Audley Harrison And Danny Williams - Two Fighters Going In Opposite Directions

boxingby James Slater - British heavyweights Audley Harrison and Danny Williams were expected to meet in the final of last night's instalment of "PrizeFighter;" instead the two rivals who have met twice before (one win each) never fought one another. Shocked in his first fight in the tourney by Carl Baker, Williams was decked heavily in the opening round, knocked down twice in the fight, and out-pointed over the three-rounds. Just like that, the 36-year-old's "PrizeFighter" adventure was over; as were his chances of getting it on with big Audley.

It's hard not to feel bad for Williams, now 41-8(31). Going into the tournament, "The Brixton Bomber" said he would retire if he failed to win it. As poor as he looked last night - with his punch resistance looking all but gone and his conditioning once again suspect - Danny should probably keep his word. A great servant of the sport during his fourteen year career, Williams gave it his best shot and fought some superb fighters. But now, having lost two of his last three fights, and being the age he is (ring years, with regards to wear and tear) the end looks to have arrived.

A gutsy warrior when he turned up in a good mental state, Williams can retire knowing he made his mark - on both the domestic and world scene.

As for 37-year-old Harrison, his career was given a much needed boost last night; as he wound up winning the tournament. As a result, "A-Force" once again had at least a partial right to be boastful.. Okay, Harrison, now 26-4(19) didn't defeat any world class fighters last night, but he did show punching power, the ability to remain focused and a continued desire to fight. Now having the "PrizeFighter" trophy to sit alongside his Olympic gold medal in his collection of hardware (at least Audley would have the trophy, but he announced he was to give the prize to the family of former foe Michael Sprott, who suffered a personal tragedy recently) Harrison has a right to feel good about himself again.

It's still tough to see how the athletic southpaw can achieve his dream of becoming world heavyweight champion - post-fight he again said he is sure he can do it - but maybe, just maybe, the bit of success he gained last night will see to it that Audley gets the opportunity. His fight-ending left hand to the head of the previously unbeaten Coleman Barrett was a punch of real class and it would be interesting to see how last night's T.V panellist/commentator David Haye would take a shot like that from his fellow Brit.

If Haye can beat Nikolai Valuev next month, who knows - he just might make an all-British defence against the former Olympian. Stranger things have happened, after all.

Congratulations must go out to Harrison for showing up in shape and getting the job done last night in London. At the same time, commiserations must go out to Danny Williams, who may well have fought his last fight.

Article posted on 03.10.2009

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