|The battle for the WBA light-welterweight championship culminated in a right hand from the champion, Vivian Harris that stopped challenger Oktay Urkal in his tracks in the eleventh round. The fight was a rematch between the two that materialized when|
Harris was unable to negotiate a higher profile defense against a more prestigious name. Stopping Urkal before the distance is an unprecedented feat, but in truth, Harris has done little more than remind the boxing world of his presence before its undivided attentions turn to the rematch between the universally accepted light-welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu and his closest rival, Sharmba Mitchell; a fight that seems to have been an eternity in the making.
It must be wondered whether the arrival of master technician Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Puerto Rican sensation Miguel Cotto’s emergence as the WBO champion has pushed Harris’s importance further down the divisions pecking order into near insignificance. Harris’s inability to capitalize on the opportunities that have drifted his way in recent times have prompted him to appoint Emanuel Steward to manage him into real fights for real money. Urkal will likely return to contest European honors, but a talent like Harris’s deserves to be displayed on the big stage and when the fallout of Tszyu-Mitchell is underway, Harris should look to force his way into the reckoning for that title whatever the cost.