Audley Harrison and the search for a foe

It isn’t Audley Harrison’s fault Martin Rogan has been forced to withdraw at the eleventh hour but there is an air of inevitability about the doom and gloom surrounding Harrison’s attempt at a comeback. Harrison cannot complain of his misfortune too much, he’s a wealthy man who has lost every fight of meaning in his professional career and aged 36 is very fortunate to be afforded the attention he still attracts.

But his promoters quest to find a man weighing more than 200lbs (1), with a winning record (2) who is willing and available to travel to the UK on one week’s notice (3) will soon require Indiana Jones, such is the paucity of candidates.

His career, now running at 7-long years of stifled progress and calamitous losses, moribund performances, ill advised munching of the hands that fed him and the obvious lack of accolades widely predicted when he won gold in Sydney, is on the precipice. One false move and the gravy-train he once referred to, will become the ghost ship.

Rogan, a fighter who earned his stripes in the Prizefighter tournament, is the type of combatant Harrison needed in about 2002 instead of a parade of less ambitious imported prop-ups but even the gutsy Irishman has now eluded him. It is a sad indictment of Harrison’s self-management that the gold medal he thumped his way to in 2000 looks likely to be the ultimate and solitary achievement in his career. At 6-6, 250 pounds and a southpaw in a shallow division, the path to a world-title shot should have been easier to travel than it has proved.

For all his critics, and he has plenty, Frank Warren would have guided him to that shot two years ago. Unquestionably. Even now, with a series of defeats and a loss of public support it isn’t beyond the powers of Frank Warren to manoeuvre Harrison in to a title shot and though he has failed repeatedly to demonstrate the fortitude and stoutness of heart to grasp such an opportunity with both hands, he could still beat the ‘right’ champion.

Now, almost back at the beginning, Harrison’s handlers are sifting through the Cliff Cousers and the Zuri Lawrences to find someone who fits the said 3 point criteria and the unspoken 4th. For the unitiated, the 4th is not to pose too much of a threat to Harrison’s fragile significance in the heavyweight landscape.

The latest whisper on the Internet, and without the time to ask Frank Warren – who doubtless wouldn’t wish to show his hand anyway – is George Arias. A Brazilian with some experience at sub-European title level.

Now which one of the four corners of the Earth would Brazil count as?

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3 thoughts on “Audley Harrison and the search for a foe

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  1. Mel….. Audley’s 2nd fight against Williams was far too overestimated for its importance.
    People geniunely thought that Audley was a world class contender after he despatched Williams in his second fight.
    The more observant of us were less impressed by the true meaning of his Williams victory.
    One look at how Williams reacted sitting on his stool thoroughout the fight already suggested that Williams wasn’t physically or mentally prepared for the fight.
    A quick victory against this type of Williams was a must for Audley, and yes to his credit that’s what Audley did, however it did little to further his credentials as a potential world class contendor.
    The UK boxing world is getting tired of waiting for the day that Audley steps in the ring with a genuine heavyweight contendor, so far Audley hasn’t fought anyone that was close to world class contention.
    All 3 Audley losses have come from fighters all of whom were outside of world contention by some distance at the time of the fights.
    Even if Audley managed to fight and beat Matt Skelton that still leaves Audley short of fighting a genuine heavyweight prospect ,as illness drained and much physically smaller Ruslan Chagaev easily outboxed Skelton.
    Being decked by the likes of average punchers like Williams and Sprott, hardly fills anyone with much confidence that he could handle punchers thrown from heavy hitters like the Klitschko’s, Peter, or even Tua and Brewster,who are still lurking in the division despite illness and unfitness issues.
    In fact Lamon Brewster would be a good opponent to test out just how Audley’s chin would react to being hit with real power….somehow though I think Audley is going to streer well clear of punchers like Brewster or Tua!

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  2. I agree, misfortune has been a regular bed-fellow for the lumbering giant. But he has, largely, been the architect of his own downfall.

    I admire his perseverance but question his heart for a real heavyweight rumble.

    A quality or asset that cannot be acquired, particularly not at 36/37 years of age.

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  3. Audley did beat Danny Williams which is arguably a meaningful fight. And to balance it out a bit, he was involved in a serious car crash which seriously hampered his comeback, and also tragicallly lost his brother. Doesn’t matter how much money you’ve made… these things are harsh.

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