Where next for Audley Harrison?
By Henry Farmer: Setbacks just pave the way for comebacks, The famous words of Audley Harrison that resonated round the York Hall, Bethnal Green, London last Saturday night after the 41 year old Harrison found himself a 2 times prizefighter champion. Audley came in to the ring lighter than he ever has in his career and looked, rejuvenated, relaxed and better than he has in a long time in stopping both Clause Bertino and Derric Rossy and revenging his 2008 loss to Martin Rogan with relative ease.
The question is, where does he go from here? Did we see a glimpse of a man destined to for another chance at the world title that he has long craved, or just smoke and mirrors from a man fighting many levels below his ability?
Many people will look at him and say that he has had his chances and blown them at every given opportunity. He had his title shot against David Haye, froze and barely threw a punch in losing by 3rd round knockout. Then when he stepped up again against David Price he again suffered another early knockout loss, this time in the first round. People will always ask, “does he deserve another shot?” and rightly so. But what can not be questioned is the mans ability to get people interested, sell tickets and drive up the viewing figures.
His charisma and enthusiasm make him a worthwhile punt for any promoter in my opinion and there are certainly fights out there for him at least at domestic level. David Price just suffered a knockout to American Tony Thompson and will be looking to get back on form at lower level. Dereck Chisora is coming off a string of losses at world level and would be a massive ticket seller as well as another big name in Tyson Fury.
Outside of the Uk there is talk of another Olympic medalist Alexander Povetkin fighting for an interim title before a clash with Wladimir klitschko. The smaller Povetkin doesn’t have the sort of weight in his shots that the likes of Price and Haye do and could give Harrison a real chance to get into the fight. Any of those fights would be a big payday for Audley Harrison and if he could carry on his prizefighter form, relax in the ring and let go that big left hand that we all know that he carries then there is a chance for the upset in any one of those fights.
People will always question his heart in the ring, but to come back from the criticism that he has received from the press and public alike with the spirit he has, I think shows tremendous courage. It has never been difficult to criticize Audley Harrison, but to come back from those devastating losses and reinvent himself the way that he has. Go back to the drawing board, travel to America to get that all important sparring at the top level. One can only stand back and admire his tenacity. Will he ever fight for that world title he has so often promised us? If he can fight and beat one of those names I mentioned before, then who knows? Stranger things have happened.
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