Watching Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Sergei "The White Wolf" Liakhovich (25-4, 16 KO) training together for the first time can make one do a double-take. The match-up is improbable at best when given their sharp personality differences. The "White Wolf" is Russian with an extremely focused and controlled demeanor. Mayweather, on the flip side, is American, loquacious and has a very loose personality outside the ring. Liakhovich likes heavy metal and Mayweather likes smooth jazz. It would seem like mixing water and oil but, strangely enough, it seems to work well - so far.
"Boxing is about the mind, not about muscles" the White Wolf said. "I'm learning so much from Floyd. It's all these little things that he knows that make the difference." Floyd has a strategy to get the imposing heavyweight to fight like a smaller man while retaining and refining his incredible power."
Liakhovich represented Belarus at the 1996 Olympic Games and obtained a record of 145-15. He turned pro in 1998 and, in one of the greatest heavyweight fights in recent memory, lifted the WBO Heavyweight title from Lamon Brewster on April 1, 2006 (highlights below). But the win was short-lived as the 'White Wolf' would lose his title in his first defense via a 12th Round TKO to Shannon Briggs seven months later. The time of the stoppage was 2:59 of the final round. Had Sergei survived, he would have won a split decision despite being knocked down in the final stanza.
"Sergei is coming along nicely," uttered Floyd Sr. "He's picked up a lot in the short amount of time we've been working together and I see a whole lot of potential in the young man. After another month or so with me you're going to see a completely different Sergei than you do now."
Those watching the daunting heavyweight work out can't help but notice Liakhovich has the potential to be a force in the division again. With the additional tutelage from the legend, Floyd Sr, the sky is the limit for Sergei.
"Floyd is one of the greatest trainers in the world and I'm excited about where I will be both mentally and physically after we work together. I want to get my title back; I want to be the best in the world, " said the former WBO Heavyweight Champion.
This past August, the 'White Wolf' tangled with rising superstar Robert Helenius (16-0, 11 KO) and, despite a heroic effort, didn't get the win. During the 3rd Round of that bout, Sergei suffered fractures of the bones located high on the bridge of both the right and left sides of his nose. He 'toughed it out' through several brutal rounds and won the respect of a multitude of new fans. It was Liakhovich's first fight in fourteen months and while he was offered less-risky options, he absolutely and courageously demanded the fight with Helenius.
But that's the past.
Sergei has learned from that experience and is more determined than ever to improve his skills. And now, with one of the greatest trainers in the world in his corner, this marriage could lead to total domination of the heavyweight division if the relationship holds.