While North American boxing observers spent Saturday focused on the Winky Wright/Sam Soliman fight on HBO, a massive crowd turned out in London to watch heavyweight plodders Danny Williams and Audley Harrison.
From every section of the 15,000 sell-out crowd the old familiar cry of “What a load of rubbish” rang out as Danny Williams and Audley Harrison went through their heavyweight title fight as though it was an episode of Strictly Come Dancing.
They finally got to grips with the real business of fighting for the vacant Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship after ten rounds of mauling in which Harrison hardly made a forward step. Almost unbelievably Williams won on a split decision when most people thought – as did two of the judges – that Harrison had been no more than the great pretender as many had identified him. For three-quarters of the fight it was a complete nonsense of a contest and the booing that accompanied most of the early rounds was justified. In fact, at the end of the fifth round promoter Frank Warren offered the opinion “Harrison is terrified and Williams doesn’t want to work”.
It was difficult to recall a memorable punch although Harrison, the 2000 Olympic Champion, who was warned several times by referee Dave Parris for holding and leaning on. He had arrived at the arena saying that he was thoroughly well prepared for the fight but seemed reluctant to go forward while Williams continued to stalk him.