Brewster Loses WBO Title

By Francis Walker
Updated: April 3, 2006

NEW YORK — The heavyweight title picture is more confusing than ever. For the third time in nine months, a new heavyweight champion was crowned when Sergei Liakhovich (23-1, 14 KOs) took the WBO heavyweight title from Lamon Brewster (33-3, 29 KOs) in a huge upset on Saturday at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Liakhovich, 29, Vitebsk, Belarus, joins the crowded list of Chris Byrd (IBF) Hasim Rahman (WBC), and 7’ 2,” 350-pound Andrey Nicolav (WBA) who each claim to be the world heavyweight champion.

Liakhovich entered his title-winning fight against Brewster as the No. 13-rank by the WBO. Many felt as though Liakhovich was undeserving of a world title shot, since his last fight was in Dec. 2004.

But Liakhovich surprisingly proved to be a more formidable opponent than expected. Liakhovich managed to outbox Brewster, 32, Los Angeles, CA, to win a unanimous 12-round decision.

Liakhovich’s left jabs and right-hands frustrated Brewster, who suffered a bloody noise and swelling across his face. The bout turned into slugfest after the fourth round when Liakhovich stunned Brewster with a series of punches.

Brewster proved that he has the heart of the champion. However, Brewster appeared to be out of shape fighting at 232 pounds, as it appeared as through he did not have the proper conditioning needed to retain the championship.

Brewster nearly KO’d Liakhovich in the final minute of the fifth round, but Brewster ran out of gas and allowed his challenger to survive. Brewster would absorb punishment from Liakhovich during a very exciting sixth round when Brewster dropped him with a barrage of punches at the end of the round.

In the ninth, Liakhovich cracked Brewster with a wide right hand to his chin. Liakhovich pressured Brewster against the ropes with a serious barrage of punches to head and body. Liakhovich appeared to have punches himself out, as Brewster clearly ran out of gas and managed to survive the round.

Brewster was wobbled against the ropes after receiving a left and right combination to his chin to begin the eleventh round. It was clear that Brewster needed a knockout to retain the WBO title he held since April 2004.

The judges final scores were 115-113, 115-112, 117-110 for Liakhovich.