Quotes from Briggs and Lyakhovich


Quotes from Briggs and Lyakhovich

Press Release: WBO heavyweight champion Sergei "White Wolf" Liakhovich appeared to be cruising to a decision win in a relatively uneventful contest under a full moon at Phoenix's Chase Field Saturday night until Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs exploded in the last 30 seconds in the 12th and final round to score two miraculous knockdowns--the last of which left Liakhovich outside the ring, sprawled out on the timekeeper's table as  referee Bobby Ferrara waved off the action with one second to go in Arizona's first-ever heavyweight world championship. What Liakhovich didn't know was that he was ahead on all three of the judges' scorecards after 11 rounds.  Two judges had the Russian ahead by three points, 106-103, and the final judge, Chris Wilson, had him ahead 105-104. Had Liakhovich simply bobbed, weaved and stayed on his feet in the final round, and all three judges gave Briggs a 10-9 round, Liakhovich would have won by majority decision. If he had only suffered one knockdown in the final round and all three judges' scored the round 10-8 for Briggs, Liakhovich would have won by split decision.

If Liakhovich had somehow crawled back into the ring after the second knockdown, rose to his feet, have been deemed by the referee to continue for the final second, and all three judges' scored the round for Briggs 10-7, Liakhovich still would have retained his title by escaping with a draw. As we all know, Sergei didn't know that, and that's not how it turned out.

Afterwards, the ex-champ said, "I took too many shots (in round 12).  I didn’t fight my fight.  I fought Briggs’ fights.  I gave it away. I knew it was a close fight – I thought I was ahead.  He got me with a really good punch. I had made a lot of mistakes and I will be back.  I give Shannon a lot of credit. That was my mistake.  I stood right in front of him.  I knew he was an experienced guy and he got me.”

Kenny Weldon, Liakhovich’s trainer, added, “I knew if Shannon kept moving, he couldn’t get off.  We prepared for 12 rounds.”

Shannon Briggs, the new champion, said, “I was motivated man.  I knew Liakhovich was the toughest of the Russians to fight.  Don King rescued me.  Nobody gave me a chance.  Everybody gave up on me. He hurt me a couple of times with some body shots.  I thought I had him out in the first round.  My corner kept telling me I was losing the fight.  If I didn’t turn it around, they said I would lose. I met (trainer) Ronnie (Shields) when I was 17—I made it Ronnie!  My life has been a lot of ups and downs.  I was homeless and now I am heavyweight champion.  Only in America!  I can go to my grave knowing I did something.  The lord was looking down on me with one second left. My running slacked off a bit but Chuck [McGregor] sparred the crap out of me.  I said I was going to bring the belt back to the USA and I did. Chuck gave me a toungue-lashing after the 11th.  I looked up at the clock with :34 left and then I looked up again and it said :25. I didn’t know how
much time was left when I knocked him down. That’s why I had Chuck McGregor because he knew every way how to beat the guy.  I tried to get him out in the first round; that’s my thing. I had no beef with Liakhovich.  I just tried to get under his skin.  I am a big fan of his.  I just tried to get in his head.”