Boxing News: Harrison vs. Abelyan

* Harrison stays focused on Abelyan, not record books
* Boxing: Harrison faces easy fight before brutal talks
* Harrison Too Hot For Abelyan
* Harrison Retains Title In Three
* World Championship Boxing: Harrison V Abelyan, Braehead Top Man Watt
* Harrison retains WBO title
* Harrison retains title
* Three and easy for Harrison
* Harrison blows away challenger

Harrison stays focused on Abelyan, not record books

The Scotsman – United Kingdom
Jun 19, 2004

HISTORY beckons Scott Harrison at the Braehead Arena tonight. The priority
for Scotland’s WBO featherweight champion, however, is simply to ensure his
ambition to become his country’s most successful boxer of all time does not become
a thing of the past.

There is undoubted danger in Harrison’s mandatory defence of his title
against William Abelyan. Promoters Sports Network, who have packaged the fight as
‘Risky Business’, have made no secret of the fact they would have preferred to
avoid the American southpaw as they attempt to steer Harrison towards more
lucrative and career-defining contests.

With no rematch clause in the contract, the Cambuslang man simply cannot
afford to suffer another loss in the manner of his shock points defeat to Manuel
Medina last July which he was able to emphatically avenge four months later.

Since then, Harrison has stopped Colombian Walter Estrada, a late replacement
for Abelyan who called off injured from the originally-scheduled meeting in
March, to score his fourth victory in five world-title fights. If he can
overcome his Armenian-born challenger tonight, Harrison will join Jim Watt in the
record books for the most successful world championship contests by a Scottish

Watt, who lifted the WBC lightweight title with a 12th-round stoppage of
Alfredo Pitalua in April 1979 and defended the belt four times before losing to
the brilliant Nicaraguan Alexis Arguello in June 1981, will be ringside tonight
in his role as Sky Sports’ most cogent boxing analyst.

He is willing his compatriot to succeed, unfazed by the apparent resentment
towards him from both the champion and his father and trainer Peter Harrison in
the wake of Watt’s criticism of the performance last time out against

Despite Harrison becoming the first man to stop the tricky Colombian
southpaw, an achievement this correspondent believes did not earn him enough credit,
Watt felt there were dangerous flaws in the 26-year-old’s display which could
be exploited by a better opponent.

“I know the Harrison family aren’t too happy with me,” says Watt, “but my
honest view was that it was a bad performance against Estrada. Although Scott was
never in danger of losing, he got hit with far too many silly punches in the
first three rounds.

“I’m sorry if Scott and his dad are upset at what I said, but my job is to
call it as I see it. I can’t sit at ringside and ignore the evidence of my own
eyes just because Scott is Scottish. No-one has given him more praise than I
have since he started boxing on Sky and no-one wants him to keep winning more
than I do.”

To keep winning tonight, Harrison must solve the puzzle that is 25-year-old
Abelyan, the North American champion who has lost just four of his 28 fights
since turning professional six years ago. He is unbeaten since suffering a
first-round loss to Victor Polo in January 2000, when he cited a stomach bug as the

Nonetheless, as Polo later lost to Julio Pablo Chacon, the Argentine
dethroned by Harrison when he became champion in October 2002, it would appear to be
an encouraging form line for the Scot.

However, in reeling off 13 consecutive wins since the Polo defeat, including
an impressive points success over former WBC champion Guty Espadas, Abelyan
has earned his world-title shot and a reputation as someone capable of making
the best fighters look bad.

Jim Brady, the acerbic American correspondent of Boxing News, said after
Abelyan’s points win over veteran former WBA super-bantamweight champion Jesus
Salud in April 2002 that he “moved so much, they should have had a lap counter in
the ring”.

It is an indication of Abelyan’s elusive style, one which Brady claims is
“death at the box office”. When he knocked out Orlando Soto in Las Vegas to win
the North American title four months later, Brady was moved to observe “he has
a style only a mother could love, but then she probably doesn’t have to pay to
get in”.

