Moves up to welterweight division
Less than one week after suffering a humiliating third round knockout to Victor Ortiz, former World Boxing Association (WBA) junior/welterweight champion, Vivian Harris said that he is not yet ready to hang up his gloves. Instead, Harris plans to campaign in the welterweight division where he believes he will be much stronger. Harris was at the time speaking to a NY journalist on the issue of his future in the sport that has earned him celebrity status.
Harris’ record has dipped to 29-5-1 (19 KO’s) after he suffered a one-sided third round blowout against world rater, Victor ‘Vicious’ Ortiz last Saturday night in Los Angeles, CA as part of an HBO pay per view telecast. He was dropped four times and was unable to work his way back into the fight before the referee waved the proceedings off at 45secs into the round.
Prior to the Ortiz bout Harris, who was once considered an elite junior welterweight after defeating Diosbelys Hurtado to take the world title, had surrendered a controversial fourth round TKO decision to Lucas Matthysse and even before that bout was engaged in a scary no contest against Noe Bolanos in 2009.
After that bout, he had left the ring on a stretcher following a grotesque clash of heads. Harris has been sent to the hospital after two of his last three fights for varying injuries and is without a notable victory since 2007, yet he refutes any assertion that he should call it quits.
“People just like to talk and they don’t know boxing,” exclaimed the always animated Harris when the question was posed. “This is a dirty and crazy sport. I was forced to fight (at or) around 140 and I can’t make that weight anymore. I am going to continue as a full-fledged welterweight and you will never see me fight below (147 pounds) again!” he asserted.
The former world champion also cited the contract weight for the Ortiz fight as a major issue for his loss. “We tried to make it at 144 lbs, give or take a pound, but his people said no because they wanted to call this a welterweight fight,” Harris contended.
He further accused the Ortiz camp of employing dirty tactics. “If that was the case, then why couldn’t I fight at the weight I wanted to? I am not trying to take away anything from his victory he did what he had to do but I am saying that the issue over the weight is complete nonsense,” said Harris
Although he was stopped in his last the two bouts as well a loss to Junior Witter who scored a one punch knockout over him in 2007, Harris believes his punch resistance will only improve in his new weight class.
“I will be stronger at welterweight. I had to lose a good amount of pounds to make 140 and it drained me. I sparred with heavier guys and taking their punches has never been a problem,” said Harris who will have to complete a mandatory suspension after the knockout loss. He is still under contract with Golden Boy Promotions and he said that he will actively seek fights with notable welterweights as he plots his comeback.
Kaieteur Sport had earlier spoken with former bantamweight champion Daurius Ford at the Jackie Gleasons Gym, Brooklyn and he had underlined the importance of a win for Harris. Ford had pointed out that both Harris and Ortiz were handled by Oscar De LaHoya, the head of Golden Boys Promotions.
He further opined that the winner would obviously gain the nod for future fights in that division.
Now that Harris has decided to move up to the heavier division Ford feels that he just may be able to salvage something from his career.
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