news: boxing

Battle of Britain

A festering five year feud finally came to a head in London’s Docklands last weekend when Olympic 2000 gold medallist Audley Harrison came face-to-face with bitter heavyweight rival Danny Williams. The vacant Commonwealth title at stake was of secondary importance – this was a grudge match.

Harrison had described Williams as a cockroach, a perennial under-achiever who had never learned to box. Williams was never shy to point out that his 34-year-old opponent’s perfect 19 pro-fight record was wholly achieved against hand picked nobodies.

Ahead of the contest Williams looked chubby, weighing in at 19 stone 6 pounds to Harrison’s honed 18 stone11pounds, but appearances can be deceptive. Twelve rounds later the argument was over, Williams gaining a majority verdict. He will now go on to fight WBO champion Lamon Brewster, perhaps the best of a poor crop of current heavyweights that included Hasim Rahman [WBC], John Ruiz [WBA] and Chris Bryd [IBF]. He will still find himself out of his league. As for Harrison, he should retire.

Genuine class was on show on the under-card. Another British Olympic hero, Athens silver medal winner Amir Khan, produced a sparkling display to stop Daniel Thorpe in his fourth professional contest. The 19-year-old Bolton fighter does have the ability to challenge for a world title within two years.