Boxing: Harrison vanishes to leave Cook without an opponent

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The Independent Online

Scott Harrison's fight against Nicky Cook in defence of his World Boxing Organisation featherweight title at the ExCel Arena on Saturday night is off after Harrison appeared to have gone missing.

Harrison failed to arrive for a check weigh-in in his home town of Glasgow yesterday and last night there were reports that the boxer had vanished.

In the past he has struggled to make the featherweight limit and is widely believed to be "weighing heavy". It is just the latest incident in the troubled life of the young fighter, recently released from a Spanish prison after spending nearly six weeks there on an assault charge.

During his incarceration his fight with Cook was cancelled but then three days later, on 11 November, Harrison was released and returned to Glasgow, where he underwent a series of stringent medical examinations and was passed fit to fight.

The contest was once again back on but Harrison has previously withdrawn from two other fights this year and has also twice been arrested in Scotland for a variety of offences, as well as spending some time in a clinic for his drinking and depression problems.

Two weeks ago Harrison was warned that if anything went wrong in the days before Saturday's fight he would be stripped of his WBO title and that the British Boxing Board of Control would then also be forced to consider his licence to fight.

Late last night Cook, who is unbeaten in 26 fights and has kept his calm throughout the crazy last eight weeks, was told that his challenge was being called off and that a replacement opponent was being sought for Saturday night.

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