Harrison, who weighed in four ounces inside the nine stone limit yesterday,
two ounces heavier than Abelyan, has no doubts his challenger will be unable to
avoid him for 12 rounds.

“He’s awkward, he jumps in and out,” said Harrison, “but I’m in perfect shape
and I will get to him. He doesn’t like to get hit to the body and there are
other weaknesses we have noticed. I just want to get this guy out of the way,
then move on to unify the belts.”

Watt, while anticipating a difficult night for Harrison, is confident he will
be joined in the record books by his fellow Glaswegian by the end of the
night. “Abelyan’s a good fighter, can adopt different styles and will try and mess
Scott about,” said Watt. “Scott has all the physical advantages, though and
as long as he controls the pace of the fight, I see him winning well on

I believe Harrison, as intensely motivated as he has ever been, will force a
stoppage somewhere around the tenth round.

* Willie Limond weighed in four ounces inside the super-featherweight limit
for his clash with French champion Youssef Djibaba for the vacant European
Union title. Live coverage of both fights from Braehead begins at 8pm on Sky
Sports 2.

* Audley Harrison defends his WBF heavyweight title tonight against Poland’s
Tomasz Bonin at Alexandra Palace in the last fight of his contract with the

Boxing: Harrison faces easy fight before brutal talks

The Guardian – United Kingdom
Jun 19, 2004

Audley Harrison is expected to record the 17th win of his undefeated
professional career against Poland’s Tomasz Bonin at the Alexandra Palace tonight,
then resume negotiations with the promoter Frank Warren over a challenge against
the British and Commonwealth champion Matt Skelton.

Harrison hopes for an equal split in the profits, and has said: “I want to
win the British title. Matt Skelton is a York Hall [Bethnal Green] fighter, but
Audley Harrison brings more to the table than that. I am asking for 50-50,
which I think is fair and reasonable.”

In a letter to Warren, Harrison suggested a joint operation between his own
A-Force promotions and Warren’s Sports Network, but Warren angrily rejected the
offer last night.

“With respect, who the hell does Audley Harrison think he is?” he said. “He
has just been dropped by the BBC and he has no television deal with Sky or any
other company.

“I have the TV contract and Matt Skelton is the champion. Sky have no
interest in signing Harrison so if he wants the fight he can take it on Matt
Skelton’s terms. I am in the business of looking after him, not Harrison.”

Harrison, 32, has a huge height and reach advantage over Bonin, 26. The
Pole’s record, undefeated in 26 fights, seems impressive, but closer inspection
shows his opponents have been dismal and Harrison should retain the
little-regarded WBF title with few problems.

An altogether more meaningful contest at the Braehead Arena in Renfrew pits
the WBO featherweight champion Scott Harrison against his mandatory challenger,
William Abelyan, a US-based Armenian. The size and strength of Harrison, the
Scottish title-holder, could be decisive.

The world light-welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu has been stripped of his
WBA belt after saying he would fight Sharmba Mitchell for the IBF belt in
November instead of the WBA challenger Vivien Harris. Harris could now face
Britain’s Ricky Hatton with the WBA title at stake.


SkySports, UK
June 19, 2004

Scott Harrison retained his WBO featherweight title with a ruthless
third round stoppage of Armenian William Abelyan at the Braehead
Arena in Glasgow.

The Scotsman, backed by around 5,000 partisan fans, was relentless
from the first bell and pursued the WBO number one -ranked challenger
all around the ring.

The first couple of rounds allowed Harrison to find his range against
the Armenian who never showed the confidence inside the ring that he
had displayed in the pre-fight hype.

In the third round Harrison stunned the challenger with a ferocious
right hand and from then on there was no way back for Abelyan who
dropped to the canvas.

The Cambuslang fighter had the challenger down on the floor twice
more before the referee stepped in to save him from further

The 22nd win from 25 contests was arguably the most impressive
display of the 26-year-old’s career and sets him up for a big-money
fight against one of the leading men in the division.

June 19, 2004

Scott Harrison retained his WBO world featherweight title in
impressive style with a third-round stoppage over American-based
Armenian William Abelyan at Braehead Arena.

