"Danny's an underachiever. Whenever the time has come for him to step up and show what he's got he has failed." - Audley Harrison, November 15th 2005
How quickly things change eh? Just shy of a month has passed and Audley Harrison's words have come back to haunt him. It's no disgrace to drown when the waters get deep, but to refuse to swim is criminal and Audley Harrison has been caught bang to rights
Watching Harrison?s ring walk. I was reminded of Frank Bruno as he surrendered his WBC title to Mike Tyson. Both Harrison and Bruno came in stretching and rotating their jaws in an effort to produce a little moisture; their drying mouths a symptom of being petrified at what awaited them.
For ten rounds Audley Harrison took cautiousness to new levels. If the primary objective is to hit and not get hit, Audley Harrison sacrificed the first part in an effort to ensure the second; you know its bad when a fighter's lead punch is to grab. Williams lit the touch paper on the contest in the tenth when he dropped Harrison with an overhand right, whilst Audley was stunned and suffering from fatigue I didn?t share the ITV commentary teams opinion that he was out on his feet or in cloud cuckoo land or any other euphemism you care to add.
In dropping Harrison, Williams forced Audley to fight, and to be fair he did?a bit, he landed some perfectly timed shots that certainly got Danny Williams attention although Harrison was either too tired or more
likely too afraid to go for broke and Williams ran out the winner by split decision.
Danny Williams said all along that Audley Harrison is a celebrity boxer and that he didn?t really want to fight. How right he was. Hold a gun to his head and Audley will fight, but given the choice he would pick flight over fight any day of the week. Audley is supremely gifted yet fatally flawed, he has zero confidence in his ability to take a punch and no desire to get his hands dirty, and I struggle to see where he goes from here.
Whilst he is quick to tell us that he will be back and that Frank Bruno needed four attempts to win a world title, he should remember that Bruno was done with boxing at the age of 34, at the same amount of years Audley Harrison finds himself back at square one.
"The greatest test of courage on the earth is to bear defeat without losing heart." - R. G. Ingersoll.
What happens if you never had the heart to begin with?
Contact Matt Cotterell: email@example.com