Williams wins Commonwealth heavyweight title

LONDON -- Danny Williams knocked down Audley Harrison in the 10th round Saturday and won a split decision to claim the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight title.

Williams, whose biggest victory came against Mike Tyson last year, beat the 2000 Olympic superheavyweight champion Harrison, who had claimed he'd emulate former world and Olympic champion Lennox Lewis.

Two of the three British judges gave the bout to Williams.

As the sellout crowd of 15,000 at London's ExCel Arena chanted "What a load of rubbish!" Williams dropped Harrison with a right hook to the head, and Harrison sat on the canvas before getting up and beating the count.

Williams failed to follow the knockdown, and Harrison countered with two punches to the chin.

"A loss doesn't ruin my career," Harrison said. "I'll figure out the mistakes and we'll be back, definitely."

Williams said Harrison didn't appear to have any confidence.

"He was very scared," Williams said. "He just seemed as if he didn't want to get hit. Although Audley's a tremendous boxer I don't think he has the bottle [courage]."

Williams, who improved to 34-5, stopped Tyson in the fourth round in July 2004 but lost to WBC champ Vitali Klitschko in Las Vegas last December.

Harrison, who slipped to 19-1, had been criticized for the quality of his opponents since turning pro.

Four inches shorter than the 6-foot-5 Harrison, Williams went into the fight at a career high of 272 pounds. The 34-year-old Harrison was at 263 pounds.

In a lightweight four-round bout on the undercard, Olympic silver medalist Amir Khan stopped journeyman Daniel Thorpe for his fourth straight fight.

Referee Richie Davies twice warned the fighters for illegal use of elbows and hitting after the break before Khan floored Thorpe with a short right, seconds before the end of the opening round.

Two more rights put Thorpe down midway through the second and Davies called a halt while Khan, regarded as Britain's best young fighter for a decade, was landing fast combinations.