Vivian Harris – Making Himself Seen
By Rob Scott (June 24, 2005) 
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Is it me or did Vivian Harris make himself a more interesting piece in the 140lb puzzle on Wednesday? For some time now Vivian Harris has been calling out his junior welterweight counterparts to no avail. He has been on countless websites claiming he can’t get a fight in the most talent filled division in boxing. But just who is Vivian Harris? That is the question asked time and time again by many. Floyd Mayweather claimed he didn’t know. After Wednesday’s press conference we all know that he now does.

The scene has been set for Floyd Mayweather, 33-0 (22), vs. Arturo Gatti, 39-6 (30), but the makings of another plot was presented on Wednesday. Mayweather, who will be challenging Gatti for his WBC strap this Saturday, has been blasting Gatti in the promotion for their fight. There have been verbal taunts and his claim of Arturo ducking him. This is the same claim that Vivian Harris has said about all the fighters in the junior welterweight division – Mayweather in particular. At the final press conference for the Mayweather/Gatti bout, Harris took his challenges from the interview pages, straight to the man himself.

Where Gatti has played the quiet man role, Vivian Harris, 25-1-1 (17), took his own verbal shots at Mayweather when he took to the podium. Harris, who defends his WBA junior welterweight title against Colombia’s Carlos Maussa, 17-2 (15), on the undercard, (and make no mistake about it; it is on the undercard, not a co-feature), made it clear to not only Mayweather, but also the world that he is a player that no one wants to play with.

The interesting part is Mayweather was made to feel how Gatti has felt since the WBC placed him as Gatti’s mandatory. With as many genuine fans that Gatti has, Mayweather has made many detractors over time. Where there have been reports of run-ins between Harris and Mayweather, to see it brings more intrigue to the prospect of the two one day facing one another. That added intrigue, along with an explosive performance from Harris on Saturday night may be what Harris needs in his plight.

That isn’t the only thing though; Harris has been sidelined and stifled by probably his toughest junior welterweight opponent – himself. He himself has been just as much to blame as any fighter for his career’s snail pace progression. Pricing himself out of decent paydays, as with a before proposed match-up with England’s Ricky Hatton, prior to his title winning victory over Kostya Tszyu, would have put decent names on his resume. Instead his reign as the WBA champion has been mute without a marquee name to say that he has a victory over.

At this point changes should take place. Him finally being televised so more people can witness his talents is a gigantic step in the right direction. It’s a direction that if he remains on course, will truly lead him to match-ups with Mayweather, Hatton, Gatti, Cotto and all the best 140 pounders. It’s a direction that will lead him into the minds and hearts of the more people. More people means more money. More people means more fame. If he doesn’t do what it takes, he will just hear more of the same - Who is Vivian Harris?

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