Undefeated Deontay Wilder says two prayers in his dressing room before a fight. One is a team prayer. The other, he says, is for his opponent.
"I know I'm blessed with God-given power,'' he said after destroying former world heavyweight champion Sergei Liakhovich in Friday's main event on ShoBox: The New Generation from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. "After our team prayer, I always pray that I don't hurt the guy I'm fighting, that if he has a family he will be OK enough afterward to continue to provide for them.''
Living up to his reputation as America's next great heavyweight, the 6-foot-7, 27-year-old Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., destroyed Liakhovich, stopping him with two overpowering right hands at 1:43 of the first round. It was Wilder's 29th knockout victory in as many starts. Liakhovich, of Scottsdale, Ariz., by way of Vitebsk, Belarus, fell to 25-6 with 16 KO's.
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