LONDON (AP) - Danny Williams knocked down Audley Harrison in the 10th round en route to a split decision victory for the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight title on Saturday.
Williams, whose biggest victory was over a declining Mike Tyson last year, became the first man to beat the 2000 Olympic superheavyweight champion Harrison, whose boasts he would emulate former world and Olympic champion Lennox Lewis were dented by his first name opponent in 20 fights.
After nine rounds of poor quality boxing that had a sellout 15,000 crowd at London's ExCel Arena chanting "what a load of rubbish," Williams dropped Harrison with a right hook to his head, and Harrison sat on the canvas before getting up to beat the count.
Williams failed to follow up the knockdown, however, and Harrison came back with two hits to the chin. But it was too little too late, and two of the three British judges gave the fight to Williams.
"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)."
The contest was between two London-born heavyweights trying to make a name in a division struggling to find new stars.
Williams, now 34-5, stopped former undisputed world champion Tyson in the fourth round in the United States in July 2004, but lost to WBC champ Vitali Klitschko in Las Vegas last December.
Harrison, despite a 19-0 record before this fight, was criticized for the quality of his opponents since turning pro.
Four inches shorter than the 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) Harrison, Williams still went into the fight at his heaviest ever 272 pounds (122 kilograms), compared with the 263-pound (118-kilo) former Olympic champion who also was two years older at 34.
In a lightweight four-rounder on the undercard, Olympic silver medalist Amir Khan experienced his first roughhouse pro fight two days after his 19th birthday but beat journeyman Daniel Thorpe inside two rounds to make it four wins in a row.
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 without a reply.