Haye, Apollo Creed, Lennox, Rocky and Audley; the truth

AudleyIt is hard to evaluate Audley Harrison either as a fighter or an individual. I don’t know the man, I shook hands with him once and I worked for his website for a while but I don’t really know him. As a fighter he has failed to live up to his claims or supposed potential. Not even the most vehement Audley supporter – and there are precious few of those remaining – could claim otherwise.  Now, at the grand old age of 37, with a humiliating loss to Martin Rogan in his last appearance in front of a booing crowd, Harrison has sunk to digging up camp stories from 2006 in a bid to tempt David Haye into a marking-time fight. Aside from saying “Big Issue” on a street corner or entering the Big Brother house I don’t believe the once favourite son of British Boxing can fall further.

If Audley remains of interest, he followed up yesterday’s vague tale of hurt pride and broken friendship with the new darling of British boxing by regaling the public with what truly went on during his 2006 spar with Haye, with then mentor Lennox Lewis in attendance. As always Audley shows a level of emotional sensitivity that provides as insightful a window on his failings as a professional as the sum total of injuries, bad luck or promotional distraction he always alludes too. It demonstrates why big Danny Williams said of Audley’s after his first handful of fights, that “he [Audley] is not a true professional, he’s just a celebrity boxer”. Something Audley’s use of Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa to characterise his relationship with Haye does little to suppress.

His one saving grace, considering the wealth he has accumulated and the grumbling derision he frequently encounters, is his perseverance. He refuses to go away.

Take from Audley’s own website:

AUDLEY SPEAKSI wanted to give some more details about my sparring session with David Haye and why I say he took liberties in trying to blast me out.After my first lost to Danny Williams, my confidence was low and I went to Miami to hook up with Lennox and try to get my mojo back. I was with my training team and had just signed to fight Dominic Guinn for April 14th. It was early March and we were running along the beach in the morning and we bump into David who was training there and was also running. We talked and as David was nearing the end of camp for his fight back in London, we agreed to speak later as we didn’t want cool down.Bear in mind, I hadn’t done any boxing specific training since December and I was really looking to get my fire back and utilise the advice of Lennox. I believe it was 2 weeks later when Lennox told me he was leaving town and wanted to see me spar before he left town. We arranged for a novice pro who was in the gym to move around with me and we set it up for that evening.David called and asked what I was up to and I told him what was planned for that evening. David had never come to my gym before while we were there, he trained elsewhere.He gave no indication that he wished to come to the spar, so I never expected him and Adam to turn up and ask to spar. Regardless, I said no problems as I thought it would be good for Lennox to have a look at him (as far as I’m aware, David nor his side kick Adam had met Lennox before this day).

I did 3 rounds with the novice and then David stepped in. I noticed he was jumping up and down and looking really animated. It was 2 weeks away from his fight and he was at the end of his camp. Round 1: David came out throwing combinations, 3 and 4 at a time; I was so slow, I couldn’t even keep up with him. Wave after wave of punches came my way; he wasn’t holding back. I kept my guard tight and looked for an opening but couldn’t get off. The onslaught continued for 3 rounds and I hardly landed a shot on him.

My team looked at me like what the f..k was that about?. Was I embarrassed? HELL YES! Lennox said not to worry, as it was my first spar and that I’ll get better. Unfortunately, this set the mood for camp and I never got off first base. So that’s another reason why I want to get David in the ring, as I believe his actions on that day impacted my whole training camp and I boxed Dominic Guinn still low on confidence. I will say this, David has never hurt me all the many times we have boxed; I don’t think he can say the same.

In Rocky 3, Apollo Creed helps Rocky gets back his mojo and does what true friends do and helps him re build his confidence. I got there in the end by myself, but I should have seen David for what he was then. If you really look at David’s set up, it has got A Force written all over it. I have given David so much and have wanted nothing in return. The student may be the star today, but he has forgotten who his master was on his way up. Well, like in Rocky 5, the old master still has some game, so if you and WLAD do not happen, I’m here and waiting.

A FORCE

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