Haye v Harrison: A Great Victory For UFC

By John Wight: Two men attempted to impersonate world heavyweight championship fighters in front of 20,000 spectators at the MEN Arena in Manchester tonight. Both failed dismally. How else to sum up the overhyped fight between David Haye and Audley Harrison for the WBA title? It was a disgrace of a fight and a disaster for boxing, and both fighters should get on their knees and apologise for stinking up the sport, just before refunding the ticket money of every one of the 20,000 who splashed their hard earned cash, as well as the thousands who were persuaded to stump up fifteen quid to watch it on PPV.

Audley Harrison should be chased out of Britain and never allowed to return. In the weeks leading up to this fiasco he’d regaled us again and again with his promise to KO his opponent and finally realise his destiny. In three rounds of boxing in which he threw three jabs he did just that when he left the ring as a bum after going down to defeat by TKO at the end of Haye's one and only flurry of punches.

This fight was so bad that the Puerto Rican referee stopped proceedings in the second round to instruct both men to start boxing. Imagine it: a heavyweight championship fight and the referee feels compelled to order both boxers to start trading punches.

Harrison came into the ring at just over 18 stones, the bulk of it lean muscle. It’s just a pity that the one muscle he does not possess is a heart. Content to stand in front of Haye with his hands held high and out in front of his face, he looked like a man waiting for his father to arrive to rescue him from his kid brother.

But of course he wasn’t waiting for his father or anyone else to arrive, for this was pantomime, a pre rehearsed and scripted performance designed with the objective of a fat pay cheque and nothing else. In fact, the doctor performing his post fight medical hopefully remembered to check Harrison's back to make sure a spine runs down it.

Suddenly, after weeks of ‘bad blood’ between both fighters, David Haye announces in his post fight interview that he’d like to take Audley out for a drink. Come on, man, you’re having a laugh.

It pains me to say it, but all the fans who’d allowed themselves to be sucked in and actually thought they might actually be treated to a contest can consider themselves mugs. And in this I include myself.

David Haye and Adam Booth can be justly proud of the con trick they managed to pull off in Manchester. For make no mistake this to them was about nothing more complicated than an easy payday. But as the man says: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

The crescendo of boos that erupted as soon as the referee stopped the fight was evidence that where David Haye is concerned his time of being able to boast that he’s the greatest things since penicillin, the man to end the dominance of the Klitschkos, is well and truly over. Instead, he should be hanging his head in shame at tonight’s antics. At least when Dick Turpin robbed the public he had the decency to wear a mask.

The sport of boxing demands and deserves more respect than it got tonight from David Haye and Audley Harrison.

Let’s hope we never see anything like it again.

Article posted on 14.11.2010

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