Siarhei Liakhovich is furious with Eddie Chambers. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Former heavyweight titlist Siarhei Liakhovich is pretty mad right now. Pretty damn mad.
In an interview with Fightnews.com's David Finger, Liakhovich tore into woulda-been opponent Eddie Chambers, who pulled out of a scheduled January 21 bout on January 13, which Liakhovich says was well after he knew he couldn't fight.
"I want all TV Networks and Boxing Promoters and everybody in boxing to know how Chambers operates. He plays a good guy image in the press, but his good guy image is a fake. He didn’t have the simple decency to tell another athlete about him pulling out as soon as he knew, yet, he’s still going around and trying to play a good guy. ... [F]rom my point of view he is just a fucking punk. ... [T]he injury is not the point, the point is that he didn’t tell anyone until the last moment. I understand if he just found out recently, but not two weeks before that."
Chambers pulling out of the fight so late meant that it was basically impossible to find a suitable replacement opponent for Liakhovich, which in the end meant scrapping Liakhovich from the card and replacing the main event with a heavyweight prospect fight between Bryant Jennings and Maurice Byarm.
And while the co-feature between Gabriel Rosado and Jesus Soto-Karass is still a very good fight that should have plenty of action, there's no doubt that a main event between two totally unknown fighters was not what Main Events and NBC Sports wanted to get this series started with.
This does mark, as we've noted before, the second straight fight that Chambers has bailed on -- he also pulled out of an October date with Tony Thompson which was to air on ShoBox.
I don't know if Chambers knew for a while that he couldn't fight, but obviously if he did then he handled this the wrong way. If he didn't, then Liakhovich may have bad information. Either way the fight being lost is a real disappointment, for everyone involved and for boxing fans.
But Liakhovich isn't going to dwell on it or chase a make-up date with Chambers. He says he wants to face Chris Arreola, who returns to the ring on February 18 in Texas on the Williams vs Ishida card. Arreola likely isn't taking any type of serious challenge on that date, and potential fights with Tomasz Adamek and Wladimir Klitschko are on the horizon for the Mexican-American star right now.