WAIL!... The CBZ Journal
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||One "Tap" Away from the Title
By Jim Amato
When most people think of great middleweights from Ohio during the 70's they usually focus on one time title challenger and 1968 Olympic Gold Medal winner, Ronnie Harris. As good as Ronnie was he failed miserably in his only title shot against mediocre champion Hugo Corro. At least he received a shot at the coveted crown.
Another Harris from Ohio was not quite as fortunate. Art"Tap Tap" Harris who fought out of Akron was within one fight of a possible title shot. In a 33 bout professional career Art lost only two fights yet he was unable to grasp a shot at the brass ring. Legal difficulties robbed him of four years of his career. That and his lack of punching power led to his inability to jump the last hurdle and also to his nickname,"Tap Tap".
Art was an outstanding amatuer who turned pro in 1970. He reeled off over twenty victories before his four year hiatus.Upon returning in 1976 he won ten straight leading to a match with 1972 Olympic Gold medalist Sugar Ray Seales.In a bout that was to be the last at the famous Akron Armory, Art was halted in six action packed rounds. A year later Art met future W.B.O. welterweight champion Manning Galloway for the Ohio State middleweight title. Art lost a close decision and then decided to retire.
I remember watching Art box at the Richfield Coliseum on the undercard of Earnie Shavers bout with the forgettable Edmund Parotte. Art met a tough hombre from the West Coast named Renato Garcia. What I saw that night was a true boxing exhibition. Art tamed Garcia like he was a sparring partner in winning a lopsided decision.
Losing to Sugar Ray Seales was nothing to be ashamed of. Seales was among the best middleweights of the 70's. Art Harris did Ohio and himself proud.
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