Recalling Dennis Andries KO7 Jeff Harding – One Of The Greatest Away Wins Scored By A British Boxer

By James Slater - 07/31/2023 - Comments

There have been quite a few superb away wins scored by British fighters over the years; fights that saw the underdog British warrior go to the other guy’s home country, sometimes his backyard, and bring home the victory, and with it the title. When compiling such a list, a fan instantly thinks of the still-celebrated stunner Lloyd Honeyghan scored over a peak Don Curry, this in Atlantic City, with 8/1 dog Honeyghan ripping the welterweight title from the “unbeatable” Curry.

Older fans point to the brilliant win the brilliant Ken Buchanan scored over Ismael Laguna in Puerto Rico to bring home the world lightweight crown. Others think of the stunner John H. Stracey pulled off in Mexico City, Stracey taking the world welterweight title by retiring the legendary Jose Napoles. While others still bring up Tyson Fury’s two wins over Deontay Wilder, both scored in Las Vegas, one in 2020, one in 2021.

There are others of course, and maybe you have a favourite. Here’s mine – one of the most seemingly underrated away wins scored by one of the most underrated British fighters. It was in the month of July back in 1990 when the teak-tough, indeed the rock-like Dennis Andries, having made the long-haul flight to Australia, smashed bitter rival and fellow tough guy Jeff Harding to 7th round defeat. This was the return meeting between Andries of Hackney, London and Harding of Sydney, Australia.

In fight-one, which took place the previous June, a largely unknown Harding had shocked Andries via 12th round stoppage win to take the WBC light heavyweight title, this in Atlantic City. This was the start of one of the most savage, gruelling and thoroughly entertaining trilogies of recent times, if not of all time. Three times, these magnificently conditioned, hard-headed ring warriors went to war, with both of them having an utter refusal to give in or to even take a backwards step.

As evenly matched as any two fighters could be, Andries and Harding took each other to hell, the blood, guts and raw courage on display truly something to behold. Fight-three, won by Harding in London (this a great away win scored by an Aussie fighter) might have been the best, most punishing battle between the two, but the KO win Andries managed to score in fight-two has a special place in the hearts of British fight fans. At least it should have.

Going right back at his younger rival (by 1990, Andries was pushing 40, some said towing it, Harding was just 25), the former two-time champ turned challenger rolled the dice. Dennis’ gas tank emptied in the first fight, this after his best shots had failed to put a dent in Harding. Would the same thing happen this time? Andries, unable or unwilling to change tactics, came up a winner in round seven, this as his wild, ungainly yet power-packed right hand smacked into Harding’s skull, sending him down for the count.

Harding shook his head in a combination of bewilderment and resignation. He knew he would have to fight his career-rival once again. Andries knew it too.

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