Boxing: Scott Harrison v William Abelyan

SkySports, UK
June 17 2004

Harrison hits back at Abelyan

Scott Harrison v William Abelyan
WBO featherweight title
Saturday Fight Night Live
Sky Sports 2, 8pm

On Saturday night Scott Harrison defends his WBO featherweight title
against William Abelyan in the white-hot atmosphere of Glasgow’s
Braehead Arena.

Scott often gets overlooked when we talk about our world champions,
so this is a chance for him to shine against what looks like a very
tough opponent.

We do not know too much about Abelyan, but he is a southpaw and from
what I gather, he’s ostensibly a boxer.

He was born in Armenia but grew up in California and appears to be
a consummate professional who will often train three times a day.

He comes to Glasgow having won 13 fights in a row since being knocked
out in the first round by Victor Polo back in January 2000, but reports
say he was ill that day, which would explain how he was floored by
a body punch so early on.

Abelyan: southpaw

I gather he has enlisted the help of Manuel Medina – who Harrison
lost to, and then beat of course – to help plan his fight strategy.
As long as Medina is not sparring with him, because his style is
nothing like Harrison’s, that is a smart move and should prepare him
for what to expect from the marauding Scot.

Harrison only knows one way to fight and that is to walk forward and
swarm all over his opponent.

He has been accused of being a little one-dimensional unless he gets
some top-quality sparring – and I fear he hasn’t – his style is never
going to change. He likes to shut himself away and train up to three
times a day, but running up mountains in Fort William is not going
to improve his boxing ability.

Harrison’s style may well suit a clever counter-puncher, who can
draw him on and then pick him off, and Abelyan’s record (28 fights,
23 wins and 12 KO’s) suggest he could be that type of fighter.

But he will not be prepared for the absolute frenzy that will greet him
when he walks out at the Braehead. Scott might not be as high-profile
as our other top fighters, and he may not be as comfortable with
the media, but he does have a great fan base behind him north of
the border.

Harrison: marauding

Believe me, Abelyan will have heard nothing like it and the Braehead
crowd will have a big part to play.

Scott may have to be prepared to lose the first few rounds, but he
needs to walk Abelyan down and get him into a war of attrition. He
may not be the most devastating puncher, but he is powerful and has
to make the Armenian-born challenger fight at his pace.

It is a question of imposing his will on Abelyan and eventually
slowing him down. That might take some time and it might not be pretty,
but Scott simply cannot afford to lose.

He is good enough to beat the likes Injin Chi, Manny Pacquiao and
Juan Manuel Márquez at the moment, but that could change in time.
Right now he needs to win – even if it means winning ugly.