The Scotsman, backed by around 5,000 partisan fans, came out with all
guns blazing right from the first bell and devastated the challenger
with a stunning display of powerful and aggressive boxing.

After he had dropped Abelyan for the third time in the third round
with some terrific rights and lefts the referee had no option but to
step in and prevent Abelyan from taking any further punishment.

It was a terrific victory for the Cambuslang fighter who silenced the
challenger after being criticised heavily by him during the normal
pre-fight hype.

The signs that Harrison was in the mood to do a job on the challenger
came right from the first bell as he emerged from his stool and
connected with a couple of good left hooks and a right uppercut which
had Abelyan already struggling.

The challenger composed himself by the end of the first round but the
second bell again saw Harrison come out aggressively.

A flurry of punches midway through the round almost had Abelyan in
trouble against the ropes but to his credit the Armenian again worked
himself out of trouble and began to throw the occasional left hook.

But the third round was just a devastating display of boxing by the
Scotsman. A right hand from Harrison had Abelyan on the floor and
having to take a standing count of eight.

Harrison followed up with a concentrated attack which again had
Abelyan down on the canvas.

The Armenian was somehow allowed to get up for a third time and have
a go but when Harrison continued his savage attack the referee could
only step in and save Abelyan from further punishment.

It was a terrific way to end the fight for Harrison who again put on
a terrific display for his loyal fans who cheered him from the
rafters as he held his belt aloft.

The challenger looked stunned as he sat on his stool before making an
ignominious exit from the ring.

World Championship Boxing: Harrison V Abelyan, Braehead Top Man Watt

The Mirror
June 19, 2004, Saturday

CREDIT: Scott Harrison has come in for praise from Scottish legend
Jim Watt

VICTORY for Scott Harrison tonight will see him equal boxing legend
Jim Watt’s record of five successful world title fights, a feat which
has stood unchallenged for 24 years.

Watt, who succeeded Hall of Famer Roberto Duran as the WBC
lightweight champion, retired after his first unsuccessful defence, a
points loss to the great Alexis Arguello, and is currently Sky TV’s
top ringside analyst.

He’ll be at the Braehead Arena tonight to see if the Cambuslang man
can see off William Abelyan and take his place alongside him in the
history books.

Watt was at the receiving end from Team Harrison after criticising
the WBO featherweight champion for a below-par start to his last bout
against Walter Estrada but he insists he won’t be pulling any punches
tonight if Scott falls below the standards he’s set for himself.

“He must be doing something right to have got to this stage,” said
the 55-year-old. “Sadly for Scott there have been so many changes in
boxing since my time. Back then five defences would have established
you as the world’s No.1, whereas now you’re just one of four.

“He has proved he’s one of the best in one of the toughest divisions
around and, assuming he gets past Abelyan, his promoters should be
looking for the real big fights for him.

“This is a business as well as a sport but it was interesting to hear
Scott and Abelyan talk the other day. All Abelyan spoke about was
money, while Scott talked about the glory involved in being champion
and I believe he’s genuinely interested in that as well and that
could tip the scales in his favour here.

“Don’t forget that this is a proper world title, the one Naz held
(Prince Naseem Hamed made 15 successful defences). This is a good
match-up because Abelyan is good, but Scott doesn’t duck anyone.

“Abelyan can do different things. He’ll adapt to Scott’s style and
try to mess him about.”

However, assuming Harrison hasn’t been distracted by his disrupted
build-up to this particular bout – originally scheduled for May 29,
it was postponed when the Scot suffered an arm injury in training and
he then spent two days in court before being found not guilty on an
assault charge – he should prove too much for the Armenian.

While Abelyan has moved up to reach this division, Harrison is
already speaking about exiting it and heading to super-featherweight
or lightweight.

“Abelyan could make super- bantamweight,” Watt pointed out, “while
Scott will probably be around 10 stones (light-welterweight) on the
night of the fight. Much will depend on whether Scott dictates the
tempo of the bout because if he does I can’t see Abelyan lasting if
the pace is as intense as Scott has been known to make it.”

