Bunce on Boxing: Twinkle-toes Audley Harrison wants one more fight
Tuesday 01 November 2011
There is always a hidden tale whenever Audley Harrison competes. He won a gold medal with damaged hands, lost a world-title fight to David Haye with a ruined shoulder and narrowly survived the latest brutal cull on Strictly with horrendous jetlag. Big Aud had to fly back to his family in LA last week and then jump on a plane to get back in time for Saturday's live show. He was knackered when I saw him at the BBC on Saturday afternoon. He also had a brace on his left knee and two bulky ankle supports.
"This is hard, hard work but it's worth it," said Harrison, who has not been in a boxing ring since losing to David Haye last November. "I was not right for that fight and only had one arm, but I had to go through with it because it was me that had sold the fight in the first place." That's true.
Harrison is in the last five on the dance show and getting ready for one more fight. He needs an operation on a shoulder, which could take place in Germany before Christmas, and then he will be back. "The time is right now – it was right for me to do Strictly this time [the fourth time of asking]. I will fight again because I'm not yet finished with boxing," vowed twinkle toes. He is not deluded and an Audley Harrison return to the ring will sell ... oh yes it will, trust me.
British Hall of Fame is overdue
British boxing will finally have a Hall of Fame from the summer of 2013. It will be situated somewhere central and will operate like the American version with an induction event each summer and a permanent museum, once enough money has been raised. The US hall, in a town called Canastota, is in the middle of nowhere, but still thousands attend the induction weekend each year.
The British version has the official backing of the British Boxing Board of Control and 20 per cent of funds raised will go to the Board's charity, which helps fighters who are struggling.
"The Hall of Fame will be about celebrating British boxing's rich history and not just getting people together to sell them a signed glove or two," said Stewart Howe, who has worked for more than three years to make it happen. The inaugural weekend will be in August 2013 and it is long overdue.
Toney still going strong at 43
This weekend in Moscow, James Toney's improbable career continues when he fights Dennis Lebedev for a version of the world cruiserweight title. Toney is 43, this is his 85th fight, it is 20 years since he won the world middleweight title and six years since his heavyweight world title was taken from him. It's a remarkable career because he is still beating and fighting good younger men.
In 2005, Toney bashed up John Ruiz to win the WBA heavyweight title, dropping the rock-jaw champion in the seventh. Toney had previously held middle, super-middle, light-heavy and cruiserweight versions. However, a test for a banned steroid proved positive and the title was gone. Toney, who often handles a press conference with a massive Cohiba Esplendido fired up, appeared in public shortly after the fight, lifted up his shirt, grabbed his wobbly belly and declared: "I'm the worst advertisement for steroids in the world. This is bullshit." Thanks for that, James.
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