After announcing his retirement on May 1 following another lousy big-fight performance and first round TKO loss on April 27, when Deontay Wilder finished him off in just 70 seconds, Audley Harrison has surprised pretty much nobody by announcing that he's searched his soul and decided to fight on.
The 41-year-old Harrison, whose professional career has been an enormous flop by any standards that aren't trying to simply be nice, made it official on his web site, saying that the birth of his son inspired him to fight again:‘
There is no way I am going to tell my son, ‘I gave up because I didn't want to climb the mountain again, I didn't want to dust myself off again, when I'm now in the best shape of my career, doing things I haven't done for years, and back in love with the sport...how can I retire, when I know I have another shot in me'.
‘If I don't get up and try again, everything I've stood for would mean nothing ...'NEGU', ‘setbacks pave the way for comebacks', etc, etc, I believe it, so I have to live it, and go again'.
‘We all saw how the fight ended, which was not right. I can't walk away with that performance. If I do, it would haunt me until I'm old and grey'. I got up, they should have let him come to finish me, and let me show what I got'.
Harrison (31-7, 23 KO) has no hope of ever being any better than he ever has been before, and his best efforts have failed beyond domestic level opposition. Even his European title win in 2010 -- which had an awesome, dramatic ending, one of the best in recent memory -- came against Michael Sprott, a domestic-level fighter.
If Harrison wants to box on as the King of Prizefighter, or in fights like he had in 2012 against Ali Adams, then that's fair enough. He's passing physicals, he is in good shape for all anyone can tell, and he's not in any imminent danger. There are far greater mistakes being made all around the world with people climbing into rings.
What bothers me, to be clear, is that Audley will win a low-level fight, or another Prizefighter tournament, and some promoter is going to take that opportunity to bleed him against another young star. Against guys like David Price and Deontay Wilder and David Haye, he has straight-up frozen, like a deer in the headlights. Harrison just doesn't belong in the ring on that level anymore. I'm not trying to sound insulting, this is just a fact, at least as best as I can see it. And I think it's appalling of promoters to continue to take advantage of a kind soul like Audley, who I am certain deep down believes in his heart of hearts that the next time really will be different. It's just gross, is all. It's totally unappealing.
But, you know, best of luck to him. He's a nice guy and if he somehow backs his way into a world title in fantasy land, then they can make a movie out of it, I guess.