Audley Harrison MBE, Commonwealth Games gold medalist, the first British fighter to win an Olympic gold in the superheavyweight division and the first boxer in Britain to sign a direct broadcast deal, was once regarded as the hottest British boxing prospect.
However, anyone unfortunate enough to have witnessed the pathetic demise of Harrison in recent years will feel embarrassed to have ever held this man in such high regard.
The boxing industry is notoriously fickle, but Harrison’s latest defeat, a woeful display of ultimate cowardice, served to expose his true incapability and confirm the end of his career in the most dire of circumstances.
In November 2010, Harrison was blown over by loudmouth David Haye in the third round of a world-title fight, with statistics showing him to have thrown just one solitary punch before being knocked out.
Boxing’s thug, Dereck Chisora, claimed, “It was pathetic. He disgraced himself and he disgraced British heavyweights.” Angry spectators called for Harrison to loose his purse and although the BBBC withdrew it in part pending investigation, he later received his payment in full.
May 2012 saw Harrison fight Ali Adams at Brentwood Centre in Essex – hardly a glitz and glam affair – and he was dominated in the opening four rounds, before eventually throwing a successful combination, causing the referee to stop the fight in Harrison’s favour. A far from convincing performance against an inconsequential opponent.
A fortnight ago, Harrison met David Price and crumbled upon first real contact with Price’s gloves, with 1 minute 38 seconds still remaining in the first round. His body language conveyed fear, a lack of conviction and after 82 seconds, whilst on the canvas, a lifeless mess.
Harrison has since taken to Twitter to state: “Despite the haters …I’ve had a good journey, truly am grateful for my blessing & give all praise to jah, god, universe. Rolling the dice! A decision has come from above. He told me son ‘lace up your gloves’ your time as a boxer is not quite done, so go out there & have some fun. Its official… I’ve decided to carry on. One more shot at glory. It could be over; next fight will tell me. See u in a ring real soon. Nite”.
Simply put, not even the most proficient promoters in the business could market Harrison as a threat to a credible opponent ever again. The man has lost all respect and the only opportunity of retaining what little pride he may have, is to walk away.
With Ricky Hatton’s pointless comeback imminent, a bankrupt Evander Holyfield begging for a fight before he turns 50 and ex-England cricketer, Andrew Flintoff, due to take on his first opponent in his new sport of choice, it would appear Harrison may not be the only laughing stock of 2012. But, he will definitely be the biggest.
Written by Dom Wallace
Sport 4 Thought