Helenius vs. Liakhovich on July 16th
By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten heavyweight contender Robert Helenius (15-0, 10 KO’s) will be facing former World Boxing Organization (WBO) heavyweight champion Siarhei Liakhovich (25-3, 16 KO’s) in a scheduled 12 round bout on July 16th in Berlin, Germany.
Although technically Liakhovich is considered a con tender, you really have to see the 35-year-old Liakohovich a 2nd tier guy at this point in his career. At one time, Liakhovich briefly held the WBO title after beating champion Lamon Brewster in a back and forth war in April 2006.
Liakhovich then lost the title in his next fight against Shannon Briggs, losing by a 12th round knockout in November 2006. Liakhovich has fought only three times since then. How he can be considered with that few fights in beyond me. Liakhovich was dominated by Nikolay Valuev in a one-sided 12 round decision loss in 2008, a fight where Liakhovich lost every round. Liakhovich has won his last two fights since then, beating Jeremy Bates and Evans Quinn.
Helenius, 6’6 ½”, is coming off of an impressive 9th round TKO win over Samuel Peter in April. Helenius showed good power in that fight, beating a guy that would be problems for most heavyweight contenders. Helenius is currently ranked #2 WBO, #3 IBF, #8 WBA and #15 WBC.
A win over Liakhovich will keep Helenius in a good position to get a title shot against one of the Klitschko brothers in the near future. Once WBA heavyweight champion David Haye and Tomasz Adamek are out of the way after facing the Klitschkos in their respective bouts, Helenius will become the next biggest guy for the Klitschkos to go after.
Don’t look for the Helenius-Liakhovich fight to be a competitive one. Liakhovich has no chance in this one and you can consider it a stay busy fight for Helenius. Liakhovich has a decent chin, but that’s about it. He may stay in for the full 12 an just soak up god awful punishment, but I can’t see Liakhovich doing anything else.