Watt, as you might expect, remains unfazed and unapologetic about the
furore his negative comments on Harrison’s performance against
Estrada caused in the Scot’s camp.

As far as he’s concerned, his role nowadays is as commentator, not
cheerleader, and he mounted a stout rebuttal of Harrison’s

“For me it was a bad Harrison performance against Estrada, it’s as
simple as that,” he said. “I know the Harrison family weren’t happy
with what I said but no-one has given Scott more praise than I have
over the years.

“When I’m at ringside I say what I see and, for my money, Scott was
in a lot of trouble for the first three rounds against Estrada. Don’t
get me wrong – he was never in danger of losing but he took a lot of
punches he shouldn’t have.

“I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t make those
observations. Anyway, if Scott was to sit down with me and watch
videos of his last six fights then I’m sure he’d agree that his
display against Estrada was his worst.

“I want him to do well, though, like everyone else.”


Harrison record in World bouts

OCT 19, 2002 v Juan Pablo Chacon

(W points)

MAR 22, 2003 v Wayne McCullough (W points)

JULY 12, 2003 v Manuel Medina (L points)

NOV 29, 03 v Medina (W, rd 11)

MAR 6, 04 v Walter Estrada (W tko)

JUNE 19, 04 v William Abelyan (?)Watt record in World bouts

APRIL 17, 1979 v Alfredo Pitalua (W, rsf rd 12)

NOV 3, 1979 v Roberto Vasquez (W, rsf rd 9)

MARCH 14, 1980 v Charlie Nash (W, rsf rd 4)

JUNE 7, 1980 v Howard Davis (W, pts)

NOV 1, 1980 v Sean O’Grady (W, rsf rd 12)FIGHT ODDS: Harrison 4-9,
Abelyan 13-4, Draw 20-1TV TIMES Sky Sports 2 (8pm)

Harrison retains WBO title

Ireland Online, Ireland
June 19 2004

Scott Harrison retained his WBO world featherweight title with an
impressive third round win over William Abelyan at Braehead Arena.

The Scotsman, backed by around 5,000 partisan fans, was relentless
from the first bell and pursued the challenger all around the ring.

The first couple of rounds allowed Harrison to find his range against
the Armenian who never showed the confidence inside the ring that he
had displayed in the pre-fight hype.

In the third round Harrison stunned the challenger with a ferocious
right hand and from then on there was no way back for Abelyan who
dropped to the canvas.

Harrison had the challenger down on the floor twice more before the
referee stepped in to save him from further punishment.

Harrison retains title

BBC Sport, UK
June 20 2004

Harrison had little trouble beating Abelyan on Saturday
Scott Harrison successfully defended his WBO world featherweight
title with a third-round stoppage over American-based Armenian
William Abelyan.
The Scotsman came out with all guns blazing from the first bell at
Braehead Arena in Glasgow.

After dropping Abelyan for the third time in the third round, the
referee stepped in to prevent his challenger from taking any further

It was the Cambuslang fighter’s sixth defence of his title.

A euphoric Harrison hailed the win as his greatest performance.

It just came off for me on the night

Scott Harrison
“It was the best I’ve boxed so far,” said Harrison.

“After I caught him with the right hand the first time, it was just a
matter of time before it was stopped.

“Scotland aren’t doing too well in sport at the moment so I’m going
to try and go as far as I can and put on a show for them time and

Harrison, who had refused to predict a knockout or stoppage during
the pre-fight hype, admitted he was unconcerned about how he retained
his title.

He said: “I knew it wasn’t going to go 12 rounds but you didn’t know
if it was going to go three rounds or 12 rounds or whatever.

“Sometimes it takes time but in this fight he went early but that’s
boxing for you. It just came off for me on the night.”

