Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Harrison, sadly, unretires again
By Dan Rafael
Heavyweight Audley Harrison, long ago dubbed "Fraudley" by the media for his massive underachievement, is now just a sad joke in boxing.
Harrison (31-7, 23 KOs) won a 2000 Olympic super heavyweight gold medal for Great Britain and arrived on the pro scene with enormous potential. It went unfulfilled -- and dramatically so.
He never had a breakout win, yet still got a world title shot against David Haye, who cherry-picked him and won by third-round knockout in a fight so horrible that British fans revolted and caused Sky Sports to stop broadcasting pay-per-view boxing for a while.
Harrison thankfully retired. But he came back 16 months later, beat nobody and then got whacked in the first round by hot prospect David Price in October.
After winning an edition of the "Prizefighter" competition, Harrison got obliterated by Deontay Wilder in the first round on April 27.
On May 1, Harrison announced his retirement again. Good, I thought. He should have stayed retired after the Haye embarrassment.
But on Tuesday -- just 20 days after retiring a second time -- Harrison announced that he is unretiring.
Harrison claims that the birth of his son last week helped him make the decision.
"When I made the tough decision to walk away from boxing, I knew it was not going to be easy. As the days passed, I knew I would not be able to live with the decision," he said in a long-winded statement. "I wrestled with it for a few weeks and spoke to everyone from the [British] Boxing Board, to Lennox Lewis, David Haye, my dad, wife and many others. Ultimately, seeing my son born crystallized my decision.
"There is no way I am going to tell my son, 'I gave up because I didn't want to climb the mountain again, I didn't want to dust myself off again, when I'm now in the best shape of my career, doing things I haven't done for years, and back in love with the sport.' How can I retire when I know I have another shot in me? If I don't get up and try again, everything I've stood for would mean nothing."
Does Harrison actually believe that? He has been knocked out four times, all inside three rounds. And when Harrison, who has no chin whatsoever, gets knocked out, he really gets knocked out. In splattering fashion.
For him to seriously think he will ever get another big-time fight, or even have a prayer of winning one, is just sad. Seriously, who would pay 10 cents to see him fight again? Yet here comes more gibberish from his statement:
"We all saw how the fight [with Wilder] ended, which was not right," Harrison said. "I can't walk away with that performance. If I do, it would haunt me until I'm old and gray. I got up. They should have let him come to finish me and let me show what I got."
Show what I got? Really? REALLY?
Harrison had absolutely nothing, which was exactly why Golden Boy Promotions settled on him as the opponent for Wilder. He was a decent name who presented no real danger to the undefeated prospect.
"People who worry I may get hurt, I thank you for your concerns," Harrison continued. "We live in a free society, and my desire for freedom and autonomy is my universal right. Don't know where, but see you in a ring real soon."
And then, without question, we'll see "Fraudley" flat on his back yet again.