After his brutal knockout loss to heavyweight contender Robert Helenius on Saturday night in Erfurt, Germany, former heavyweight champion Sergei Liakhovich was taken to a local emergency room in the early morning hours where a CT scan revealed that his nose had been broken in two places during the bout. Gasping for breath from early in the third round when the first fracture occurred, until the fight was stopped in the ninth by veteran referee Stanley Christodoulu, Liakhovich suffered fractures of the bones located high up on the bridge of both the right and left sides of his nose.
“Sergei was unable to breathe through his nose from the moment the first break occurred in the third round,” Manager Tony Cardinale said. At the same time, Liakhovich began to swallow copious amounts of blood as he attempted to catch a breath through his mouth.
“Sergei proved last night that he is one of the toughest fighters in the heavyweight division.” Cardinale continued. “Despite a painful handicap that made it nearly impossible for him to take a proper breath, Sergei kept on coming. Even after the knockdown, he came back swinging. Had Sergei not been so severely injured, I think he would have won the fight.”
Doctors, last night, advised “The White Wolf” to remain at the hospital and have immediate surgery under general anesthesia. However, later on Sunday morning, a surgeon determined that the bruising and swelling was too severe to operate right now.
Liakhovich, whose trip back to the US has been postponed due to travel restrictions caused by Hurricane Irene, intends to have the necessary surgery later this week when he returns to his home in Arizona.
“Those who say that there are no exciting fighters in the heavyweight division haven’t been paying attention,” promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events said. “Sergei has now participated in two of the most action-packed heavyweight fights of the past 10 years and he let me know this morning that he wishes to remain as active as possible as soon as he recovers.”
The Belarusian, who has been inactive for 17 months due to a contractual dispute, a training injury and an injury suffered by Helenius earlier in the summer, fought under the Main Events banner for the first time, last night.
“A fighter needs to stay active to be sharp,” Duva continued. “While fighting through the pain and barely able to breathe, Sergei actually improved his performance during the middle rounds as his timing started to come back. When Sergei fully recovers from his injuries, Main Events intends to treat Sergei’s fans–and I know he made a lot of new ones last night–by keeping him very busy.”