Three and easy for Harrison

Sunday Herald, UK
June 20 2004

Stewart Fisher watches as the fired-up Scot dispatches challenger
with minimum of fuss

THIS was one early stoppage about which the crowd could have no
complaints. Scott Harrison’s mandatory second defence of his second
spell as WBO featherweight champion had been billed “Risky Business”,
in recognition of the fact his opponent, William Abelyan, arrived in
Glasgow as the organisation’s No 1 challenger, but the only risk at
Braehead Arena last night was the one to Abelyan’s health had this
contest been allowed to go any further.
Harrison, who only two weeks ago was fretting over allegations of
assaulting a man in a toilet cubicle of the Tower Bar in East
Kilbride, made good on his promise to take that aggression with him
into the ring. A flurry of vicious right-hand shots saw his
American/Armenian opponent subjected to two standing eight counts –
although WBO organisation rules make no provision for a standing
eight count – before the Brooklyn-based referee intervened to stop
the contest with just 1min 45secs of the third round having

There was a fitting symmetry in the fact that on the night when
Harrison equalled Jim Watt’s record of six appearances in world title
bouts, and five victories, he should also finally put to rest
criticism which has followed him ever since his sluggish performance
against last-minute call-up Walter Estrada in March, the first
occasion when this twice delayed bout had been set to take place.

His opponent seemed to have a significant disadvantage in terms of
both height and build, and played to the Scot’s strengths with a
willingness to come out and fight, but this was surely the finest
stoppage of Harrison’s career. “I think this is the best of them
all,” the 26-year-old from Cambuslang said afterwards.

“Once I had caught him with that right hand it was just a matter of
time. I don’t really know if that is the best punch I have ever
thrown but it certainly felt good. Everything that has happened in
the last week has just made me more determined. I knew that if I
defended my title in brilliant fashion there was nothing that the
press could say about me.”

Harrison’s preparations for the fight had certainly been nothing if
not eventful. A new diet which allows him to take frosted cereal for
breakfast and sweets after training under the supervision of muscle
specialist Dr Niall Ferguson, of Glasgow University, had been
adopted, but he still boasted a fat content of 5.2%, as he weighed in
just two ounces more than the challenger. That was impressive enough,
given the fact that he had required to shuffle his workouts either
side of courtroom appearances. Having been subsequently found not
guilty, Harrison entered the ring in a state of righteous

Abelyan, meanwhile, who left Yerevan at the age of eight to make a
new life in the US, came into the fight with 23 wins from his 28
bouts, and a hope that Harrison would have as much difficulties
against his southpaw stance as he had in the opening rounds of his
clash with Estrada. He had also been working with Manuel Medina, the
Mexican who stripped Harrison of his title and then lost it again,
but hadn’t fought for 14 months – as he cautiously preserved his
status as No 1 challenger.

Harrison took the early initiative – only once getting caught off
guard by a right hand from his opponent, and the second round also
belonged to Harrison. The third, on the other hand, is likely to give
Abelyan nightmares for a while now. A combination of jabs put Abelyan
on the canvas early on, before a thunderous right hook which made the
challenger’s knees turn to jelly made the outcome a formality.
Abelyan was game enough to insist on getting back into the action,
but in retrospect it was a mistake. By that point, the fight had
become a mismatch.

Earlier on in the night, Willie Limond’s gradual, painstaking return
from being stopped by Alex Arthur for the British superfeatherweight
title last July was put to an examination by French champion Youssef
Djibaba. For the first seven rounds of the contest for the vacant EU
belt, the man from Marseille spoiled the 25-year-old Glasgow
fighter’s momentum enough to suggest that only the second defeat on
his record was not a complete impossibility, but the eighth round saw
Limond in an altogether better light, as a couple of clubbing right
hands had the Frenchman in real trouble.

Although a cut above Limond’s left eye had developed by the time of
the final bell, he coasted the rest of the way to win a comfortable,
unanimous points decision.

The highlight on the rest of the undercard was another energetic
workout from Edinburgh light-welterweight Gary Young. The 21-year-old
duly reached double figures on his unbeaten record, with a clear-cut
points decision over Sutton-in-Ashfield’s David Kirk. Barry
“Braveheart” Hughes, of Glasgow, stopped Nottingham’s Nigel Senior in
the third round of a lightweight contest, and it took only two rounds
for Glasgow welterweight Colin McNeil to knock Andre Ivanov – who,
despite the name, is another Nottingham fighter – through the ropes.
There was no such joy for Scott Flynn, who in his first professional
fight, was dumped on the canvas three times and suffered a punctured
eardrum after a battering from Pontypridd bantamweight Henry Janes.

