By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
AUDLEY Harrison’s career is finally over after he admitted: “It looks like my journey is at an end.”
The boxer, who promised so much and delivered so little in his professional career, was dumped on his backside and counted out after just 82 seconds against David Price in Liverpool.
The defeat not only robbed Harrison of a chance of becoming British heavyweight champion – it showed his boasts of still challenging for the world title to be a complete fraud.
The 40-year-old was taken to hospital for tests and treatment on a broken nose.
And in a rare touch of humility, he even tweeted his followers from the ward to say it was all over.
He told them: “We’ll see where we go from here, but it’s likely my boxing journey is at an end. I did it my way, so no complaints, but I’ll chill for now.
“I want to congratulate David on his win. I felt focused, ready & started well, but got caught. Broken nose for my troubles!”
In a nutshell, the 2000 Olympic champion was rubbish. As soon as he felt the awesome power of Price’s first right-hand punch it was all over.
He tumbled to the canvas with just over a minute of the fight gone and that signalled the end of a 12-year career in which he repeatedly said he would become world champion.
His failure to deliver will now be his legacy while Price, at 29, is increasingly looking like real world title material.
His promoter Frank Maloney successfully steered Lennox Lewis to that pivotal place in boxing folklore and he has no doubts at all about Price following suit.
He told me: “I have always said that David can emulate Lennox and he has once again proved he has the class to do that.”
Scouser Price was delighted with his win and said: “I shocked myself with the power in my punches. I didn’t expect to do that to Audley Harrison so quickly.”
Price is modest but confident and said of the future: “I believe I’m the best in Britain. There are probably a few other boxers who believe that too.
“What I do know is I’m progressing all the time. I’m learning all the time and I’m only going to get better.”
He has now set his sights on a world title shot within a year – but is not expecting to hear from the Klitschko brothers who, between them, hold four world titles.
He said: “I doubt that I’ll be getting a phone call off the Klitschkos, offering me a voluntary because of the danger I bring.
“I’ll probably have to get to a mandatory position when they would be forced to fight me.
“Of course I’m a live opponent for them. So that’s the way I see it, unless there was a lot of money involved with regards to the UK TV rights.
“That might change things. But I’m definitely a live opponent and must come on their radar for the future.”
His immediate target is Matt Skelton, a former British champ, who he will meet on December 8.