Boxing: Harrison roars back into contention

Discredited heavyweight prospect wreaks revenge on Williams as Amir learns from points victory

Audley Harrison sought redemption and won respect when he reversed his defeat of exactly a year ago over Danny Williams here last night. The former Olympic super heavyweight champion not only atoned for that abysmal performance but was a revelation as he battered the former British champion Williams to defeat in three bloody rounds.

Last year's encounter was a recipe for insomnia. Last night it was Williams who was almost put to sleep with one of the most ferocious attacks that Harrison has thrown in his professional career. Harrison's return was marked by a change of tactics, which saw him adopt the role of aggressor from the first bell. He initially damaging Williams' nose with his constant southpaw jab, an injury which caused the referee Richie Davies to call for a doctor in the second round.

Williams was allowed to continue but in the third the towering Harrison let rip with two left uppercuts that sent Williams tumbling down. He rose to take an eight count but a further flurry had him reeling again and Davies waved Harrison away after 2min 32sec of round three to celebrate a revenge that surely could not have tasted sweeter.

"Everyone has written me off but I'm up here, standing again," declared Harrison, who must have thought he had landed on his feet by getting this reprise against Williams after original opponent Matt Skelton withdrew with a mysterious hand injury. "I wasn't in the right place a year ago and it showed up in the ring. I came back today with my closet cleared out, I want to fight and all I ask is that people let me go on in my career. My goal is to be heavyweight champion."

Harrison had desperately needed to prove that at 35 he still has the stomach for a fight and the will to stretch himself towards a world title shot. But the A Force still has some way to go before he is back on the A list. Williams, at 19st 1lb, was 21 pounds lighter than when he lost to Skelton but even so he seemed slow and sluggish, and this time did not possess the armoury to prevent Harrison's remarkable resurrection.

While it lasted, the fight was a rumbustious bar-room brawl of a scrap but Harrison this time showed he had the heart that many had questioned since he turned professional. It was by far the most impressive victory of his career. As for Williams, the one time conqueror of Mike Tyson, it seems he is now the one who has nowhere left to go.

Acquiring his first title ­ though the IBF light-welterweight belt is actually more of a label ­ was the icing on the 20th birthday cake for Amir Khan. But he had to work the hardest of his 10-bout career to achieve it against the Frenchman Rachid Drilzane, even suffering the indignity of a seventh-round knockdown before claiming a unanimous points victory on the scorecards of all three judges.

The only round Amir lost was that seventh, when he fell victim to what in boxing terms is called a "flash knockdown", being caught near the ropes by a right hook as he slipped. Although Amir protested, referee Paul Thomas correctly insisted on giving him a standing count as his gloves had touched the floor.

Apart from that, it was an exemplary exhibition by the boy from Bolton, taken beyond six rounds for the first time. Yet he could not wipe the ever present smile off the face of the man from Marseilles. It was a worthy test. We know Amir has the skills, now we know he has the stamina.

Glasgow's John Simpson won the British featherweight title at the third attempt, stopping the unbeaten holder, Andy Morris of Manchester, near the end of the fifth round. Morris had sustained a lacerated left eyebrow and was ruled unable to continue.

Nicky Cook, who was to have challenged for the world featherweight title before the WBO (now AWOL) champion Scott Harrison fell off the wagon on the way to the last-chance saloon, had a consolation eight-round victory. It was obviously an anti-climactic occasion for the Londoner, as well as a sizeable drop in purse money as he out-pointed Coventry journeyman Harry Ramagoadi in eight rounds.

At least Cook did not let his training go to waste and retained his sense of humour. He suggested that Harrison's weight troubles had been caused by an excess of haggis after his release from a Spanish jail. It wasn't the haggis that was Harrison's problem, it was the porridge.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst - Application Support - Central London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst (App...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engineer (Windows Server, Exchange Server)

£35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engine...

Investigo: Finance Analyst

£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: Server / Infrastructure Engineer (Exchange, Windows, VMware)

£32000 - £38000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Serv...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum