Boxing: War of words ahead of Harrison fight

June 19 2004

William Abelyan’s trainer Don House stoked up the war of words between
the challenger’s camp and WBO world featherweight title holder Scott
Harrison when he questioned the credibility of the Scotsman’s record
as champion.

Abelyan had claimed veteran Mexican Manuel Medina, to whom Harrison
lost his title before winning it back in a rematch, was no more than an
“old man”.

At a tetchy press conference in a Glasgow hotel yesterday ahead of the
Cambuslang fighter’s defence of his belt against the American-based
Armenian at Braehead tomorrow, a peeved Harrison claimed Abelyan had
been “disrespectful to someone who is a legend”.

But House insisted his man was only guilty of stating a fact about
Medina and then poured more fuel on the fire by dismissing another
of Harrison’s previous opponents, Wayne McCullough.

He said: “When William said Medina was an old man, that’s no disrespect
to Medina, he is an old man. Hell, we all get old. Medina was a great
champion but he is an old man.

“Harrison also fought Wayne McCullough and Wayne is on the other side
of two hills, he was ready for the scrap yard.

“I haven’t changed my mind at all since I saw Harrison in the flesh.
It’s going to be a very, very easy fight against this guy.

“Scott is going to try and be tough but that’s what we want, we want
a tough fight.

“William is fresh and in his prime. He’s hungry, he’s strong, he’s fast
and he’s got more slickness than Scott has ever seen in his career.

“Scott is a straightforward fighter, tough as nails but straightforward
and Abelyan is ready. If I didn’t think he was ready we wouldn’t
be here.”

Harrison’s manager Frank Maloney insisted the Scotsman’s pride rather
than his pocket will drive him on to victory on Saturday night.

He said: “I know Scott likes money – because I negotiate with him –
but I know he likes the glory and it is as important to him as the
money. And I think that could be the key factor.

“Scott wants it more and he wants it for his people. Scott is fighting
in front of his beloved Glasgow supporters and he wants to impress
them and keep them happy.

“Abelyan’s camp think they can outbox Scott but they’ve got to keep
it up for 12 rounds and the pressure of keeping it up for 12 rounds
against a fit Scott Harrison – and remember he wasn’t fit when he
fought Medina the first time – can’t be done.

“Abelyan is smaller and he’s a very nice boxer and he will probably
steal the first two or three rounds but when the heat starts to get
turned up in the kitchen Scott will come through.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress