By David Finger
It was just announced that former WBO heavyweight champion Siarhei Liakhovich (23-3, 14 KO’s) will make his highly anticipated return to the ring this weekend on the undercard of the Nikolay Valuev versus David Haye fight in Nuremburg, Germany. The PPV card is already one of the most talked about heavyweight fights in some time, and the addition of the former champion will undoubtedly add to the electricity of the event. Although his opponent, Jeremy Bates (22-16-1, 18 KO’s) is not seen as much of a threat, he is a fighter who has fought numerous contenders, and a dominant performance from the “White Wolf” could propel him into the world rankings. “He’s a tough guy,” commented Liakhovich, “he fought many, many good guys. But I’m looking to get back into the ring and that’s it. I am not looking at who he fought or anything.”
Although Liakhovich has not won since his title winning effort back in 2006 against Lamon Brewster (and has not fought at all since losing a decision to Valuev in February of last year) most insiders feel that with his new association with promoter Don King and the current state of the heavyweight division, a title fight could be in the picture in the near future assuming he impresses fans.
“I feel great, I am glad to be back in the ring after almost a year and a half layoff.”
Liakhovich is looking to not only explode on Saturday night, but to make a statement as well fighting in front of a European crowd for the first time since 1999, in his third professional fight.
“I’m looking at this as payback time.” Liakhovich added, “I want to show who I really am. I want to get back in the ring and show everyone what I can do as a boxer.”
Liakhovich has had some trouble with injuries in the last few years, but the layoff has rejuvenated him and he promises that he is healthy and ready.
“I have no injuries and everything is fine.”
Although the fight will not be televised, it does appear that highlights of the fight should be broadcast on the PPV.
“I actually heard they will show some clips on the PPV,” commented Liakhovich, “I don’t know if it true or not, but this is what I heard. Not the whole fight, just the clips.”