- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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From 1998 to 2002, Harry Simon was one of the best junior middleweights and middleweights in the world. He was a good puncher with solid skills and a crowd-pleasing style.
More than a decade later, Simon (27-0, 20 KOs), who is from the African country of Namibia, remains undefeated but with potential that will never be fulfilled now that he is 41.
In 1998, Simon edged a prime Winky Wright via majority decision to claim a junior middleweight title and made four defenses. Simon was even beginning to gain steam on American television. Showtime had interest in him and put Simon on twice, against Rodney Jones in a 2000 title defense and when he moved up to middleweight and beat Hacine Cherifi in 2001 in a clear decision for an interim belt at middleweight. Simon was going places, so it seemed.
But after Simon outpointed then-undefeated Armand Krajnc in April 2002 for a middleweight belt, he wouldn't be seen in the ring again until 2007. Simon was badly injured in a 2002 car wreck in Namibia that left three others dead. He wound up serving time in prison because of the crash, convicted on "culpable homicide."
He launched a comeback in 2007, but fought just once and then didn't fight again until 2010. Simon won twice that year and had one more fight in 2012. Now he's giving it a go yet again.
Simon is scheduled to face Zoltan Kiss Jr. (28-14, 12 KOs) in a scheduled eight-rounder on June 29 in Windhoek, Namibia. The fight, according to promoter Kinda Boxing Promotion, is supposed to be a tune-up fight for a 12-rounder on July 27 in which Simon is supposed to fight for a regional title.
Perhaps Simon could keep racking up wins against lesser opponents in Namibia for years to come, but we will never know just how good he could have been. At one point long ago, however, it looked like he was indeed very, very good.