Love him, hate him, ignore him, beat him, write him off, mock him, chastise him, heck, tie an anvil to each ankle and drop him in the Thames. It wouldn’t matter, Big Audley would still be believing, still fighting, still chasing the dream. I’m beginning to think Harrison has special powers, the hide of a Rhino, the defiance of the Black Knight and will of Arnie’s Terminator. Despite being jeered to and from the ring, despite failing to overwhelm a man he outweighed by 3 stone and despite the proximity of his 37th birthday, Audley will not give up.
Perhaps only Evander Holyfield can match Harrison’s depth of denial. Regardless of the reaction of fans and writers, Harrison will not be persuaded to retire, to stop pestering the consciousness of fight fans with his supposed journey to the heavyweight title and redemption. Speaking on his own website, audleyharrison.com, not dot co dot uk you notice, Harrison tried manfully to argue the merit of his performance on Saturday, a 10 round victory over Brazil’s George Arias. He does offer some valid evidence for his satisfaction with his first outing since February 2007.
Harrison has always been loquacious about his horizons, in part because of his natural confidence but also because the Gold medal he won in Sydney 8 long years ago meant a microphone was never far away. If he started now, I don’t think he could wrestle the Lonsdale belt from Danny Williams in 5 more fights and he’s 7 years on from famously proclaiming he could win the British title within 5 fights of his debut.
A British title strikes me as a very creditable goal from his present position as an exposed 30-something but Harrison remains adamant World-titles remain within his grasp. Rumours of clashes with Nicolay Valuev, James Toney and Sam Peter have all variously done the rounds despite Harrison injuries, inactivity and poor form. I guess that gold medal still carries some kudos. Without it, Harrison would be a peripheral curiosity. A Johnny Nelson without the redemption. Joe Bugner without Cooper, Frazier and Ali.
Perversly, he might have been more popular.
Taken from www.audleyharrison.com
A solid victory over a guy whose defence was major tight and game plan was all about not getting tagged by my crisp shots. He was always tucking into a shell, avoiding my shots. With 50 fights under his belt, he has learned to do that well. I started to drop my hands and let him hit me clean (I felt he couldn’t hurt me), as I wanted him to get confidence letting his right go, so I could walk him onto my cross, but he was quickly into defence and got away or came close and sat on my chest.
I thought my boxing was good and I tried to keep my work rate steady throughout the fight. I mixed up punches to head and body and felt a little off with my timing, which ultimately saved him from eating a clean cross or my uppercut.
I sometimes feel there is a conspiracy against me which only strengthens my resolve to succeed.
Fact: Arias fought Tares Bidenko in his last fight before me and went the distance. Bidenko is ranked 4 in WBA. Arias fought Sinan Samil Sam and lost on points. Sam is ranked number 12 by WBA. Arias was stopped in four by Juan Carlos Gomez in a bout he protested bitterly about when getting stopped. Gomez is ranked WBC number 2. He also fought Owen Beck who was ranked and 18-0 at the time and went the distance. He stopped one time prospect Steffen Nielson in 3 rounds when he was 21-1 (other loss to Julius Francis who scored an upset win in 6).
His weight was 212 for this fight which is 7 pounds lighter than his heaviest weight, suggesting he was in shape and prepared to go the distance. Tell it like it is and cut me some slack.
I thought the crowd was harsh to be booing from the 2nd round, but I stayed focused and stuck to the game plan. Styles make fights, these guys with quick hands, tight defence, who are small in stature, are not ideal opponents for me in terms of re- building my image. I’m disappointed that this guy was the choice. I didn’t even get a video of him, so had to take a few rounds to look at him, before I went to work. I’m prepared to fight the guys they want me to fight, but guys like this, it is hard to look good against, so you just have to get the victory and move on.
I’ll be back in the ring before December against a more meaningful opponent and intend to be sharper and busier. In reality, this is my first real contest since February 2007. I give myself a B –
Onwards and upwards towards that title
‘Yes I Can’