighting. Whoever avoids Sergei cannot use that excuse anymore. Being a free agent is definitely going to open doors.”
Gotzev points out, correctly, that Liakhovich is still a relatively young heavyweight with plenty of good performances left in him. “Sergei is 32 years old in a division without many young fighters. There is plenty of time left for Sergei to prove his greatness. He is very excited to be back to complete health. The best of Sergei will be on display in 2009.”
Some of the names Liakhovich says he’d love to face are British bomber David Haye, either Klitschko brother or especially up-and-coming Chris Arreola. “I’ve been in touch with Dan Goossen, telling him Sergei is available,” asserts Gotzev. “Nobody can stop us. Anyone who wants a piece of the White Wolf is welcome.”
“I would love to fight any of these guys,” adds Liakhovich. “I want the best in the world, no matter who it is. I want tough opponents to make great fights. Every promoter, manager and fighter in boxing should want to do the same. Putting on great fights is the only way for boxing to make a comeback. Tell any of them to call me and I’m there.”
Shaun George Ready to Impress Against Jaffa Ballogou on 2/25
NEW YORK- Light-Heavyweight contender Shaun George is eager to impress his hometown fans when he returns on February 25 against Jaffa Ballogou at BB King Blues Club & Grill in New York City. This will be George’s first appearance since knocking out two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd in May. The fight is scheduled for ten rounds and will headline Dibella Entertainment’s latest installment of “Broadway Boxing”.
George, rated #6 by the WBC, #10 by the IBF and #11 by the WBA, is ready to take on the division’s best but understands that he must first handle what is in front of him.
“I’m staying focused and not looking past Jaffa,” says George, 17-2-2 (8 KO). “I’m training hard and staying dedicated because I want to fight the big fights and that can’t happen if I don’t beat Jaffa. I want to fight on the top networks, I don’t care who I fight. I just want to fight the best out there.”
Ballogou remains a dangerous road block that George must hurdle, however. The 6’0″ southpaw known as “The African Assasin” has 46 wins in his 54 professional fights, including 40 knockouts. The former world title challenger has faced tough opposition throughout his career, including Ike Quartey and Frankie Liles.
“I have to be on top of my game because this guy is looking at me as a high-profile target. He knows that if he beats me, he’s right back in the world title picture. It’s my job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Tickets for the event, priced at $150, $100, and $55 can be purchased by calling 212-947-2577. BB King Blues Club & Grill is located at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42 Street in New York City.
HALL OF FAME TRAINER EMANUEL STEWARD BRINGS AARON PRYOR JR. BACK TO CINCINNATI THIS SATURDAY NIGHT AT “HOMECOMING”
ADVANCE TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR U.S. BANK ARENA EVENT
DETROIT, MI (January 29, 2009) Hall of Fame boxing trainer Emanuel Steward will return to Cincinnati with one of his prize pupils, super middleweight prospect Aaron Pryor Jr., this Saturday night, January 31st at “HOMECOMING” an outstanding evening of world class professional boxing at the U.S. BANK ARENA.
“HOMECOMING” is presented by Cincinnati ’s TMAX EVENTS and Las Vegas based TKO BOXING Promotions in their inaugural event. Details of upcoming joint promotions in Cincinnati will be announced in the near future.
Born and raised in Cincinnati , Pryor Jr., 11-1-0 (8KO’s), son of legendary world champion Aaron “THE HAWK” Pryor Sr., will battle in the eight round co-main event against southpaw William Prieto, 5-3-1 (2KO’s) of Lorain, OH.
“Aaron was upset in his last bout, but I’m glad to see him getting back in the ring just five weeks later. It’s better to get back in than to let it linger after a first loss with a prospect” said Steward.
‘He’s been training hard here at Kronk, sparring with Andy Lee who’s a southpaw like Prieto. I’ve liked what I’ve see of Aaron in the gym these last few weeks and I’m looking for a great performance from him on Saturday.”
Speaking about the professional boxing scene in Cincinnati , Steward, ‘They’ve always had a great amateur boxing community there and I’m thrilled to hear about TMAX and TKO’s plans to promote there on an ongoing basis.”
“HOMECOMING” is headlined by the return of 2000 U.S. Olympian Ricardo Williams who returns to his hometown of Cincinnati for the first time in almost five years.
Williams, 13-2-0 (7KO’s), will face Puerto Rican native Doel Carrasquillo, 12-9-1 (10KO’s) in the eight round main event.
An outstanding undercard featuring some of Cincinnati’s finest young fighters including lightweight Tony Walker, junior lightweight Mel Crossty, junior welterweight Shannon Hill and super middleweight Antonio Weathers has also been added to the card.
Advance tickets, priced at $79.75, $40.75 and $23.75 can be purchased online through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 513-462-4949. The U.S. Bank Arena is located at 100 Broadway St. in Cincinnati , adjacent to the Great American Ball Park . Doors will open on the evening of the event at 6:00pm with the first bell at 7:30pm.
The full “HOMECOMING” bout sheet is;
Ricardo Williams. vs Doel Carrasquillo, eight rounds, welterweights
Aaron Pryor Jr. vs. Will Prieto, eight rounds, junior middleweights
Tony Walker vs. TBA, four rounds, lightweights
Mel Crossty vs. Rafael Luna, four rounds, junior lightweights
Shannon Hill vs. Chris Quarrels, four rounds, junior welterweights
Antonio Weathers vs. Antonio Knight, four rounds super middleweights
Jesse Carradine vs. Oswaldo Escobedo, four rounds, junior lightweights
Nurpais Torobekov vs. William Bonner, four rounds, heavyweights