Great Scott
Harrison ‘best in Britain’ after emphatic third-round knockout

SCOTT Harrison retained his WBO World Featherweight title at
Glasgow’s Braehead Arena in emphatic fashion last night and in the
process wrote his name into the history books alongside the legendary
Jim Watt.
The 26-year-old stopped challenger William Abelyan in the third round
to equal Watt’s record of five successful world title fights.
Harrison put the American-based Armenian on the canvas twice in the
round, before the referee stepped in to end the onslaught.

“I believe I’m the best featherweight in the world right now, it is
just about proving it. That was all about controlled aggression,”
said the Cambuslang fighter after retaining his belt in front of his
adoring fans.

“I’m looking for a unification fight, I’m ready for anyone. I want
another title at this weight and then I’ll move up a weight and claim
another world title.”

Frank Maloney immediately declared his fighter was not only the best
boxer in Scotland, but now No 1 in Britain. “He has gone to the top
of the pile. Tonight Scott made a statement to the rest of the
world,” said the manager who will now size up the options to make
Harrison’s dream come true.

“I think a fight between Scott and Injin Chi would be great and the
fans would love it,” said Maloney, pointing to a possible match-up
with the WBC champion.

Wherever Harrison’s career takes him now, he will travel with the
confidence of coming through one of the most difficult periods of his
career and producing his best performance at the end of it.

It is less than a fortnight since the Cambuslang-based boxer was in
court facing assault charges which could have ended his career. When
he was found not guilty of assaulting his fiancee’s former boyfriend
he immediately promised to channel his frustrations and energies into
last night’s mandatory defence.

And Abelyan was no mug. Even the normally bullish Maloney had
conceded before the fight that the dangerous southpaw was an opponent
he would rather Harrison had avoided.

But last night any worries were soon laid to rest. Harrison started
brightly against the WBO’s No 1 contender, his greater strength
evident as he caught the smaller man several times in the opening
exchanges. But Abelyan responded in the second round, outboxing the
champ-ion with fast, neat jabs which suggested the contest might
extend deep into the scheduled 12 rounds.

However Harrison was having none of that and the third round
demonstrated the power which has already made a two-times world
champion at the nine-stone weight limit. With one minute 45 seconds
on the clock, and Abelyan having already crumpled to the canvas twice
under the weight of the Scot’s punches, the referee stepped in to
spark wild scenes of celebration.

“I worked long and hard on my straight right in training and it came
off tonight,” said the man with the broadest smile of all, the WBO
belt still safely in his possession.

Harrison blows away challenger

The Scotsman, UK
June 20 2004

WITH a quite awesome performance which the fighter himself confirmed
as his best ever, Scott Harrison last night retained his WBO
featherweight championship of the world by stopping dangerous
opponent William Abelyan in the third round.

Harrison entered the ring with an intensity in his eyes that showed
he was desperate to exorcise the demons of the past few months in
which the fight has twice been postponed and the champion himself
faced an assault charge of which he was cleared only ten days ago.

How Abelyan paid for all that frustration as he crumpled under a
withering attack from a boxer who moved on to a different level last
night. Make no mistake, this victory sends out a message to the
boxing world that Scotland’s world champion deserves to be ranked
among the finest fighters in the world.

He took on the No.1 contender in a mandatory defence and reduced him
to a shambling wreck inside seven minutes, 45 seconds of controlled

Abelyan did threaten briefly in the second, and his southpaw stance
did appear awkward but when the first right hook of Harrison handed
flush on the challenger’s chin early in the third, it was not a
question of if but when the fight would be over.

