Boxing: End is nigh for Audley Harrison after Deontay Wilder lashes out

Heavyweight's chequered career appears over as American prospect stops him in 70 seconds

Surely the journey is over for Audley Harrison, the Eddie the Eagle of boxing who crash-landed yet again at Sheffield's Motorpoint Arena last night when he was bombed out in less than a round by big-hitting Deontay Wilder, the fearsome heavyweight who America hopes is their man to topple the Klitschkos. Really, what did we expect? Here was Harrison setting a personal worst, beaten in 70 seconds, 12 seconds less than it took David Price to overcome him.

The former Olympic champion's 13 years of hurt – for the fans as well as himself – concluded with him being caught by the first punch the 6ft 7in Wilder threw, a stunning right to the head. Harrison crumbled in a corner and was repeatedly belaboured as he sank to one knee. He rose when the count reached nine and protested but referee Terry O'Connor stopped the fight.

"I could have gone on," Harrison claimed afterwards. "He caught me with a good shot but I got up and beat the count. The ref said my legs were all over the place but I wasn't out, I had my senses."

But O'Connor, himself a former heavyweight, had acted prudently for a further battering from this giant from Alabama – who had previously smashed all 27 of his opponents inside four rounds – could have had serious consequences.

Being booed from the ring is not an unfamiliar sound for Harrison. At least this time after taking what was clearly an over-ambitious match he recognised that the end is nigh. "I'm 41 years of age, and I'm not going to kid myself. This is a hard one for me to take. It looks like the end."

Harrison had believed he could finally confound his critics but he and we should have known better. Wilder, known as the Bronze Bomber because of the colour of the Olympic medal he won in Beijing, is a tightly muscled athlete, literally head and shoulders above Harrison.

Harrison complained that he was still being battered while he was down and the on-looking Price, who himself knows what it is like to be knocked cold, said: "I heard the sound of that first punch hitting his head. It was pretty impressive."

Big brother was watching and expressed himself satisfied as Haroon Khan made a successful professional debut on Amir's undercard, outpointing Brett Fidoe over four rounds. The 21-year-old super-flyweight made a nervous start, clearly conscious of the big occasion, but once he settled, his quickfire punching underlined the promising future he has in the paid ranks.

His victory came at the expense of another novice pro, for Fidoe's record showed only three fights, one of which he won. It was a lively contest, Khan emerging a 40-36 points winner taking every round.

"I thought I boxed well but I could have been a bit better," he said. "I found it a lot different from the amateurs and I needed time to settle."

Said his father Shah: "I am relieved he got through that one. This was a tough fight for him after being out of the ring for 18 months."

Another first time pro, the British Olympic middleweight bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo, made a dream debut with a second-round stoppage of journeyman Kieron Gray, a superb right hand sending Gray corkscrewing to the floor.

"That was fun," said Ogogo. Not for Gray though. But the charismatic, talkative Ogogo has the X factor about him, having been signed by the US promoters Golden Boy.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Client Services Assistant

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client Services Assistant is ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior / Senior Sales Broker - OTE £100,000

£20000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportuni...

Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Duty Manager is required to join one of the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Leader

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Team Leader is required to join one of the l...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor