Deontay Wilder’s record of 28 wins – all by way of knockout – and no defeats suggest his fight against Siarhiej Liakhovich should be a formality.
The Bronze Bomber is very much a work in progress, yet his power is undeniable, and at 6 ft 7ins and quick on his feet he will be extremely difficult for the cumbersome Liakhovich to hit. He is a reasonable 1/14 to move to 29-0 here.
As a former WBO Heavyweight Champion Liakhovich (25-5, 16 KO) represents a notable step up in class for Wilder.
However, that title was won back in 2006, and was subsequently conceded in his following fight. “White Wolf” hasn’t fought since March 2012, when he was overcome by another young unbeaten American, Bryant Jennings, retiring at the end of the ninth round.
He looked sluggish in that bout, and has now lost his last two fights. At 37 years of age he appears a spent force, and one that has been selected specifically to give Wilder’s resume a semblance of credibility, while at the same time posing little risk to his unblemished record. Audley Harrison is Wilder’s most notable opponent to date, which will have boxing aficionados reserving judgement for the time being.
The 27-year-old has proved so dominant in his career so far, so much so that none of his fights have ever seen a fifth round, which says as much for the level of opposition as it does for the American’s talents.
However, Liakhovich could well break that trend. He should not be overawed in the way Harrison was back in April, and has shown he can take punishment – though having been stopped in his last two bouts, one would expect a similar outcome here.
Ladbrokes are offering a tempting 11/10 on the fight going beyond four rounds, while a Wilder victory by KO looks a good bet at 1/6.
If Liakhovich still retains the durability he showed in his peak years, the price of 7/2 for the latter to end the fight between rounds 6-10 looks a good one.
Considering Liakhovich has never been stopped before the ninth, and has been in with former world champions Lamon Brewster, Shannon Briggs and Nikolai Valuev, on paper he represents Wilder’s toughest test to date.
A shock win for the Belarusian is priced at 7/1, though as crude as Wilder is, he should be far too mobile to incur defeat here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing