It’s hard to believe that after over 100 years of boxing that some fighters actually think they can win a fight without throwing punches. You can add British heavyweight Audley Harrison (27-5, 20 Kos) to this list. In fact, you may want to put him at the top of it after his embarrassing and shameful performance at the M.E.N. arena in Manchester, England on Nov. 13 where he was knocked out by WBA Heavyweight Champion David Haye (25-1, 23 Kos) in the third round.
What makes this performance by Harrison so pathetic is the fact he landed one solitary punch in the whole fight. This has to be a world record when it comes to ineptitude in a boxing ring and the one shot that did land was a grazing right jab. Harrison’s paycheck should be frozen after this performance and an investigation wouldn’t be unwarranted. Haye joked after the fight that his friends and himself bet on a third round KO and by the looks of things Harrison might have as well. If Harrison does get paid, the money should be donated to charity as he didn’t earn a penny of it.
Harrison and Haye spent the last six or seven weeks shooting off their mouths all over Britain and the bout was hyped all over the media for weeks as the biggest British heavyweight bout since Lennox Lewis stopped frank Bruno in 1993. They actually did a good job of selling the fight, which was a pretty hard job as Harrison, a former Olympic Super Heavyweight Champion, has a reputation of being somebody who has wasted away a promising career despite his physical attributes. To put it mildly, he’s somebody who shows a lack of passion, aggressiveness and heart in a boxing ring.
Still, 20,000 fans jammed the arena, and the booing started in the first round due to the lack of action. It continued throughout the second round as well as nothing of significance was thrown by either fighter. However, Haye decided he was going to put his much bigger and heavier opponent away in the third round and he opened up with a barrage of punches that sent Harrison reeling to the mat.
He managed to get up for some reason, it definitely wasn’t to fight, and Haye proceeded to batter him with a few more shots until referee Luis Pabon stepped in and to everyone’s relief halted the bout at the 1:53 mark of the third round. If Harrison thought the booing was bad, he should have heard the television commentary after the bout as former world champions Barry McGuigan, Lennox Lewis, and Johnny Nelson tore him to shreds with their analysis of the fight.
McGuigan put it best when he said Harrison was “delusional” when it comes to assessing his career as a boxer. He pointed out that Harrison had all of the advantages in the bout, such as reach, height, and weight, and he has failed every time he had a chance to do something with his career. The commentators agreed that Harrison has had enough chances to redeem himself for a wasted career and retirement is the only option left for the 39-year-old.
While Harrison may be a fine gentleman out of the ring, he truly put on one of the worst performances in the history of boxing against Haye. It’s hard to believe that anybody, let alone a professional boxer wouldn’t punch back while somebody was wailing away on their head. It’s just natural instinct. But he wasted a shot at a heavyweight title that others spill their sweat and blood for and only dream of getting. It’s obvious Harrison has never heard of the expression “Go down fighting.”
As for Haye, it’s not too hard to win a fight against an opponent who doesn’t fight back. He’ll be looking to get one of the Klitschko brothers in the ring in 2011 to unify some of the belts.