Though Tyson Fury and Audley Harrison are polls apart as fighters, “A-Force” is the only previous British fighter to have shared a ring with Deontay Wilder. It was back in 2013, on the under-card of Amir Khan’s thriller with Julio Diaz that a 27-0 Wilder boxed his UK debut. He hasn’t been back since. But now, Harrison is looking with great interest like the rest of us towards this Saturday’s Wilder-Fury fight, and the retired heavyweight who was expected to achieve far more than he did achieve is leaning towards another Wilder KO.
Speaking with The Independent, Harrison, now aged 47, said he feels Fury has “rushed” his comeback by tackling Wilder after just two tune-up fights that followed a two and a-half-year layoff.
“With Wilder, it’s not just that power but it’s the explosive speed that he has that can just send you to sleep,” Harrison, who was despatched by Wilder in just 70-seconds, told the newspaper. “He can knock you out with the jab and with the right hand.He’s very ungainly and it’s hard for you to close him down. I think Deontay Wilder is, at some point, going to catch Fury whereas I don’t think Fury can knock out Wilder. He’s a dangerous heavyweight. Not only is he a quick, concussive puncher but with Mark Breland in his corner he’s got a beautiful jab.”
Harrison, a southpaw, was at the very end of his career at the time of his KO loss to Wilder, therefore it’s hard to gauge his success against Wilder in an attempt to compare how well Fury will do. Still, Harrison has felt Wilder’s brutal power up close and personal, so he knows what he’s talking about. Harrison is not alone in thinking that, at some point, Wilder will land on Fury’s chin (or maybe his body) – it’s what happens then that is the big, big question mark next to this fight; one of its selling points even.
Harrison feels Fury’s inevitable ring-rust will affect him in a serious way on Saturday night in Los Angeles (where Audley calls home these days). Can Fury, after all he’s been through since his massive upset win over Wladimir Klitschko, outbox Wilder? Like many people, Harrison says this is his best chance of a win. But has Fury rushed into this fight a bout or two too soon?
With Wilder, as powerful as he is, anything is possible and that includes a quick, first-round KO win against Fury. It really would be something if Wilder did manage to replicate the performance he gave when he last fought a British fighter. If he does make short work of Fury, there will be one obvious British heavyweight under immense pressure to fight the WBC ruler next.