Boxing


Sergei Liakhovich To Face Donnell Holmes In Vegas, July 23rd?

by James Slater - Once-beaten heavyweight contender Donnell "The Real Touch Of Sleep" Holmes lost his perfect record under somewhat controversial circumstances back in August of last year. Facing Brian Minto (who is now a cruiserweight, going in with WBO champ Marco Huck tonight), the 37-year-old was boxing well enough before Minto suffered a cut at the start of the 4th-round. The cut was ruled to have come from an accidental head-clash, though Holmes said the damage was the result of a punch - in any case, the fight was stopped and Minto prevailed via a Technical Decision..

Team-Holmes wanted a return fight, as well as the result changed to a No-Contest. This never happened, however, and Holmes moved on with his career. Having boxed just once since the "loss" - scoring a 2nd-round win over Brad Gregory in February of this year, Holmes now appears to have another interesting and meaningful match ahead of him.

According to BoxRec, Holmes, 32-1-2(28) will face former WBO heavyweight ruler Sergei Liakhovich at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on July 23rd. The 33-year-old Belarusian known as "The White Wolf" is now going by his original Christian name of Siarhei and against Holmes he will be having his first fight since stopping journeyman Jeremy Bates in a round in November of last year.

Still young enough to make another run at a world title, the 24-3(15) Liakhovich must first get past the talented and dangerous Holmes. It's tough to know what we can expect from the scheduled 12-rounder between the two, as both guys have been inactive as of late; the younger man especially.

Liakhovich has certainly been in with the better calibre of pro opponent - having beaten a top name in Lamon Brewster (in 2006, in a great fight that saw him win the WBO belt) and also having faced Nikolai Valuev and Shannon Briggs. The Minto fight aside, Holmes, despite having had well over 30-bouts and having been a pro since 2003, has fought nobody whose name springs out at you. This doesn't mean Liakhovich is a cert to win, though - maybe the timing of the fight will be just right for Holmes.

How much has Liakhovich got left, and how much rustier will he be than Holmes come July? Holmes, the shorter man by a couple of inches at 6'2," has a pretty big reach advantage at 80" to a fraction over 74" for the former WBO champ. And Liakhovich was never all that fast in his prime, was he? Could Holmes, who many felt got a raw deal against Minto, enjoy a night in which he outboxes Liakhovich? It's possible.

Liakhovich will be looking for a fresh start, while Holmes is still looking to bag himself a win over a big, recognisable name. Though the July bout will be no huge affair, the action could well be interesting as well as exciting.

A tough fight to pick, I'm going something like out on a limb by picking Holmes, a decent boxer at the very least, to win a decision.

Article posted on 01.05.2010



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