Boxing: Harrison's plans are left in tatters

Williams shows value of experience

Audley Harrison's dream of world heavyweight domination was left in tatters last night when he was floored and outpointed by Brixton's Danny Williams. That it was a split decision was thanks only to the generosity of one of the ringside judges.

There were times when the 34-year-old Harrison looked as if he regretted taking a bout that was designed to answer some of the lingering questions about the Olympic superheavyweight champion. It turned out to be one of the least inspiring contests seen, thanks largely to Harrison's negativity for which he paid the ultimate penalty.

The fight came alive only in the last three rounds, by which time some of the capacity 15,000 crowd had walked out. In the 10th round Harrison was sent crashing to his knees by a right hand from Williams, the former British champion. He rose at nine and only then did he show the sort of retaliation that would be required at a much higher level than this.

Williams, who claimed to have twisted an ankle after three rounds, did not seem to have the finishing power and was badly jolted by a desperate Harrison in the next round but there surely could have been no question about the result.

One of the ringside judges astonishingly scored it to Harrison by one point (114-113). The arithmetic of the other two (116-113 and 116-112) was more realistic.

Williams, 32, walked away with the Commonwealth title but this meant little in comparison to putting Harrison's notch on his belt. Harrison, who suffered a graze around his left eye early in the fight, was finally exposed as still very much an amateur.

For two thirds of the fight, the boxers endured a hail of boos and jeers. Harrison seemed disinclined to make much of a fight of it and most of the aggression came from Williams. There was little snap in Harrison's punches nor any sparkle in a performance which saw his first defeat in 20 fights.

It was a memorable night, especially for Frank Warren, celebrating his 25th anniversary as a promoter, but the main event was a forgettable fight before those final three rounds. It was Warren who first labelled Audley "Ordinary''. Last night, he certainly was.

"He was a joke,'' Williams said of Harrison. "He didn't seem to want to fight. I know it wasn't a very good fight. I couldn't get my distance and he was scared. He didn't want to get hit. But at least this showed I can dust myself off [after his battering by Vitali Klitschko] and come back.''

Can Harrison come back? He promises he will. He left the ring chastened, as you might expect after all the talk. "Danny Williams was the better man on the night,'' he admitted. "But Audley Harrison has had good fights before and he'll have good fights again. It's back to the drawing board but I will be back.''

It was a night which saw Amir Khan, 19 last week, produce a two-round win over Sheffield's Daniel Thorpe,which was described by Naseem Hamed, who was at ringside, as a "spectacular, wicked performance'', and Matt Skelton, the British heavyweight champion, issued a challenge to Williams - who failed to turn up to meet him a few months ago - after stopping John McDermott in a title defence in less than two minutes.

Khan needs workouts not walkovers and that was exactly what Thorpe provided to bring out the best in the Olympic silver medallist.

The Bolton lightweight produced the most impressive performance of his four bouts so far to stop Thorpe three seconds from the end of the second round with a dazzling array of punches.

Although he had been on the losing end in 45 of his 65 contests, the 28-year-old Thorpe used all the tricks in a vain attempt to stave off Khan. He tried to unsettle boxing's brightest starlet but came unstuck when he suffered knockdowns in the first and second rounds. The second time he was floored with a superb double right jab.

"He was very experienced, he came on to me and was fighting back all the time, it was what I needed,'' Khan said. His next appearance will be in February. Before then he will take a break and return to his amateur roots, helping out with the preparation of the England Commonwealth Games team at squad sessions at Crystal Palace.

Ex-kick boxer Skelton, a late developer in the glove game at 38, acquired a Lonsdale belt with a swift defence of his British heavyweight title, stopping McDermott, from Essex, in just 79 seconds. In that time McDermott was on the floor four times, though once from a push.

Ross Minter, of Crawley, the 23-year-old son of the former world middleweight champion Alan Minter, took a pace towards following in father's footsteps when he won the welterweight championship of England with a fifth-round stoppage of Londoner Brett James.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
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

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a friendly, confident i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Primary Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: At Tradewind Recruitment we are currently l...

Tradewind Recruitment: Physics Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind Recruitment is currently working ...

Recruitment Genius: Case Manager - Occupational Therapist / Physiotherapist

£28000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee