Boxing: Harrison fights to save heavyweight career

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The plan was for Audley Harrison to fight for a world title this summer but instead he will be fighting for his career when he meets Dominick Guinn at the Aqua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, California, tonight.

Both Harrison and Guinn were heavyweight boxing's leading contenders two years ago and tonight's fight was first mentioned as some type of world heavyweight title unification but how wrong everybody was.

Last December Harrison fought a disgraceful fight and lost on points to Danny Williams in London and Guinn, after 24 unbeaten fights, has hit a bad patch and won just once in his last five outings.

The loser of tonight's fight has nowhere to go in a sport that is starting to look very light in the contender department. At present it is possible to argue that the leading four contenders in professional heavyweight boxing are all from former Soviet republics.

The loss to Williams so brutally exposed Harrison's fragile boxing ambitions that it looked unlikely at the time that he would even dare climb back through the ropes. However, Harrison has always been a good talker and he simply refuses to accept that his dismal performance has in any way altered his plans to become the sport's No 1 heavyweight.

In many ways Guinn has even more to lose if he fails to beat Harrison this evening. Guinn's last two defeats were against James Toney, one of the sport's better heavyweights, and Sergey Liakhovich, who two weeks ago won the World Boxing Organisation heavyweight title, and compared to men like this a loss to Harrison would be seen as a very serious setback.

Harrison, however, knows that a stoppage win would go a long way to erasing the memory of the shocker against Williams.