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Helenius Takes out Liakhovich in Nine

At the Messehalle in Erfurt, Germany, heavyweight contender Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius, 16-0 (11), kept his unbeaten streak alive with a brutal ninth round stoppage of Siarhei “The White Wolf” Liakhovich, 25-4 (16). The fight was as good a heavyweight scrap as there has been in years with both men letting it all hang out while adjusting on the fly.
Despite looking a little soft around the middle and 35 to Helenius’ 27 years, Liakhovich looked very good in this fight. It took Liakhovich a couple rounds to figure out his range but once he decided to step to Helenius with the jab and work the body and head in combination while using his movement, he seemed to dictate the pace and action. Helenius got in the heavier shots, however, and used his left hook and right hand with regularity.
In the eighth, Liakhovich, who was bleeding badly from his nose but fighting gamely, was using upper body movement defense and a good jab to win the round. However, the size (6’6½”) and strength of Helenius took over and near the round’s end, he landed a rabbit punch and a left hook, which began a long series. Liakhovich tried to come forward to get inside the onslaught but Helenius had found his zone and “The White Wolf” went into retreat until he was beaten down to the canvas. Helenius landed a brutal uppercut that sent Liakhovich on his way to the canvas and blow to the top of the head as he landed.

The ninth was mop-up duty as Helenius and Liakhovich met with closed guards in closer quarters. Helenius let go a jab, a left half-uppercut/half-hook, a left hook proper and a right hand. Liakhovich’s legs buckled and then held. It didn’t matter as Liakhovich was out on his feet. A few more shots and ref Stanley Christodoulou waved it off as Liakhovich hit the canvas.
With the win, Helenius won the WBA and WBO intercontinental titles and moves forward with a promising career. While he is very rough around the edges and not the most mobile heavyweight ever, his size, power and toughness will be a problem for anyone. Here is hoping that should Evander Holyfield, who was ringside, realizes that the kid will be the first to knock him out cold and avoids this one.
In the co-feature, Alexander Povetkin, 22-0 (15), won the WBA “regular” heavyweight title by defeating former titleholder Ruslan Chagaev, 27-2-1 (17),  in a unanimous decision victory.
This was not the fight that the main event was. Both men looked like endurance was at a premium. The middle of the fight featured some decent action as Chagaev, a southpaw, began to land his left as Povetkin seemed to tire. However, Povetkin rediscovered the combinations and pressure style that had many believing he was one to watch about three years ago. Povetkin’s uppercut was a primary deterrent of Chagaev’s mid-rounds charge and from there, it was all Povetkin. Scores were 116-112 and 117-113 twice. Povetkin is now the mandatory for Wladimir Klitschko, who holds the WBA’s “super” version of the heavyweight title.


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