American heavyweight prospect Deontay Wilder, 224 pounds, stayed in hot pursuit of Britain’s Audley Harrison for a few seconds, trapped him in a corner and, at the first opportunity, battered him senseless.
Harrison, a former Olympic gold medalist, has developed the habit of unraveling when faced with serious competition and nothing changed tonight. The crowd booed at the end of the embarrassing spectacle and Harrison, who weighed in at 236 pounds, left the ring in disgrace.
In November 2010, Harrison outweighed David Haye by over forty pounds but barely let his hands go in a three round non-event and succumbed to his opponent’s first significant attack. In October last year he considered throwing a punch at David Price but was nailed with a volcanic right hand which ended the fight at the two-minute mark.
Tonight he was caught again by the right, couldn’t recover and was out of the fight in 70 seconds flat. To his credit the outspoken Londoner has resurrected his career countless times but, at forty-one years of age, he needs to get out of this game while his health remains intact. Wilder, from Alabama, retains an immaculate record of 28-0 (28 knockouts) and barely dropped a bead of sweat.
“It was a great performance,” said Wilder. “Nobody can stop my power. This has been a long time coming but I’m going to be the next heavyweight champion of the world. I could feel his face in my glove, when I hit him, and that was exciting.”
“I’m a beast with god-given talent. That guy was down and out with his eyes in the back of his head. I want Tyson Fury next.”
Nate “Galaxy Warrior” Campbell vs. Terry “Turbo” Flannigan
Nate “The Galaxy Warrior” Campbell looked every one of his 41 years in succumbing to a fourth-round retirement loss to the unbeaten Terry “Turbo” Flannigan in a junior welterweight bout. The former champion displayed none of the form which saw him capture the lightweight crown five years ago and the Manchester southpaw picked him off at will with scores of sharp shots. Campbell, from Jacksonville in Florida, was once a credit to the sport and the sight of him walking around aimlessly with his gloves glued to his head was distressing. At the end of the fourth round the American indicated to his corner that he would not be continuing and cited an injury to his right hand as the deciding factor. Both fighters weighed in at 136lbs.
Anthony Ogogo vs. Kieron Gray
Former Olympic bronze medalist Anthony Ogogo, from Suffolk, made the perfect start to his professional career with an explosive second-round knockout of Kieron Gray. The end came courtesy of a thunderous right hand which caught Gray on the point of the chin, dropping him heavily, and Ogogo was well into celebration mode when the referee waved the fight off at the two-minute mark. Ogogo, 159 pounds, had struggled with his timing in round one but took the session on work rate before the judges’ cards were rendered meaningless. The talented Brit was snapped up by Golden Boy Promotions when he decided to trade in his vest for a professional contract. He has ambition, talent and bags of charisma which is already attracting a crossover audience in the UK. The confident twenty-four-year-old is already scheduled to appear on the undercard of Devon Alexander versus Lee Purdy at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on May 18th.
Haroon Khan vs. Brett Fidoe
Haroon Khan, younger brother of Amir, also notched up his first professional victory. The Commonwealth bronze medalist scored a four-round decision over Brett Fidoe at junior bantamweight in a useful learning curve. Khan was tight, as one would expect on the big stage, but he was accurate enough throughout the sessions to pull away on the scorecards. Fidoe came out blazing in the final round but his success was short lived and Khan closed well with a few quick bursts. There was a lot of pressure on the twenty-one-year-old who has been endlessly compared to his famous sibling during the build-up to tonight’s main event. The official score was 40-37.
Photo: Andrew Yates-AFP/Getty
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and contributes to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing