MANCHESTER, England (June 3, 2005) – In the first of back-to-back world title fight nights on SHOWTIME, World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion Scott Harrison successfully defended his title for the fifth-straight time by knocking Michael Brodie out in the fourth round Friday.
In the “ShoBox: The New Generation” co-feature, unbeaten Michael Jennings stopped Gavin Down in the ninth. The doubleheader, which took place at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, England, was promoted by Frank Warren’s Sports Network and aired at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Harrison (24-2-2, 14 KOs), of Glasgow, Scotland, staggered Brodie in the first round and exchanged blows with him the next two. In the fourth, the champ landed a left hook to the kidney, sending Brodie to the canvas. Brodie was counted out at 46 seconds. Harrison’s superior strength proved too much for Brodie’s tactical skills. He became Scotland’s first featherweight champion, eighth world titleholder overall, and its first since Paul Weir in 1995 when he dethroned Argentina’s Juan Pablo Chacon to capture the WBO 126-pound title on Oct. 19, 2002. Harrison systematically dismantled Chacon (44-2 going in) by the scores 117-111 twice and 117-112.
Brodie (35-3-1, 23 KOs), of Manchester, fought valiantly and exchanged blows on even terms for some of the fight. Through the first three rounds, he was leading on two scorecards, 29-28 (the third judge had Harrison ahead 29-28). Brodie, the hometown favorite, had a large contingent of boisterous fans urging him on, but he took too many clean shots from Harrison to continue the fast-paced fight. This was Brodie’s fourth and final world title bout opportunity, as he announced his retirement from the sport after the match. He came closest to winning a world title on Oct. 18, 2003, in his hometown when he fought to a 12-round draw for the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight championship against Injin Chi. The judges scored the fight 113-113 twice and 112-114.
Jennings (26-0, 12 KOs), of Preston, England, had his way with Down, controlling the tempo of the fight from the opening bell. The cagey ring warrior systematically stalked Down, ultimately pinning him to the ropes in the ninth with a relentless assault, prompting the stoppage at 33 seconds. Through eight rounds, Jennings lead on the referee’s scorecard 79-74. With the win, Jennings, the WBO No. 1 contender, may have himself in line for a world title bout. He made his “ShoBox” debut on April 1, 2004, in Bethnal Green, England, and easily retained his World Boxing Union (WBU) title for the second time by scoring a fifth-round TKO over British Central Area Welterweight Champion Brett James.
Down (29-6, 14 KOs), of Chesterfield, England, was a late addition to the card. He held his ground for much of the fight, withstanding barrages of Jennings’ jabs and hooks. Down captured the vacant British (Midland Area) welterweight crown in his last outing on Nov. 25, 2004, by registering a 10-round decision (98-93) over Steve Brumant.
The next “ShoBox’’ telecast is Friday, July 22, on SHOWTIME with a fight card to be announced.
On Saturday, June 4, in a highly anticipated match-up that has the makings of a classic, International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior Welterweight Champion Kostya Tszyu will defend against undefeated IBF No. 1 contender Ricky Hatton on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from M.E.N. Arena
For information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.