The British Boxing Board of Control is looking into possibly withholding some or even all of Audley Harrison's £1 million purse from yesterday's "fight" against David Haye. Harrison
From The Sun:
British Boxing Board of Control secretary Robert Smith said: "It is a very difficult course to take to stop someone getting paid when they have just frozen. But rescinding some or all of Audley Harrison's purse is something which we will have to consider. You have to bear in mind it was such a let down for the 22,000 at the MEN Arena and the thousands watching at home." ... "The Board have rescinded purses on many occasions when we feel a fighter has not tried. Harrison just froze. He did nothing all night. It was a let down for the fans and the TV audience."
Promoters Frank Maloney and Frank Warren both had strong words about Harrison's "performance," and certainly we were as critical as everybody else after the non-fight. It was a disgrace. A farce.
But here's the rub: It had been a farce since the moment the fight was signed. Only delusional or misinformed people thought this would be competitive, or that suddenly Audley Harrison was going to show up and do something really, truly big for the first time in his professional career.
Harrison is 39 years old. He turned pro in 2001. He has done almost nothing but disappoint in his entire professional career. Trying to be nice, I said yesterday that he did win a Prizefighter tournament and the European title in 2009 and 2010, respectively. But so what? No disrespect to the European title, but so what? He lucked out a one-punch win over a faded Michael Sprott, and to win Prizefighter, he beat a trio of never-gonna-bes. I don't like to be as harsh as that for the most part, but seriously, WHAT WAS ANYONE EXPECTING?
Now you might say, "Hey, but he didn't even try." He's Audley Harrison. He's been nicknamed "Fraudley" and "A-Farce" for a reason. He's a non-contender and at his best has been a domestic-level contender with talent that has never produced results.
Don't be mad at Audley Harrison for being himself. The BBBofC allowed this ridiculous fight because it would make money. The WBA did the same. And those who bought into it got what was probably the definitive statement of Audley Harrison's career. That statement? "Much ado about absolutely, positively nothing." He didn't deserve the fight, but it was allowed by the BBBofC and the WBA. If someone thought this was going to be competitive, they were wrong from the start.
But Audley Harrison did not throw that fight in any way. He just froze in the moment. He had no confidence. He was afraid of David Haye. The big stage summed him up quite well. All Audley Harrison did was go out there and be Audley Harrison. There was nothing surprising about what happened in Manchester. This is the sort of thing that everyone signed up for when they put the fight together, and talk of rescinding his purse is the sort of after-the-fact nonsense that I just can't get behind. More powerful men than Audley Harrison are to blame for this fight happening, and for the hype that made out as if it were anything but a domestic money grab from moment one.
Seriously, who didn't know that Audley Harrison was an unworthy title challenger?