Harrison loses to Belfast taxi driver

 

Boxing Round-Up:Audley Harrison's unlikely heavyweight world title aspirations were left in tatters after Belfast taxi driver Martin Rogan beat him on points in London last night.

The Olympic gold medalist paid the price for a negative and lazy display that handed the aggressive and crudely effective Rogan victory on a plate.

Harrison landed freely with his right hand in the second round but Rogan began roughing him up and stunned the Wembley southpaw with a crisp left hook in the fourth.

Occasionally scoring with the jab, Harrison invited the winner of Prizefighter One to hit him in the sixth but barely threw a single punch in the seventh with Rogan connecting with a right uppercut.

The same shot sent Harrison, whose caution and constant holding prompted jeers from the crowd, reeling a round later and Rogan did enough to stretch his flawless record to 11 victories.

Fagan no match for Khan

Amir Khan took the first step to restoring his reputation by completing a devastating second-round stoppage against Ireland's Oisin Fagan at the London ExCeL.

Fagan required oxygen treatment in his corner after a brutally one-sided contest was stopped by referee Mickey Vann one minute and 37 seconds into the round.

The victory, Khan's 19th in 20 fights, secured the Olympic silver medalist the vacant WBA international lightweight championship and was hugely impressive.

Khan, with his hands glued to his chin, used the ring to make himself an elusive target in the opening round as he found Fagan freely with his jab.

A strong right hand floored Fagan and the Irishman, operating on shaky legs, looked in serious trouble as Khan continued to land at will.

Fagan went down for a second time amid a flurry of punches and although he was saved by the bell, more punishment followed in an utterly one-sided second and the fight was over.

Khan's career suffered a significant setback with his first-round demolition by unknown Colombian puncher Breidis Prescott in September.

Flattened in just 54 seconds, it was the sixth time the 21-year-old had been knocked down and confirmed the worst fears over his vulnerable chin.

The defeat slammed the breaks on his world title aspirations and raised doubts over his ability to challenge for a major belt.

A bold next step saw Khan head to Los Angeles to seek the help of the highly-regarded trainer Freddie Roach to begin the rebuilding process.

Wary of the damage Prescott had inflicted, Khan's next opponent was picked with care.

Oklahoma-based Irishman Oisin Fagan had just 13 knockouts from his 22 victories and was not expected to provide too vigorous an examination of Khan's chin.

And so it proved as the 34-year-old was sent tumbling to the canvas twice before Mickey Vann had seen enough.

Reflecting on his morale-boosting win, Khan said: "I knew where I went wrong against Breidis Prescott.

"Fagan is a fighter who doesn't go down. Look at his record, I don't think anyone has done that to him.

"My team told me to pace myself, not to go for the knockout, that it would come itself. That's what I did."

"I said whoever I was going to fight, that I was going to be the worst opponent they can have.

"I was a bit more nervous than normal but I was relaxed and chilled out.

"It was another at the office...I know how good I am and I'm not going to make the same mistakes again."

Froch claims super-middleweight title

Carl Froch ended years of frustration in exhilarating fashion in Nottingham when he claimed the WBC super-middleweight title in a manner which will stand comparison with some of Britain's 12-stone greats.

Memories of ring wars involving the likes of Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank came flooding back as Froch pounded out a unanimous 118-110, 117-111, 116-112 victory over brave Canadian Jean Pascal.

From the first bell to the last the Nottingham 31-year-old threw caution to the wind and teed off on his previously unbeaten opponent, who replied with right hands at will in a contest where the pace never let up.

While Froch stepped up the pace in the later rounds to make his scorecard victory seem a formality, the reality was that he had had to remain on his guard for every second to secure his stunning win.

Froch had opened the fight in front of 6,000 partisan home fans by blasting Pascal back into a neutral corner and also had him in trouble in rounds five and nine to name but two.

Froch's talent had been much in evidence during his previous 23 consecutive victories but all he had lacked was the suitable big stage on which to impress his credentials.

For two years he had called out Joe Calzaghe to little effect and was delivered a snub prior to being matched with Pascal when former middleweight king Jermain Taylor shrugged off the notion of a clash with the Nottingham man.

Taylor may be forced to think differently with Froch now the proud holder of the most prestigious 12-stone title and a showdown at Madison Square Garden next summer now already being mooted.