Boxing: I’ve been idle for a year ‘cos they’re all so scared of me..

Glasgow Daily Record, UK
June 16 2004



By Hugh Keevins

WILLIAM ABELYAN was once expelled from a Californian college for
decking a member of the school gridiron team.

Now he insists he’s come to Scotland to teach Scott Harrison a lesson
on Saturday and leave with the WBO featherweight title as his diploma
in determination.

The self-confessed Armenian immigrant punk turned upright citizen
says he got fed up being a troublemaker as soon as he realised there
was money in knocking people unconscious for a living.

Abelyan has been out of the ring for over a year and he boasts it is
because American or Mexican fighters are too scared to go anywhere
near him.

He said: ‘I couldn’t get a fight because I knock people down.

‘Or else I make them retire from boxing completely.

‘I couldn’t believe it when I read an old man like Manuel Medina had
gone 12 rounds with Harrison and then taken his title on points.

‘I was once a sparring partner for Medina and I knocked him down

Harrison paid Abelyan money to step aside and give up his right to
fight Medina for the title which the Scot won back last November.

But even Harrison’s manager Frank Maloney won’t predict anything
other than a nail-biting bout.

Maloney said: ‘I wouldn’t have taken on this fight for Scott if there
had been a way of avoiding Abelyan.

‘But it’s a mandatory defence and the truth is that Scott is fighting
for his career.

‘Abelyan is a master boxer and his people fancy this fight big time.

‘Scott will need to rip him apart like a lion with a piece of meat
between his teeth if he wants to win against Abelyan.

‘There are massive pay days at stake and this will be one of the
best fights Scotland has ever seen. I am very concerned because there
might be no way back for Scott if he loses this one.’

In Abelyan’s camp,however, there wasno such fear.

Trainer Don House said: ‘I think Harrison is a decent fighter.

‘I would like to thank him for holding on to our belt until we could
get here to take it back to the States.William hasn’t fought for a
year but he is ready to take on anybody,anytime.

‘He could find harder fighters than Harrison if hewent to Mexico.

‘Sometimes it’s good to have some time out of the ring but we’ve
never stopped working in the gym.’

Abelyan arrived in the USA from Armenia when hewas eight years old
and regards his adopted country as his home.

But it took him time to remember that California was the Sunshine
State and didn’t welcome his dark side.

He said: ‘I never went back to school after they threw me out for

‘I graduated through a home correspondence course.

‘But I got fed up with being a troublemaker and channelled my
aggression into boxing.

‘I’m not a fighter in the ring. I am a tactician and Harrison will
find out the difference between one and the other from the moment
the bell sounds to start the first round on Saturday night.

‘The ring is my house and from what I have seen of Harrison so far,
he reminds me of a Mexican fighter. He has no real movement but just
comes on to you.

‘My dream is to hold a world title and he is standing between me and
my destiny.

‘I don’t think I have had the best win of my career so far. I believe
that has still to come on Saturday night.’