As per Thakoon, the promoter. Harrison is now unable to make it over to Thailand, and a replacement must be found.
Shame – this could have been exceptional. The previous two encounters between these multi-weight warriors were billed as “the p4p best Thai vs the p4p best from England”, or even “p4p best farang” (non-Thai). While Saenchai edged both bouts in what had been his inimitable way – before Liam imitated him, to the pleasure of the crowd – the bouts were still well contested, entertaining affairs, and the result would certainly be up in the air regardless of when these men fought.
This would have been an opportune time for a rubber match, if they were ever going to have one. Harrison ventured up as high as 67kg, where he suffered a truly disgusting robbery decision loss against Mo Khamal in the MPL, but then rebounded with a terrific victory over 11x world champion Andrei Kulebin. Prior to that, he had been competing at the weights of 61.5kg, 63kg and 65kg, facing the likes of Nampon, Sarmsamut, Anuwat, and most recently Saenchai and newly crowned WPMF champion Sagetdao, the two men who just contested the Lumpinee Stadium Lightweight title, which Saenchai won.
To put into context, these two men that Liam fought so closely with, Saenchai and Sagetdao, are the two men who both just beat Sportswriters Fighter of the Year 2012 Penek in his previous two bouts, following the award. These men are the best fighters in the world.
With Harrison being fresh on the heels of an outstanding win over Kulebin, and Saenchai the newly crowned Lumpinee Stadium Lightweight champion, the time was ripe for them to put an end to this Thailand vs. England saga, while both men are still legitimate elite and on form.
The fight would have been at 141lbs (around light-welterweight) and was set to take place on July 28th in Bangkok, on a show from promoter Thakoon Pongsupha.
It is not known who is set to replace Harrison on the card, or if Saenchai is going to participate in his absence.
Twitter @ Daniel Fletcher