Photo: Michael Snyder/The Desert Sun
Former World Boxing Organization (“WBO”) Heavyweight Champion Sergei “The White Wolf” Liakhovich is filing a formal protest, regarding the final outcome of his fight last Friday night against undefeated Deontay Wilder, due to illegal punches that led to him being knocked out at 1:43 of the first round at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. Liakhovich’s advisor, Attorney Anthony Cardinale, is preparing the formal protest to file with the California State athletic Commission, seeking the outcome be ruled a no contest.
“My goal for going public is to expose Wilder and show people what really happened because it was difficult to clearly see his illegal punches on television due to the camera placement and how quickly it happened,” Liakhovich explained. “I also feel that I disappointed a lot of people who believed in me and I feel it’s important to explain what happened to them. Wilder’s people are sending out press releases to hype him up, even more, so it’s very important for me to expose him for what he is and how he fights.”
Liakhovich’s sparring partner had warned him in advance about Wilder punching behind the head and, in the locker room before the fight, his team asked referee Tom Taylor to closely watch for Wilder throwing illegal punches.
According to Liakhovich, the first illegal punch hit him over the ear, and then a right behind his head wobbled Liakhovich as his equilibrium was thrown completely off balance. Wilder than finished off a defenseless Liakhovich with a left followed by a big right.
“If he had hit me in the face, fair and square,” Liakhovich said, “I would have kept my mouth shut and said he was the better man. Everybody’s going around saying nobody can stand-up to his power, 29 knockouts in 29 fights, but any heavyweight would go down from a punch behind the head. That’s why it’s an illegal punch! There’s nothing you can do when you get hit with a punch like that; your body just goes wobbly with no balance at all.
“If he is allowed to continue throwing illegal punches like the one he hit me with behind my head,” Liakhovich predicted, “somebody is going to get seriously hurt. I can’t allow him to get away with that anymore.”
Liakhovich noted that he has since undergone an MRI and other medical exams, reporting that he is 100-percent healthy. In addition to protest the outcome of this fight, he also wants to expose Wilder for his illegal tactics before a tragedy results.
“I want to thank everybody who contacted me to make sure I was okay and to show their continued support,” Liakhovich concluded. “My career will not end on a fight like this that ended because of illegal punches. I will be back in the gym next week and plan to be fighting again in a few months.”