What A-Farce: Harrison vs Williams

12.12.05 - By James Allan: After all the hype that went before Saturday nightís heavyweight fight between Audley Harrison and Danny Williams, it is difficult not to feel a sense of disappointment. Disappointment in how bad the fight was and disappointment in how poorly Audley performed. Audley came into this fight with a lot to prove. For the last five years he has talked a good fight, talked about how he was going to win his World title, how it was there just waiting for him to take it. He has talked disparagingly about his British rivals, how they werenít good enough to be in the same ring as him, how easily he would beat them when the time came. Hell, five years ago, before he had his first pro contest he was telling anyone who would listen about how he would be able to take Danny Williams by his fourth paid fight. Well he had chalked up nineteen fights before he took on Williams and when he finally had the chance to show that he could back up his words, what did he do? He ran, he held and he threw pitty pat jabs that did no damage to Williams at all. After all of the brave words that Audley spoke in the run up to this fight, to turn a performance like that is nothing short of diabolical.

Letís be entirely honest here, the reason that the fight was so bad was mainly down to Audley. For me Danny is not a top tier fighter and what I saw on Saturday didnít change my opinion of him. He had taken a couple of bad beatings when he had stepped up a level and I donít count the version of Mike Tyson that he beat as a level up and I also think that recently he has been too heavy coming into his fights.. I think that the extra weight he carries affects his manoeuvrability and also his stamina. He was absolutely exhausted by the end of the fight, and if he had had enough energy in his body, he could have finished Audley off in round ten. But what Danny Williams does have is heart, he proved that against Tyson and against Klitchsko, and heart was more than enough to beat Audley. Williams at least was prepared to try and punch.

I lost count of the amount of times Audley simply stepped forward and grabbed a hold of Williams. This is a guy who had a three-inch height and a five and a half inch reach advantage. By simply holding onto Williams, not only is he ruining the fight, he is also negating his best advantages. To repeat Barry McGuigan, Audley looked petrified for long periods of the fight, scared of throwing or taking punches. Audley had Danny in trouble in round 11 and round 12, so he had the power to hurt him, but by the time he got to that stage of the fight he didnít have the stamina to knock him out. Danny questioned Audleyís stamina or rather his lack of it and his courage. Looks like he got both questions right.

Danny will go on to an elimination fight against Matt Skelton now and the winner of that will probably get a shot at one of Don Kingís champions. As for Audley, well who knows? Given his performance, you have to wonder if his heart is really in the game. He doesnít need the money and he obviously doesnít crave respect otherwise he would have fought much harder than he did. He has lost the support of the British public through a combination of arrogance and greed and any future opponent Audley might have in mind could surely only take encouragement from that fight. It looks like the almost limitless possibilities that loomed in front of Audley after his Olympics win have been squandered, and he has only got himself to blame.

Article posted on 12.12.2005

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