Boxing


Vivian Harris, Can He Make It Back As A Welterweight?

by James Slater - 30-year-old former WBA light-welterweight champion Vivian Harris makes his return to the ring on October 29th, when he will face Nicaragua's Octavio Narvaez in New Jersey. The bout will take place at welterweight, the first time Harris will have boxed up at 147-pounds, and the Guyana-born Brooklyn fighter will be looking to rebuild his career in what is currently the sport's most exciting weight class..

Last time out, "Vicious" Vivian lost painfully to Britain's awkward Junior Witter, being KO'd in the 7th round of a fight that took place in the U.K in September of last year. Now, having had well over a year out, the former 140-pound champ makes his comeback. Can Harris make a dent at 147?

Losing to Witter - who at the time was having a hard time getting any top names to face him, so unorthodoxly dangerous was he seen as (maybe still is by some) - was no shameful result for Harris. Sure, he was iced in quite brutal fashion, but Harris deserves credit for the way he came to the other guy's country to take the fight. And he was pretty much holding his own before getting caught by the very sharp-punching switch-hitter. Marking what is only Harris' third defeat as a pro, as humbling as it may have been, the loss to Witter in no way signalled the end of the 30-year-old's career. Who can really blame him for coming back and trying to reinvent himself one more time?

Harris was able to come back from what is his only other KO loss. After being shocked by the ungainly Carlos Mauser back in June of 2005, also in the 7th round, Harris bounced back with good wins over Stevie Johnston and Juan Lazcano (who went on to give Ricky Hatton a pretty tough night, of course). Can he do the same thing now, up at welterweight?

Harris is still young enough at age 30, he still has a good record at 28-3-1(18) and unless he's for some reason deteriorated in the thirteen months he's been out of the ring the former champ should be able to win at least a few more fights before he's through. Return fight #1, against Narvaez, a 27-year-old with a reasonable 13-4-1(8) record, should not present Harris with too much trouble. At one time a super-featherweight, the Nicuraguan will also be making his welterweight debut.

Narvaez has been stopped only once, however, (by Vicente Mosquera down at 130-pounds in 2003) so he does figure to stick around for a few rounds on October 29th. If he looks comfortable at his new weight, if he shows no signs of having become a faded force and if he looks as though he has carried his firepower up with him to 147, who knows, Vivian Harris just might be on his way to adding even more colour to the red-hot welterweight division.

There may be one or two more big fights yet for the man who was WBA light-welterweight champion from 2002 to 2005.

Article posted on 07.10.2008



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