by Johnny Walker
The boxer with nine lives, former Olympic champion Audley “A-Force” Harrison, is again in the heavyweight mix after another near-career-death experience.
Harrison — who in his native UK is known by such derogatory nicknames as “Fraudley,” “A-Farce,” and “Audrey”– is known for coming up small in big moments, such as his deer-in-the-headlights performance against David Haye in 2010, where, after talking a great game in the lead-up to the fight, he lost meekly via a third round TKO after barely throwing a punch.
He repeated the performance against another David–Price this time–in 2012, getting knocked out in round one after pulling another frozen man imitation.
Still, it’s hard to count out the often hapless Harrison entirely, because he also has a habit of resurrecting himself just when it seems all hope is lost.
It seemed that after the Haye and Price debacles, “A-Force” was grounded permanently. But Harrison signed up for a recent heavyweight Prizefighter tournament in London (he’d won a previous version in 2009), and–though his inclusion was an afterthought after other fighters backed out of the tourney–against all odds emerged victorious, while looking to be in the best physical condition of his career.
Now, Harrison (31-6, 23 KOs) has been offered another high profile fight, this time against rising American heavyweight Deontay Wilder. According to The Sun, “The bout would be a likely shortcut to a crack at a world title for Harrison and promoters want to stage it on the Amir Khan-Julio Diaz undercard at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena on April 27.”
The knock on Wilder, nicknamed “The Bronze Bomber,” is that he has faced totally soft opposition so far in amassing a 27-0 record with a 100% knockout ratio. And that knock is a valid one. Wilder was even knocked down early and rattled hard by journeyman Harold Sconiers (17-20-2 at the time) when they met back in 2010, before coming back to win. What will happen when a more talented fighter touches Wilder’s chin is an open question.
It says something about Wilder that Audley Harrison would be far and away the best opponent he’s met so far. The idea of the southpaw Harrison landing a bomb on Wilder’s chin and continuing on to a title shot certainly seems possible; so does the notion of Audley freezing once again when faced with a big hitter and getting sparked out quickly.
Either way, this proposed bout could be interesting, and with Harrison now saying via social media that he’s agreed to the fight, it looks like it might become a reality.
No secrets in boxing eh!I have AGREED to take fight with 5 weeks notice. We’re close, hopefully weget there on all details. Nothing more
— Audley Harrison MBE (@audley_Harrison) March 25, 2013