Harrison Clash Is Insult To All Boxing Fans

Posted: September 9, 2010 in Boxing
Tags: , , ,

David Haye’s announcement that Audley Harrison would be his next opponent for the WBA World Heavyweight Championship surprised nobody, but has annoyed people around the boxing world.

Anyone with any remote knowledge about the sport of boxing will know that Audley Harrison has done nothing to earn a shot at the title.

So his rise to title contender is a slap in the face of any boxing fan.

Whilst everyone looked at the exciting prospect of Haye facing one of the Klitschko brothers in a unification bout for one of the other heavyweight division belts, he has in fact opted for a fighter he himself regards as ‘a joke’.

Wladimir Klitschko in particular recorded a video calling out the Hayemaker, but the earning potential wasn’t enough for Haye, so the former Olympic gold medallist was drafted in instead.

Harrison will be 39 when the fight takes place in November. Now I’m not saying age should come into play when deciding title contenders, and fighters older than Harrison have earned a shot.

But Harrison has always been slow around the ring, bringing a cumbersome approach to things. His attack consists solely of a left hook, which whilst devastating as it is when it connects, can be countered by a fighter of any remote intelligence.

Harrison’s only plus point is that he is difficult to knock out. Only once in his professional career has he been stopped before the bell, losing by technical knockout to Michael Sprott in 2007.

Since that defeat, he has generally only competed in the Prizefighter tournaments, which even saw him lose a fight on points to Martin Rogan, whose main source of income is from his taxi service in Belfast.

He may have won European gold last year, but this is the big leagues now. There is a whole different breed of fighter in the world circuit and Harrison just isn’t up to that challenge.

Everyone knows that this fight will not be level. Promoter Frank Warren has issued his fury at this bout taking place, as it appears that Haye is just putting off a clash with the powerful Kilitschko brothers.

Haye’s own reasons simply seem to involve ‘closing the chapter’ and ‘shutting Harrison up’. These aren’t valid reasons to set up a title fight.

So essentially, this fight is about revenge. Revenge for all the talking Harrison has done since Haye’s rise to prominence. Simply to prove himself to the one person that seems to doubt his ability.

It is very unfair to pursue such a personal vendetta, especially on the paying fans who want to see a contest.

Like or not, boxing is in the entertainment industry now and bouts should be organised with the interest of the fans, promoters and media in mind.

Organising a fight like this is so dismissive of those major stakeholders in the sport. There is no contest here, no epic tussle, not even a shred of competition.

Haye himself claims it will be ‘as one-sided as gang-rape’. So organising it for the prestigious award of a title belt is unfair on anyone who will be looking on from outside the ring. 

  1. CJ Barnes says:

    I disagree with it being unfair on the fans. They will only pay to watch the fight if they want to see it. They are not being held at gunpoint! It is only like fans paying to watch top sides play lower league clubs in cup competition or gladitorial battles against bears! But yes it should be one-sided. David Haye is good around the ring, and will be much too fast for the aging, lumbering harrison.

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