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    Sunday, April 02, 2006

    Liakhovich Upsets Brewster in 12 


    Photo by:Tom Casino/SHOWTIME(c)

    Showtime caption: Sergei Liakhovich (right) connects with an overhand right to the head of Lamon Brewster (left) during their world title bout Saturday on SHOWTIME.

    Despite being a huge underdog and having remained inactive for the past 16 months, Belarus native Liakhovich shocked the sports world by scoring a 12-round unanimous decision (117-110, 115-112 and 115-113) over champion Brewster to capture the WBO heavyweight crown.

    One of the most thrilling heavyweight fights in recent years aired live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT from the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio, and was presented at a special time to accommodate fans who tuned in to the NCAA’s Men’s Final Four on CBS. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING broadcast also was part of a SHOWTIME Free Preview Weekend (March 31-April 3) in which the network opened its signal to 45 million TV households nationwide.


    Using a good jab, rights to the body, and outworking his opponent, Sergei Liakhovich survived a seventh-round knockdown to win a 12-round unanimous decision and upset Lamon Brewster to capture the WBO heavyweight title Saturday night in Cleveland, Ohio. Scores were 115-113, 115-112, and 117-110, all for Liakhovich.

    Each fighter had the other in trouble several times in what was one of the most action-packed heavyweight title fights in years. There is already talk of a rematch, although what happens next remains to be seen.

    In the U.S., this fight was shown live on Showtime. The replay schedule will be posted soon.

    From Don King Productions:

    BREWSTER vs. LIAKHOVICH
    World Boxing Organization Heavyweight Championship
    Wolstein Center ● Cleveland ● Saturday, April 1, 2006

    UNDERCARD POST-FIGHT QUOTES

    Ray Austin: "They don't recognize me but I'm the IBF No. 2 ranked contender. Byrd or Klitschko, either one I don't care. It's time for some rain and I'm gonna bring it."

    Kevin McBride: “My timing was off a wee bit not having fought in 10 months but this man was not going to hurt me. I’m just glad to be back in action and fighting for Don King. Every fight I gain experience. I’m on the road to winning a world title. I want the Russian giant Nicolai Valuev.”

    “I dedicate this fight to Charlie Ross, the Boston fight writer that died this week that gave me the name Clones Colossus.”

    LAMON BREWSTER-SERGEI LIAKHOVICH POST-FIGHT QUOTES

    LAMON BREWSTER:

    “Liakhovich deserved to win. He earned it. I take my hat off to him. He won and we have a rematch. I cannot wait to do it again. He fought a good fight and is a good fighter. We both deserve to be at the top.

    “I stayed on my feet in round nine from sheer will.”

    BUDDY McGIRT: “I’m sorry Lamon lost the title but we’ll go back to the drawing board. We’ll be back.”

    SERGEI LIAKHOVICH:

    “Lamon was a real great champion. I know he hits real hard with power and has lots of will but I answered him every time. Then he felt my power.

    “After the fourth round I knew I was controlling the fight but Lamon hits like a mule. I felt like I did the right thing when I took a knee at the end of round seven. I almost sent him down twice too.

    “I would love to fight Wladimir Klitschko. They say I’m scared in the Russian press. I am afraid of nobody.”

    KENNY WELDON (Sergei’s trainer):

    “Sergei Liakhovich is the best boxing heavyweight in the world and he punches with power in both hands. He is a complete fighter that has come into his own. Remember, he did this to Lamon Brewster after a 16-month layoff.

    IVAYLO GOTZEV (Sergei’s manager): I will personally send trucks to the doorsteps of the television networks and pay the dumping charges after they’re loaded with all of the older heavyweights so the public can see the new generation of heavyweights like Sergei and see for themselves what they have been missing.”

    Showtime press release:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    LIAKHOVICH UPSETS BREWSTER TO WIN WBO HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BY SCORING 12-ROUND UNANIMOUS DECISION ON SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

    From The Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio

    World Championship Bout Will Be Replayed First Time on SHO Extreme Monday, April 3, At 11 p.m. ET/PT

    CLEVELAND (April 2, 2006) – The Cold War may be over, but the Russians refuse to go away. Despite being a huge underdog and having remained inactive for the past 16 months, Belarus native Sergei Liakhovich shocked the sports world by scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over champion Lamon Brewster to capture the WBO heavyweight title Saturday on SHOWTIME.

    One of the most thrilling heavyweight fights in recent years aired live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT from the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio, and was presented at a special time to accommodate fans who tuned in to the NCAA’s Men’s Final Four on CBS. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING broadcast also was part of a SHOWTIME Free Preview Weekend (March 31-April 3) in which the network opened its signal to 45 million TV households nationwide.

    Liakhovich (23-1, 14 KOs), of Scottsdale, Ariz., by way of Vitebsk, Belarus, won the last five rounds on one scorecard, the final four on another and three out of the last four rounds on the third scorecard to win his first world title. Judge Phil Rogers scored it 117-110, Tom Miller had it 115-112, while Dana DePaolo tallied it 115-113.

    “I answered Brewster every time,” Liakhovich said. “Then, he felt my power.”

    The new WBO heavyweight champion overcame a seventh-round trip to the canvas and utilized both a punishing left jab and overhand right to take control in the late stanzas. After the bout, Liakhovich had nothing but praise for his counterpart.

    “Brewster was a real great champion,” Liakhovich said. “He hits real hard with power and has lots of will. After the fourth round, I knew I was controlling the fight, but Brewster hits like a mule. I felt like I did the right thing when I took a knee at the end of round seven. I almost sent him down twice, too.”

    Brewster (33-3, 29 KOs), of Los Angeles, scored the lone knockdown when he sent Liakhovich to one knee with only seconds remaining in the seventh round. Despite seeing his nine-bout winning streak come to an end, Brewster displayed the heart of a champion throughout and was gracious in defeat.

    “Liakhovich deserved to win,” Brewster said. “He earned it. I take my hat off to him. He won and we have a rematch. I cannot wait to do it again. He fought a good fight and is a good fighter. We both deserve to be at the top.

    “I stayed on my feet in round nine from sheer will.”

    SHOWTIME broadcasters Steve Albert and Al Bernstein praised the heart displayed by both fighters.

    “This was one of the best heavyweight championship fights in years,” Albert said. “It was even more pronounced because it comes on the heels of recent heavyweight fights that have been lackluster. Boxing needed this – an exciting, competitive and compelling heavyweight fight. It clearly got it.”

    “Liakhovich gave a tremendously complete performance and he needed to,” Bernstein said. “Brewster hit him with some tremendous punches. This fight was not only exciting, but it was skillfully fought. That is something we do not always see in the heavyweight division.

    “I cannot wait for the rematch.”

    SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Albert and Bernstein called the action from ringside with Karyn Bryant serving as roving reporter. The producer of the SHOWTIME telecast was David Dinkins Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.

    SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING celebrates 20 years of hard-hitting, explosive programming in 2006. In March 1986, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING was born when “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler defeated John “The Beast” Mugabi in a spectacular and unforgettable 11th-round knockout in Las Vegas. Since that time, the network has aired some of the most historic and significant events in the sport including both Holyfield-Tyson bouts.

    Always at the forefront of boxing, SHOWTIME has set itself apart by telecasting “great fights, no rights” on the first Saturday of every month. SHOWTIME is the first network to regularly deliver live boxing in High Definition. In addition, SHOWTIME continues to be a pioneer in sports television with a number of interactive features across multiple platforms making SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts the most enjoyable, immersive viewing experience for the boxing audience.

    For information on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecasts, including complete fighter bios and records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.

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