Boxing: Price proves his quality as he calls time on Harrison

 

Audley Harrison duly exited from what he admitted was his Last Chance Saloon following a barrage of punches from the British heavyweight champion David Price that would have knocked him clean through the swing doors. Once again, the former Olympic champion not only failed to deliver but this time the curtain was brought down on a career of frustrating under-achievement at Liverpool's Echo Arena last night.

Harrison, a few days short of his 41st birthday, came and went in just 82 seconds, flattened by the big Liverpudlian in even quicker time than David Haye took to dispatch him in their world title fight two years ago. While Audley's end was not unexpected it must be said that Price, in only his 14th fight, gave a superb exhibition of devastating power punching, leaving Harrison battered before he could land a single punch. Harrison may never have been a world-class fighter but this was a world-class performance from Price, who rightly said, "That finish would have knocked out anyone in the world. The performance spoke for itself." Indeed it did.

The Scouser is a man of quiet menace, still young for a heavyweight but decidedly from the old school of pugilism. He said he would set the pace from the start and would be determined to KO Harrison. This he did spectacularly with a series of seriously spiteful punches, beginning with a left hook that almost sent Harrison's gum shield spinning.

A reeling Harrison was no match for such a relentless finisher, Price belabouring him repeatedly, landing several crunching blows which caused referee Howard Foster to haul him off as Harrison, out on his feet, slumped to the floor. He was there receiving treatment for several minutes, then sat disconsolately on his stool before being led wordless from the ring, surely for the last time.

It was the most devastating defeat Harrison had suffered since turning professional and pocketing £1m after winning super-heavyweight gold in Sydney 12 years ago.

His British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles intact, Price can surely look forward to bigger things and on this form, even allowing for Harrison's inadequacy, he is surely the best bet to eventually interrupt the dual reign of the Klitschko brothers. "I would have to weigh up the situation if a Klitschko offer came, but as long as the financial terms were decent, I would have nothing to lose. Tonight not enough happened in the fight for people to see the best of me but I have felt all week that I was going to give someone a hiding. I honestly believe I am going all the way to the top."

His manager, Frank Maloney thinks Price is potentially Britain's best heavyweight since Lennox Lewis. "I saw David in the dressing room and he was knocking holes in the wall, so desperate is he to show that Britain has a future heavyweight champion of the world."

Price is likely to be in action again before Christmas and Maloney has a £500,000 offer on the table for him to meet Britain's other undefeated heavyweight, Tyson Fury. One doubts it will be accepted.

As for Audley, well, the previous time we saw him on TV here was in Strictly Come Dancing. Last night he did not even get started for the last waltz. "If I get beaten by Price, the party's over," he had said. As the song goes, time to call it a day.

Former Olympic champion James DeGale had a far more arduous night than fellow Beijing medallist Price when drawn into exactly the sort of fight he did not want when making his Channel Five TV debut with a successful second defence of his European super-middleweight title at Bluewater's Glow Arena in Kent.

Challenger Hadillah Mohoumadi, the 32-year-old French champion, proved a tough, resilient and aggressive opponent in a pulsating 12-round contest which DeGale won on a unanimous decision, the judges marking it 119-109, 117-111 and 116-112 though the two Italians and a Dane seeming a tad generous.

Though always throwing the better quality punches, DeGale was constantly forced on to the back foot and made to box off the ropes, not a comfortable situation. He shipped quite a few shots in the process but was the classier of the two, although as he admitted, after more contractual arguments outside the ring than in it recently, there is still more work to do in the gym. "My word, he was tough," he said. "He just kept coming. But that was a good learning 12 rounds and I had to dig deep."

Suggested Topics
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Boxer Amir Khan will travel to Pakistan in bid to 'make a difference' in the wake of army school massacre
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridgeface-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
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