Braehead Arena was not sold out last night, and coupled with
Harrison’s own magnificent performance, his promoter, Frank Warren,
and manager, Frank Maloney, now have no excuse but to give the
Glasgow boxing crowd the mega fight they and Harrison so clearly
deserve. It is likely to be against the WBC title holder, Injin Chi,
of Korea, the conqueror of Michael Brodie.

The fight began after the usual preliminaries which involved a
rousing chorus of Flower of Scotland, and as referee Samuel Veruet of
Brooklyn in New York gave his traditional lecture to the boxers, it
was already clear that Harrison was in a mood to take no prisoners.
He promptly proved that with a low blow which landed on Abelyan’s
belt after just a few seconds of the fight. The Armenian-born North
American champion gave one back, but it was Harrison who did all the
early scoring, with his range-finding senses in operation from the
off. The challenger is renowned as a skilful boxer but for some
reason he came to Glasgow intent on having a war with Harrison but
that simply played into the champion’s hands. Harrison admitted
afterwards that he was worried he might have to chase Abelyan all
night, but the contest did not turn out like that.

Harrison clearly won the first, but the second was much closer, and
you do not fight as many Mexicans as Abelyan has without learning
something, so it was no surprise that he caught Harrison with a
couple of rights.

Towards the end of the round, however, Harrison caught Abelyan with a
body shot, and the challenger, to his credit, responded with some
scoring punches.

Harrison made an explosive start to the third round. He cut down the
ring, which Abelyan had largely controlled in the second, and let go
a right hook that caught Abelyan square, and a further left-right
combination put the stunned American on the floor. The challenger did
well to rise quickly but took a full standing count of eight from the

Abelyan calls himself William the Conqueror but frankly at this point
he resembled King Canute trying to turn back the tide as Harrison
poured on the pressure. The challenger bravely tried to resist but
Harrison was in total command and let fly a series of hooks to head
and body which sent Abelyan back against the ropes. Harrison leapt
forward and a pinpoint straight left to the side of the jaw sent the
challenger hurtling face down on to the canvas.

There was no doubting his bravery as Abelyan rose to his feet but as
Harrison continued to inflict serious punishment referee Veruet took
a close look into Abelyan’s eyes before calling off the action.

An ecstatic crowd acclaimed the champion, and the statistics showed
that he had landed 48 punches, 38 of them to the head of Abelyan. It
was a remarkable amount of punishment to hand out in such a short
space of time and justified manager Maloney’s claim afterwards that
Harrison is the best fighter in Britain at the moment, better even
than Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe. “That was the best so far,” said
Harrison. “Once I caught him with the right hand it was just a matter
of time. I just couldn’t wait to go into the ring tonight, I was
choking to get in there and do a job. I was just pleased to do it for
the fans to have supported me.”

Earlier in the evening, Glasgow’s Willie Limond captured the vacant
European Union super featherweight championship with a controlled
performance against the awkward Frenchman, Yousef Djibaba. It was a
case of a slugger versus boxer, and Limond always had too much skill
for a fighter who was brave, fit, but very uncultured.

The two-times featherweight champion of France was cut in the second
round by Limond’s accurate jabs and as early as the fourth there was
an air of desperation about the Frenchman’s headlong rushes. They
were meat and drink to Limond who did nearly all the scoring from the
early rounds onwards and though Limond was often dragged down to
Djibaba’s level, he suddenly found a different gear in the eighth and
really rattled his opponent. In the penultimate round, Djibaba threw
caution to the wind and did bloody Limond’s nose but the Scot
survived the inaccurate bombs to pick off his opponent with accurate
jabs until the end of the tenth and final round.

All three judges scored the fight heavily in Limond’s favour.

Limond will surely now fight for the full European or even British
title, and also getting near the title stakes is Edinburgh’s Gary
Young, who convincingly out-pointed Englishman David Kirk in their
light welterweight contest. There were victories over English
opposition too for Glasgow lightweight Barry Hughes and welterweight
Collin McNeil.

It was a night when Scottish boxing was done proud above all by
Harrison. There is simply no limit now to what the man from
Cambuslang can achieve in the ring.

This compilation was contributed to by:
Katia Peltekian
Mihran Keheyian