Haye humbles Harrison

WBA champion retains title as old foe folds in the third

By Tim Hobbs   Last updated: 17th November 2010  

David Haye barely broke sweat as he blasted old foe Audley Harrison to defeat.

The WBA heavyweight champion needed just three rounds - two throwing punches - to see off his former friend and fellow Brit with alarming ease in front of a baying MEN Arena crowd.

He didn't need his jab, he didn't need his timing and he didn't need the speed or skills we know he boasts. The fact that Harrison landed a solitary punch in more than eight minutes of boxing proves that the challenger did as much as the champion to bring about his own downfall.

It wasn't the most explosive Haye performance, simply because it didn't need to be. All he had to do was rain in with that right enough times and he knew his old mentor would not be able to escape - or summon up the resolve to fight back.

Harrison was down first early in the third as a right to the body took away his breath and another to the head, possibly round the back, sent him sprawling to his knees. That he beat the count might have been surprising; what followed next was far from it. It might not have been vintage Haye, but sadly it was the Audley we all remembered - even while he had been telling us for the past three weeks that 'he could'.

Well he couldn't. Haye was on him again in a flash, lashing in the right, balancing it with a couple of off-target lefts before smashing one into the stomach. As Harrison's hands came down, a right uppercut doubled up under the chin and the same hand crashed into his temple, toppling him again, this time decisively.


Haye said he would close the door on Audley's career and he did just that. There will be more than a fair share of the capacity crowd in Manchester and indeed the British boxing public queuing up to throw away the key.

It is hard to have too much sympathy for Harrison, who certainly talked the talk but when it came to walking the walk, forgot how to put one foot in front of the other. That said, the Klitschko brothers have cemented their grip on the division dealing with fighters racked with fear and Haye showed the maturity many thought he lacked.

It didn't look that way at the start though, as Harrison came out and took the centre of the ring and forced Haye back. But with neither fighter throwing or landing even a speculative jab for the entire first session, Britain's biggest fight since Ricky Hatton's heyday in the very same arena couldn't have got off to a friendlier start.

Boos and jeers followed the fighters back to their corners. Haye knew he was the one under all the pressure, so it was no surprise when he came out of his shell first.

A tentative jab followed by the right suggested that he was going to put on the show he'd promised. He'd also told close friends he'd already picked the round in which to finish Harrison off and stepped up the pace in the second - after referee Luis Pabon had actually called them together, not pulled them apart, such was the lack of action.

Haye's right was permanently cocked though and it came crashing home a couple more times. The problem was as soon as Harrison saw a flicker of movement he was out of range and as much as he can hit, even the WBA champion cannot gain any purchase on his punches when lunging through air.


Haye ended the second round on top - where he prefers to be - while Harrison went back to his stool already out of his depth and visibly sinking. He had managed to land some leather on his man - although the man recording it at ringside probably felt it more than Haye - and the row over gloves beforehand, when Harrison's contracted ones were deemed faulty and replaced, couldn't have been more irrelevant.

Had you spent more than five minutes in Harrison's company in the run-up to this you would have found yourself starting to believe he actually might, before snapping out of it and realising he had shown nothing to suggest he could keep himself afloat when the pressure was on, never mind drag a fiercer, faster, peak fighter into dark waters. It seemed the very same thing dawned on the man himself as he headed back to his corner.

By the time the third began, Haye had clearly had enough. He had obviously singled out this round as the one when it would all come crashing down on Harrison - and it did in the shape of his trademark right.

There wasn't even any need for the jab; right leads did the trick and had Harrison on his knees, a forlorn figure, who at least got back to his feet before it was all over again. And that, sadly, is the best thing you can say about his challenge.

The champion on the other hand, did what champions do and showed he can find a way to win. He did not need the caution that saw him past Nikolai Valuev and he did not need the clubbing punches that battered John Ruiz; all it needed was for him to hold his nerve when a nation was watching.

That is something Harrison has failed to do time and time again. But it is exactly what David Haye does best.

Comments (59)

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Stu Hud says...

Total disgrace,I have never seen a fight where one of them was so afraid he would not throw a proper punch,Sky Box office should hang their heads in shame for this total rip off.Harrison should not get a penny of his purse he is a complete coward his 4 year old daughter and wife must be very proud of him.What a joke of a Man.

Posted 08:31 15th November 2010

Jamesy Rab c says...

