By Luis Sandoval
Deontay Wilder (29-0, 29KOs) continued his impressive knockout streak as he annihilated Siarhei Liakhovich (25-6, 16KOs) by knocking him out in just one round in the Showtime televised main event from Indio, CA.
While Liakhovich wasn’t considered a dangerous opponent, he has always shown to be a durable guy. Unfortunately he suffered the same fate as many of Wilder’s opponents who rarely get to see more than one round of action with the Bronze Bomber.
While questions may still linger about Wilder, one thing you can’t doubt is his punching power as he once again put in on display tonight by producing a tremendous and scary knockout.
Things started off fairly slow in the fight as both men used their jabs to feel each other out and try to set up their offense. Wilder appeared very relaxed as he snapped his jab to the head and body looking for openings.
It wouldn’t take long for Wilder to find a home for his big right hand as he landed a flush straight that backed Liakhovich into the ropes. A thunderous follow up right hand would send Liakhovich crashing to the canvas as his legs began to move and twitch from the impact of the shot. The referee quickly called a halt to the fight as Liakhovich moved his limbs from being disoriented and caused for a scary sight.
“The only thing that I can see and still replaying in my mind is when I hit him and he fell on the ground, he looked like he was falling from a cliff. That was the scariest moment for me because I don’t want to hurt nobody to where they can’t do this anymore or support their family” said Wilder in the locker room after the fight. “I tell people, my power is tremendous and sometimes it even scares me. It really does because I don’t know the limit of it”.
While Liakhovich has definitely seen better days and was coming off two back to back losses, nobody has ever handled him the way Wilder did. This was supposed to be a fight that would offer the 2004 Bronze medal winner the opportunity to go rounds with an opponent but it ended up being another showcase for the power he possesses. In his 29 fights and almost 5 year career, Wilder has only gone as deep as 4 rounds in any fight.
“I always prepare for the good and the bad of a fight. I prepare to finish my guy off when the opportunity presents itself. And I also prepare to go the distance. I didn’t underestimate him and we just did our work in there” said Wilder.
While we only saw a couple minutes from Wilder tonight, it was impressive and probably what will continue to get him attention. The heavyweight division has long been considered dead but Wilder has brought some interest to it with his knockout power.
While excitement is provided with his knockouts, we still want to see Wilder in there with a top name and have someone test him for the first time in his career. Wilder expressed he is ready to take it to the next level and welcomes the big names so he can continue to prove he’s the real deal.
The co-feature fight which pitted undefeated super featherweights Francisco Vargas (17-0, 13KOs) and Brandon Bennett (16-1, 7KOs) was the complete opposite of the main event as we saw 10 rounds of action that ended with Vargas scoring a impressive unanimous decision victory with scores of 90-99, 91-99 and 92-98.
It was Vargas’ relentless pressure and body attack that was the difference in the contest as Bennett simply could not do enough to keep his opponent off of him. Bennett to his credit showed plenty of gumption as even when he was being outworked, still did his best to try to remain in the fight.
Even when a clash of heads opened up a bad cut on Vargas, he fought through it and never lost focus of the task at hand as he was simply all over Bennett. Vargas remains undefeated and tries to continue his quest to go from prospect to contender.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to BoxingScene Radio, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.