Undefeated heavyweight to fight former champion at Fantasy Springs

INDIO, Calif. - Undefeated heavyweight Deontay Wilder will defend his World Boxing Council Continental Americas title against former World Boxing Organization champion Sergei ``White Wolf'' Liakhovich in the scheduled 10-round main event of a 10-bout card at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino tonight.

The 27-year-old Wilder is 28-0 with 28 knockouts, including knocking out Audley Harrison, the 2000 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, 70 seconds into his most recent fight.

Liakhovich is 25-5 with 16 knockouts, but the native of Belarus who now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., has been knocked out in both of his last two fights.

``The jury is still out, of course, on Wilder, who is taking at least a baby step up by fighting a former world champion,'' said Steve Farhood, who will be an analyst on Showtime's telecast of the fight.

Wilder's trainer, Mark Breland, calls tonight's fight ``another stepping stone,'' but ``there's no way we take Liakhovich lightly.''

``There are still little things he can do that Deontay's never seen,'' said Breland, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Boxing Association welterweight champion.

Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., didn't begin to box until he was 21 years old, but won a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Wilder is ranked sixth by the WBA. He has not had a fight go past four rounds as a professional.

``Two great things about Deontay are his willingness to learn and his work ethic,'' Breland said. ``He knows he's still learning and has the right attitude.''

Liakhovich won the fringe WBO title with a 12-round decision over Lamon Brewster on April 1, 2006 and lost it in his next fight on a 12th-round technical knockout by Shannon Briggs on Nov. 4, 2006.

In the scheduled 10-round co-main event, Francisco ``El Bandito'' Vargas of Los Angeles (16-0-1, 13 KOs) will fight Brandon ``The Untouchable '' Bennett (16-0, 7 KOs) for the vacant North American Boxing Federation and WBO Intercontinental junior lightweight titles.

Three-time world champion ``Sugar'' Shane Mosley will meet fans, sign autographs and pose for pictures from 6-7 p.m. inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center.

Doors will open at 5 p.m., with the first fight beginning at 5:15 p.m. The main event, co-main event and a 10-round junior middleweight bout between Jermall ``The Hitman'' Charlo of Houston (14-0, 10 KOs) and Antwone Smith (23-4-1, 12 KOs) of Miami will be televised on a delayed basis by Showtime beginning at 10 p.m.

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