One or Done! Audley Harrison, this is your life
By Coach Tim Walker -- Audley Harrison (26-4-0) is a bit of a quagmire. He is there one minute, he's gone the next. Then he's back before you know it and you find yourself asking, "Why and how?"
Article posted on 07.04.2010
I took serious notice of Audley when he faced New Yorkian, Brian Nix (18-12-0). Though Nix's record isn't stellar I always appreciated his willingness to mix it up with fighters who were obviously more talented than him. Thus when Audley beat him in three rounds my head peaked up from desk. His performance against Nix was more impressive, in my opinion, than Oleg Maskaev (36-7-0), Andrew Golota (41-8-1)and Lawrence Clay Bey's (21-3-1) wins against him. A bit later he faced the very durable, pro-like Robert Davis (32-11-0) and dominated him. Just in case you don't know Davis he is a bit of an opponent who had locked horns with nearly every heavyweight contender and a few champions at that time. I thought, "Maybe this is the next guy. The next dominate heavyweight." Without illusions, Audley has never been extremely fluid as a boxer, nor extremely powerful but seemed to have a good enough mix to make some noise. Who knew at the time that there were two sides to the Harrison coin?
Americans, to a certain degree, were somewhat unappreciative of his style because he wasn't a killer in the mold of Mike Tyson or a boxing aficionado like Lenox Lewis. Nevertheless, the stage was set and the buzz was building. After a couple of U.S. fights he matched up with fellow London-man Danny Williams (41-8-0) and American Dominick Guinn (32-6-1). The Williams fight I understood. It was a huge fight in the Common Wealth and made good business sense. Still, he lost overwhelmingly in my opinion by barely punching. The Guinn fight I understood less. Guinn may have looked prime for the picking, given that he had lost 3 of 5 leading up to the bought, but make no mistake he is a very talented fighter. The fight yielded the same result, a Harrison loss. The buzz slowly trickled down.
When the public had just about written him off, a rematch with Danny Williams resulted in a brilliant third round KO. It was only on 8 days notice and Williams wasn't in great shape but I again thought, "Okay. Maybe he's ready now." My enthusiasm was short lived. In February of 2007 he battled journeyman Michael Sprott (32-14-0) for the European Union Heavyweight Title and though he managed to drop the challenger with a nice, falling left hand in the first round he fell victim to a left hand himself in the third round that ended hopes of boxing success. Or so we thought.
Harrison decided to fight on and after a couple fights in 2008 was matched against up-in-age newcomer, Irishman, Martin Rogan (12-2-0). The take on Rogan is that he is tough as nails but under-skilled as a boxer primarily because of his late start. Though Harrison isn't supremely skilled either, he was thought to be more skilled than Rogan. Apparently someone forgot to tell Rogan that skill matters because he also managed to beat Audley.
I could keep going but the song is the same. He's in one minute, he's out the next, and back before you know it. Finally, he's at the actual retirement crossroads with his rematch fight against Michael Sprott. Sprott has fought 6 times since beating Harrison and has lost 4 of those fights. So this is really it for Audley. Either he wins or he really does go away. In his own words, "I will retire if I donít win this so we know whatís going to happen Ė Iím going to win this fight, no doubt."
Unfortunately for many of us, there is doubt. Serious doubt. One or done, Audley. One or done!
Coach Tim Walker is a contributing writer for Eastsideboxing.com and his own personal blog at boxing4life.blogspot.com welcomes comments. To suggest fighters for Monthly Stud and The Project please email firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome questions or comments.
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