By Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media Correspondent
On April 27, 2013, 28-0 American heavyweight Deontay needed only 70 seconds to finish Audley Harrison in the first round. A 41 year old southpaw who has won the London Prizefighter tournament twice, two recent first round knockout losses prove Harrison’s boxing skills have diminished to the point where British and European sanctioning bodies are best served by his retirement at 31-7, 23 knockouts.
Previous to the Wilder loss, six months ago David Price needed only 33 seconds to finish Harrison in the first round. Thus two important bouts lasting a total of only 103 seconds were lost. While he did win the London prizefighter tournament in February 2013, and avenged losses to Martin Rogan and Michael Sprott, his Prizefighter decision win over Rogan this time was only in a three rounder. The two other opponents you stopped in the first and second rounds of the tournament, Claus Bertino and Derrick Rossy, were lower level opposition and went quickly.
David Price picked Harrison apart, sent him to the canvas and stopped him inside of three rounds in 2010. Clearly there is a time when enough is enough. Harrison’s 39 year old British countryman Danny Williams (who once knocked out Iron Mike Tyson) has lost six in a row, nine of his last 12 bouts, and also should retire now. Williams steps back in the ring in Russia May 18, 2013, to fight 13-1 Kelvin Price.
In the last 22 months, Williams has lost to Mairis Breidis, Werner Krieiskott, Denis Bakhtov, Christian Hammer, Janne Katajisto, Leif Larsen, and Manuel Charr.
For Audley Harrison and Danny Williams, the end of the road has arrived. Both fighters should retire for health and safety reasons at this point in the game. Consider what happened to former Commonwealth British Empire and WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight champion Julius Francis, who once beat Danny Williams, and fought everyone from John Ruiz to Vitali Klitschko, who lost his last 14 fights in a row and retired at age 46, a shell of his former self with a 23-24 losing record.
The time for both to hang up the gloves and retire is now, before getting permanently injured. Future bouts with any rising heavyweight prospects would be a miserable excuse to sell tickets, given Harrison and Williams in recent performances. British Board of Control should tell washed up fighters like Harrison and Williams to call it a day. Unfortunately, when heavyweight fighters like Danny Williams and Rob Calloway (a winner of two of his last nine bouts) take fights outside of their home countries, it can hard to stop bouts in obscure locations.