The fact a 35 year old fighter is still consider unfulfilled and news of his latest comeback remains newsworthy is a damning endictment of a 2007 heavyweight division unable to summon a decisive fighter to render these veteran retreads redundant. But in an era where Evander Holyfield, Oliver McCall and Henry Akinwande are all arguably only one victory from a title shot, perhaps Audley Harrison has every right to believe he still has time to deliver on the potential his 2000 Olympic Gold suggested he had – the latest news on Big Aud still, despite everything, carries weight. Potential doesn’t win fights, nor does a soggy jab or poor preperation bu there remains enough sizzle in the flashes of quality he’s demonstrated in the six years since he turned professional to keep the diehards interested. Though most are safely sectioned following the spanking Michael Sprott administrated there remain rogue supporters still willing to counternance success for the big Londoner.
The emphatic beating of an unmotivated and frankly fat Danny Williams sustains these lonesome figures. Sadly, heavyweight champions – even in these lean times – are not created by rhetoric and press releases. Unavoidable is the requirement to beat a legitimate contender or two, even those of mediocre punch and puddle deep stamina residing in the top tens of the various sanctioning bodies.
Honestly, such is the paucity of talent that Mother Hubbard may yet make the next rankings committee meeting.
For those troubles souls still aligning themselves with the Harrison ‘Gravy Train’, and I was once in his employ over at the audleyharrison.com website, the big man plans to return in September. A July return, against Danny Williams, was rejected by the rejuvenated British champion and though the positive spin Torrence is promoting; that Harrison stepped sideways to allow stablemate Vassiley Jirov to enjoy his full focus is admirable – the truth is, Harrison needed to be active before the summer break. The comments from Torrence certainly suggest Harrison’s brief affiliation to Buddy McGirt appears to have been the most fleeting partnership since Alex Arthur and Freddie Roach, and Thel Torrence will once again oversee Harrison preperation. The track record is patchy at best.
Speaking to Eastside Boxing, Thell provides clear insight into the Harrison career thus far; suggesting “Sometimes that [defeat] works as a wake-up call and allows you to go back to first base, and focus on being a fighter primarily. ” The last few words of that fitting nicely with Danny Williams 2002 analysis that Harrison didn’t have the stomach for a professional career and was, in truth, a celebrity boxer.
Torrence, who also wrestles with the ambitions of Riddick Bowe, goes on to suggest that if the lesson is learned Harrison still has potential in the division; “I think he is smarter then he has been before. The saying goes “Lose the fight but don’t lose the lesson,” and that being the case, I think I have his undivided attention now, and we will see what happens in his next bout.”
Occasionally, the most obvious conclusion – that Harrison lacks the stomach and dedication for professional boxing – is the right one. Of course, that doesn’t mean there are not plenty of observers, vested and otherwise, willing to suggest another, more sophsticated outcome is still possible.
But as someone, somewhere once said “If it looks like a dog, barks like a dog and smells like a dog. It’s a dog.”