I dont even think Audley realises how poor he was and why has no interviewers asked him straight " why did u only thro 1 punch audley ? " JOKER Just glad to watch Pac v Marg after which took some of the bitterness away Surely Haye / Klitcsh must be a mandatory for whateva belt by now who else is there

Posted 00:03 15th November 2010

J r Hartley says...

i really don't get a lot of the comments on here. people convinced it was a set up, harrison + haye had hatched a plan etc. or some people saying it was a con. complete rubbish. Harrison has always talked himself up and convinced people that he can win but a leopard cant change his spots and he showed again he is afraid to throw a punch in case he gets hit back....which is a problem for a boxer! he didn't do this for the payday, he is already a multi millionaire, i believe he would have done this for free. This was for HEAVY WEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, something he has dreamed of for years. By hook or by crook he got his chance even if he did not deserve it. people may think they both did it for money. harrison wanted the heavyweight belt and haye did it to shut him up to prove he was in a different league. If you have someone for month upon month constantly calling you out to fight in the media and the public want to see an all british heavyweight title fight then eventually it will happen. i really wanted to see this fight and for haye to do what he did and destroy harrison. The reason haye left it till the third is that he had to believe harrison was going to be at his best and not afraid to fight. if that was the case he wasn't going to try and blow him away in the first, it would take a couple of rounds to get his range and timing on the bigger man and then he could have turned it on. As it happened harrison was reluctant to throw a punch but by then why not wait till third if thats what u predicted. Personally i don't think i was ripped off. For the 45 seconds i saw haye pummel harrison, which has ended his lack lustre career and ended as haye said the joke that is the audley harrison show, it was completely worth it. And if people bought the show thinking they were going to see a new harrison slug it out for 12 rounds, then you obviously know sweet fa about boxing.

Posted 22:46 14th November 2010

Gary Amor says...

I was in Manchester for this....My only complaint is that Fraudly didnt even try...I know it was a miss match...but if A-Farce came out swinging and got knocked out id have no complaints...He didnt want it at all.....I have to say though...hats off to manchester you put a hell of a show on...the atmosphere was amazing in there....shame the fight couldnt live up to it. I fnothing else it proved to me the people that go to watch the boxing are good honest people who just want a little value for money....I did feel sorry for Harrisbum when the crowd chanted 'youre s**t and you know you are' at the end...the man was down...shame to kick him...even though i must confess i joined in!

Posted 21:17 14th November 2010

Toby Mc.culla says...

It's such a shame that there was so much hype for this non-event. When Haye won the title, he was in a win win situation. Valuev was too big and too slow, and expended too much energy and tired when he threw and missed with his punches. All Haye had to do was keep out of his way. Then he fought Ruiz - who was on the slippery downward slope - a good boxer when he was at his peak, but not so good now. Then Haye takes on Harrison (yawn, yawn, yawn). What a joke in boxing terms. Do us all a big favour Haye, and shut your embarrassing mouth and disappear. You are only a legend in your own very tiny mind.

Posted 20:29 14th November 2010

Grant Barker says...

I was there last night, and although i got the result i desperately wanted (A-Farce being Knocked out/stopped), i cant help but feel a bit annoyed at reports that Harrison has pocketed around £1 million for that performance! How wrong is that!? He is a fool and a farce! He was clearly 2 or 3 leagues below David Haye and Harrison knew it! I think Haye is fantastic, i went to the Ruiz fight back in April, and it was the first proffesional boxing event i had been to, and i will always pay good money to watch him now! He really is a brilliant boxer and a showman! Groves came through a tough fight aswel, he did well to win, at one point it looked as if he would get knocked out, but he showed guts and he also did brilliant! Pitty Audley Harrison didnt have the guts to put in a bit of effort for the crowd and all the people at home! Even though i expected Haye to dismantle Harrison, i didnt think he would only throw one punch in the whole fight,he was just plain scared! I paid £88.25 for my ticket and £18 for the train up there, and im glad at least David Haye gave me value! Now for the Klitchkos, cant wait!

Posted 20:06 14th November 2010

Lee Burrows says...

Harrison shoud not be let in a ring again, one punch thrown in a little under 9 minutes for the heavyweight championship of the world! He made a mockery of boxing and fleeced fans of their money. He should be made to give back his purse and never darken the sport again, an utter disgrace.

Posted 19:13 14th November 2010

Jonny Boy says...

Audley, or should I say Audrey was a joke before the fight, a joke during the fight and will remain a joke long after this fight, he's a legend in his own mind with his band of jesters in tow. It's a joke that I paid extra to watch the farce, I only paid it to see Audrey get a sound beating and was left disappointed when the ref stopped him having one. Then I watched a proper fight without having to fork out any more dosh. PACMAN is a proper fighter, time for David HAYE to take on some proper opponants, let's see if he's a proper fighter as well........I think he probably is.

Posted 17:24 14th November 2010

Edward Rose says...

