Rededicated Maurice Harris preparing to make mark in heavyweight division
NEW YORK – Veteran heavyweight Maurice “Sugar Moe” Harris, winner of the “2002 Thunderbox Heavyweight Tournament,” has rededicated himself to boxing with a new promoter, Boxing 360, as well as a new head trainer, former world title contender William “Bo” James, now in his corner.
Harris (23-14-2, 10 KOs), fighting out of New Jersey, has already fought three times in 2010, one less than his total during the previous six years, which included a stretch when he was inactive for 2 ½ years.
Winning all three of his 2010 fights by decision, Harris defeated Billy Zumbrun and 7-footer Julius Long in 6-rounders, followed last month by Robert Hawkins in 8 rounds.
“Fighting regularly feels good,” Harris said about his new, aggressive fight schedule. “It keeps a fighter sharp. I’m happy about Boxing 360 taking good care of me. I’m a fighter and it’s my job to fight; it comes with the territory. I’m so happy to have a group that believes in me. I’m still young – only 34- and I’ve rededicated myself to boxing. The plan is to have one more 8 rounder and then it’s all 10s until I get a title shot. When it comes – I know it’s going to come with this team behind me – it’ll be up to me to take full advantage. Boxing 360 just has to get me the right opportunity and I’ll take care of the rest.”
In 2002, Harris knocked out previously unbeaten and future world title-holder Sergey Lyakhovich (16-0) in the ninth round, earning Harris a slot in that November’s “Thunderbox” tournament. Maurice captured the $100,000 winner’s purse by out-pointing Gerald Nobles, Israel Garcia and Anthony Thompson, respectively, in 3-round matches during the same night of boxing.
“It’s a process right now for Maurice,” Boxing 360 Director of Boxing Bob Duffy explained. “We’re not going to rush things with him, but we are going to keep him busy. We’re taking our time to get Maurice back where he once was in the heavyweight division and beyond.”
Maurice’s up-and-down career also includes victories against David Izon, Jimmy Thunder and Jeremy Williams, as well as Harris going the distance with world champions Larry Holmes and Chris Byrd.
“Floyd (Mayweather, Jr) says he goes to train at the gym like he’s poor,” Harris remarked. “Well, I’m starving. I have a family to take care of and I don’t care who they put in front of me, I’m going to beat ‘em. I’m a whole different person than I was as a young man. People looking at me now understand how hard I’m trying. I’ve even lost about 25 pounds since the beginning of the year.
“I’m sick of watching the Arreolas, Adameks and others. They’re scared to fight me. I’ve sparred with the Klitschko brothers and gave both of them problems. They’re nice guys but, hey, let the best man win if I ever get the chance to fight either one of them. The heavyweight division is open for the taking and I’m coming for their diamonds.”