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Newz Forum: BOXING: Harrison hardened by court

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posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 09:40 PM
Scott Harrison feared that his WBO featherweight defence against William Abelyan would have been wrecked by his recent high-profile court case.

The Scot was cleared of an assault charge last week after an incident that occurred in a pub a year ago.

"If I'd been found guilty, I could have had the belt taken off me," he said.

"It didn't derail my preparation. It just changed my training times and basically hardened me up a bit because people were trying to bring me down."

The Cambuslang fighter, who takes on American-based Armenian Abelyan at Braehead Arena on Saturday in the sixth defence of his title, had to endure a two-day trial.

"I would be lying if I said it wasn't difficult or wasn't annoying, but I wanted the court case resolved," he said.

I was Medina's sparring partner and I dropped him a couple of times - William Abelyan

"The first time it was put back and then they wanted it to be put back again, but I said I wanted it out the way one way or another.

"It's a weight off my mind. I'll go into the ring with nothing on my mind and I'm going to do a good job on Abelyan."

Harrison also took a swipe at namesake Audley, the English heavyweight meeting Tomasz Bonin at Alexandra Palace on the same night.

"Make no mistake, there's only one Harrison in British boxing and that's me," he said.

"The fans aren't stupid, they know a real fighter. The difference is I don't handpick my opponents."

Peter Harrison, Scott's father and coach, said of the court case: "A lesser mortal would have been thrown off course, but Scott takes strength from adversity."

The 25-year-old Abelyan is confident of winning Saturday's fight after watching the Scotsman's two fights against an ageing Manuel Medina.

Harrison lost his belt to Medina on points last July but regained it with an 11th-round stoppage in November.

"Medina is an old man and I couldn't understand why Harrison took 11 rounds to beat him," said Abelyan.

"When Medina was going to fight for the IBF title, I was his sparring partner and I dropped him a couple of times.

"Harrison fights like a Mexican fighter - he just comes to you, so I'll be waiting for him. Scott and his fans won't affect me and I'm ready for anyone.

"Getting the WBO title on Saturday will be the best fight of my life. My home country is the United States now, but after this fight I'm going to celebrate in Armenia."

Abelyan has a professional record of 23 wins with 12 knockouts, four losses and one defeat.

Story from BBC SPORT:

Published: 2004/06/16 16:41:02 GMT



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