I knew a girl who attended Brunel University while Audley Harrison was studying sports science there. She was able to vouch that he was a polite and popular member of the faculty, a notably passive type given the violent nature of his chosen hobby. Which means that all the recent verbal trash that Harrison has been flinging at David Haye rings a little false. A bit like if Gloria Hunniford offered Anne Diamond outside to the BBC Television Centre car park for a daytime televison version of the ‘Rumble in the Jungle‘.
I followed Harrison’s early professional career keenly for no other slightly juvenile reason than we shared a surname. I watched as developed an unusually tender boxing style, preferring to caress and fondle his opponents rather than actually hitting them. And as he got regularly duffed up by taxi drivers, schoolgirls and paper bags. Like most viewers I got bored. The only thing Harrison had succeeded in knocking out was BBC coverage of professional boxing. He actually killed it.
But now he has a shot at the world title, an opportunity which seems to jar more than one of his punches, particularly if compare Saturdays bout to some of the previous tussles in the rich history of the division.