It’s Aud over now for Harrison
IF YOU think that the old fight game will not bounce back from the non-event that saw Audley Harrison land just a single punch in his attempt to to take the WBA heavyweight title from David Haye on Saturday night – forget it.
Fast forward seven nights to the Prizefighter super-featherweights tournament at York Hall, Bethnal Green, and I’ll guarantee you will see more punches land in every minute of every round than big Audley managed at the MEN Arena.
The over-hyped meeting of the former east London amateur club members looked little more than a pension plan for the challenger to pocket more than a million pounds before disappearing into the sunset way out west into retirement in California.
All the pre-fight verbals and threats of violence obviously worked with a 22,000 sell-out crowd at the Arena plus an estimated 700,000 pay-per-view customers spending around �10 million – never in the field of human conflict has so much been paid by so many for so little.
Harrison showed no remorse for his sad showing this week: “I make no excuses and I’m not sure where I go from here in boxing, but I’ll lick my wounds, take some time out with my family and see what I want to do,” he said.
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However, most people in the fight game agreed with Derek Chisora, who takes on WBO and IBF World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko on December 11 in Germany: “Harrison didn’t even go in there and try. I can’t think of anything worse, especially when you are fighting for what is supposed to be the most treasured prize in sport. It was pathetic,” blasted Chisora.
You could say that the nearest Harrison came to providing exciting action in Manchester was when he performed the draw for Saturday’s Prizefighter tournament, selecting the four quarter-finals in the 15th edition of Barry Hearn’s eight-man, one-night tournaments.
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The “Mongolian Warrior”, Choi Tseveenpurev, will kick-off the night against Brighton fighter Ben Murphy, and the winner of that opener will face either Prizefighter lightweight semi-finalist Gary McArthur or former WBU title-holder Derry Matthews.
Undefeated British champion Gary Sykes takes on British and European title challenger Scott Lawton in the third quarter-final, with a semi-final against Coronation Street actor and former England Commonwealth Games captain Steve Bell or European lightweight title challenger Gary Buckland going to the victor.
Quarter-Final 1 – Choi Tseveenpurev v Ben Murphy, Quarter-Final 2 – Gary McArthur v Derry Matthews, Quarter-Final 3 – Gary Sykes v Scott Lawton, Quarter-Final 4 – Steve Bell v Gary Buckland.
Tickets for Prizefighter super featherweights are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.