It's fair to say that Audley Harrisson's performance last night was nothing short of shameful - I would however point out that he has invested years of blood, sweat and tears to get his shot (whether he deserves it or not) and most people do not understand how much it takes to reach that point in the sport of boxing. I wish he'd given it a go and he may have won some respect for at least trying. The other problem with this fight is that we didnt really learn anything new about Haye. Would Haye have won the championship in any other era (hypothetical question)??? Tyson wouldnt have let Valuev out of the first round (regardless of size) and yet Haye (at his peak) was not that convincing. Yeah he did enough to win, but that wasnt enough to cement legacy. 10,20,30,40 years ago I doubt Haye would even get close to the title. He's lucky the heavyweights is in such a mess right now. Bring on the Kitschko's for the sake of boxing but I cannot wait for the next great exciting champion to come along and for me we're still waiting.

Posted 16:59 14th November 2010

Tony Nunn says...

Despite all the hype and as steeped in history as we brits are in the boxing world, there is a definite shortage of support for anyone brave enough to undertake this sport and fly our flag. We all knew the outcome of this fight and the fact that Harrison does not belong in a ring at this level but there is a credibility about Haye. Whether he delivers the hurtful right hands we have come to expect or tip toe around a giant of a man such as Valuev picking him off systematically, he is a thinking mans fighter and someone who does belong at this level. Why do we always have to have a pop at our own and especially those who are brave enough to undertake this sport. Unless you have had a go at this sport, you will never know what it takes to get in a ring. Shouldn't we show Haye a modicum of respect for at least holding a world title? Having had a good look at the Klitschko's, Haye is capable of beating Vitali but Wladimir could prove a handful and seems to have more about him than his brother. Especially in the left hook department. Either way, I predict Haye to take on a Klitschko and bang one out in 2011! You heard it here first.

Posted 16:43 14th November 2010

Joseph Thirlwall says...

I new outcome before fight,Harrison has no grit or comitment and no oomph,very wooden, easy to hit and is boring to watch. would not waste time or money to watch him. My advice to him is to find a new job you are capeable of doing.

Posted 14:13 14th November 2010

Skull Science says...

This was definitely a case of two, long-term mates giving themselves a nice little earner for the year. Audley realises this was his last hurrah, even if he won (which he had no intention of) he would have retired. Haye admitted that he bet on round three, thus increasing the already large available purse (probably split the winnings between them). An obvious fix between two old friends then, oh yes, you can imagine both of them having a drink and a laugh together after the 'fight' at the expense of the gullible fans. Who can blame them?!!

Posted 13:40 14th November 2010

Nedu Chuka says...

David Haye should be give all the credits he deserves.He fought and won the title from a big and giant heavy weight.He defended against a veteran(John Ruiz)but still dangerous as of that time.Audley Harrison challanged him for his title and he did exactly what he was supposed to do which was successful defence of that title.All David needs to do is maintain focus,train hard and make adequate preparations for upcoming fights.

Posted 13:35 14th November 2010

Alex Mcgrugan says...

a man with no arms could go the distance with harrison, its time to put all the money aside and fight a worthy apponent. haye has to do this now or lose any respect he has after fighting this idoit

Posted 13:24 14th November 2010

Colin Newbold says...

after hearing comments about fight fans being ripped offby this farse of a fight they parted with there money knowing what the result would be so they only ripped themselves off

Posted 13:18 14th November 2010

Ed Green says...

The fight was one of the biggest cons ever! it was a set-up, fraudley had no chance he knew that so they agreed the 3rd round between them! they are friends so haye gave his mate a pay cheque whilst conning the british public into paying for the rubbish! cmon look how haye didnt even throw his proper right clubbing punch! what a con!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted 12:54 14th November 2010

Bas Gunn says...

Harrison was a good amateur, but has never impressed as a pro. He should never have been in the same ring as Haye.This fight brought boxing down to the same level as X-Factor. All the hype before was just that hype.No true boxing fan would have paid good money to see this fight. I don't rate either of the Klitchkos, I think the heavy weight division is the worst for years and I believe that Haye should fight both of them next year then he could fulfil his ambition to retire as the best in the world at this time.

Posted 12:44 14th November 2010

Harry Jenkinson says...

Harrison was designed by a computer - perfect physique, size and muscle for a boxer, but they forgot to give him a heart of a boxer.

Posted 12:42 14th November 2010

Jon Donaldson-shaw says...

The only reason that fight took place was because it was world title fight between 2 english heavy wieghts, harrison doesnt deserve to be in the same ring as haye and it showed. haye needs better opponents

Posted 12:39 14th November 2010

Dan Hayles says...

I was confused why Haye was hanging on for round 3 for a personal betting gain. It proves this fight was a farce. Soon as the first bell went it seemed they both knew what they were doing! 1 jab from Harrison in the second few from Haye. Someone from the WBA should take a closer look at this fight and investigate into more suitable opponents to fight the current holder. Its a joke that there are probably a handful of real challengers to fight Haye but now If politics get in the way of the Klitchko's then we will never see Haye complete his Unification. Heavyweight boxing Is still in a bad place since the days of Lewis and the primed Tyson. It's only the lower divisions that has kept boxing stable.

Posted 12:34 14th November 2010

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