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Boxing: Boxing: Ringside Melee Mars Harrison's 11th Win

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posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 03:49 PM
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Associated Press - May 31, 2003


LONDON - Olympic super-heavyweight champion Audley Harrison improved to 11-0 as a pro Saturday night, stopping Matthew Ellis in the second round of a fight marred by a ringside brawl involving former WBO champ Herbie Hide.

Harrison, gold medalist in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, knocked Ellis down three times in the second round before referee Terry O'Connor stopped the fight at 1:35 of the round.

Minutes later, Hide and his handlers got into a shouting match with Harrison and his entourage.

Hide appeared to throw a punch at one fan, setting off a wild melee. Chairs were thrown and tables broken as spectators scurried for cover. No serious injuries were reported.

The brawl started after Harrison grabbed the ring microphone and asked fans whether he should next fight Hide or Frank Bruno, the former WBC champion who also was at ringside.

The crowd chanted "Bruno! Bruno!" and booed Hide.

While Bruno came into the ring to pose for photos with Harrison, Hide stood on a chair and taunted Harrison.

Among those involved in the melee was Hide supporter Steve "Crocodile" Fitch," a former associate of Mike Tyson.

The British Boxing Board of Control said it planned an inquiry.

"I said before the show it was not a good idea to have two boxers in such close proximity," boxing board general secretary Simon Block said. "It was predictable.

"I don't know who's to blame but certainly the security wasn't adequate and bringing two fighters together in that situation wasn't advisable. I shall be looking at the video tape to see exactly what happened."

Harrison apologized to the fans but blamed Hide for spoiling his night.

"The bottom line is that everyone knows Herbie Hide is a loose cannon," he said. "This is the Audley Harrison show. I don't know why Herbie Hide was sitting ringside."




posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 03:50 PM
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Associated Press - June 1, 2003


LONDON (AP) - Olympic super-heavyweight champion Audley Harrison and former WBO champ Herbie Hide could have their boxing licenses revoked over a ringside brawl.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) general secretary Simon Block said Sunday the two would be called to explain their actions in an inquiry.

The brawl happened after Harrison, gold medalist at the Sydney Olympics, stopped Matthew Ellis in the second round of a fight at Bethnal Green in east London Saturday night.

Minutes later, Hide and his handlers got into a shouting match with Harrison and his entourage. Hide appeared to throw a punch at one fan, setting off a wild melee. Chairs were thrown and tables broken as spectators scurried for cover. No serious injuries were reported.

``Any license holder who puts themselves in that situation or is found to be responsible for that sort of situation faces very grave consequences in respect of their career,'' Block said.

``We're taking this inquiry very seriously. It's not exactly clear who was responsible for the initial disturbance.

``I can't say what actually set off the problem but clearly the presence of Hide was a major factor in that. Boxers are supposed to be able to control themselves outside the ring and act accordingly.''

The brawl started after Harrison grabbed the ring microphone and asked fans whether he should next fight Hide or Frank Bruno, the former WBC champion who also was at ringside.

The crowd chanted ``Bruno, Bruno,'' and booed Hide.

While Bruno came into the ring to pose for photos with Harrison, Hide stood on a chair and taunted Harrison.

Among those involved in the melee was Hide supporter Steve ``Crocodile'' Fitch,'' a former associate of Mike Tyson.

Block said the actions of Harrison's security firm and the promoter Jess Harding would also be investigated.

``A security company has very strict guidelines under which to work - and that doesn't include hitting people with chairs or rushing into situations,'' Block said.

``The promoter is responsible for employing the security company, so we'll have to ask questions of Jess Harding.

``I'm not happy at all and a situation arose which reflects badly on our sport and brings us into disrepute.''





 
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