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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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: PHP Web Developer / Full Stack Developer

£24500 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Receptionist

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A bookkeeper/receptionist posit...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£28500 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers unique corp...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Product Support Specialists

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leader in the design...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
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