Boxing: Haye shows no mercy as Harrison fails to turn up

Champion makes light work of great pretender to keep heavyweight crown

In the end, all the hype and hoopla of the past two months, all the puerile posturing and unsavoury bad-mouthing came down to just seven minutes and 53 seconds with David Haye retaining his WBA heavyweight title by stopping Audley Harrison in the mismatch we all suspected it was destined to be.

The fight was halted by the Puerto Rican referee Louis Pablon, Harrison not having thrown a single punch, knocked down in the third round and ultimately rescued as he reeled drunkenly from a somewhat belated belabouring from a champion three stones lighter and 10 years younger. The souped-up enmity between the two concluded after two rounds of such inactivity from both men that the referee had to call them together to tell them that this was actually a fight.

It was Haye who got the message, having thrown only one punch in the opening round and just a couple in the second as they kept each other at bay exchanging only grimaces and tentative prodding. It was all pawing and pussy-footing. Haye's game plan was crystal clear; he chose his moment to jump in, unload a barrage of punches to Harrison's head, a right then sending the former Olympic champion to the floor. He rolled over on his back and rose, reluctantly it seemed, at nine. A few moments later he suffered another pounding, a dozen or more blows, lefts, rights and an upper cut leaving him dazed and befuddled. The referee's intervention was inevitable.

Haye had kept his word to be fast and furious, although the opening two rounds had so little action that the crowd booed and jeered both men.

It is easy in hindsight to say this was a ridiculously one-sided match-up but the 39-year-old Harrison had talked many into believing he had a puncher's chance. But what is it they say about sound and fury signifying nothing? Sadly it was the same Aud Harrison, negative and not relishing a turning-up of the heat. He never once used the left hook he vowed would nullify Haye's Hayemaker.

In fact, he never used anything at all. As a challenge for boxing's supreme prize, it was all rather pathetic.

Haye says he will soon go to Hollywood where Harrison has made his home. His ambition, he says, is to be the first black James Bond. First, though, is a mandatory defence against Ruslan Chagaev of Uzbekistan, whom he should beat easily, then as he only owns a portion of the heavyweight crown, he hopes to claim the rest from one or both Klitschko brothers.

Haye said: "I am convinced I can crush anyone in the world. I can punch and land punches whenever I choose to – that is why this fight went to the third round. I put a lot of money on the third round, a lot of my friends and family did so I didn't want to let them down by doing him too early.

"I told everyone I would knock him out in three rounds and that is exactly what I did. No way was he going into that fourth round. That is how confident and in control I am. I could have taken him out earlier.

"I knew the boos would turn into cheers in a matter of minutes," he added. "I knew it wouldn't go further than three rounds. I didn't give him the opportunity to throw that left hand.

"Next year, I promise it will happen [Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko] – there is nowhere else for those guys to go. They are fighting all the guys everyone's bored of. They have no other options, they have to come over and sit around a table and talk sense. I guarantee I will give them the same treatment Audley Harrison got."

Harrison said: "I'm not going to make any excuses, he caught me with a good shot and I went down and got up. I started a bit slow, the plan was to take David into the later rounds and the deep end, he just caught me with a good shot. I didn't get the chance to dig in and take it to the later rounds, didn't get the chance to put my strategy in. I didn't really get going."

George Groves, who beat James DeGale, the Olympic champion, as an amateur believes he can do the same now they are professionals. But he almost had to put that ambition on hold when, defending his Commonwealth super middleweight title against the also previously unbeaten Kenny Anderson, he found himself on the floor for the first time in his career. Groves took an eight-count in the third round when stunned by a left hook from the marauding Scot, himself a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, before he finally put together a fierce fusillade in the sixth round, forcing Anderson to take a battering on the ropes.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power