Audley Harrison knocked out Michael Sprott in sensational fashion to claim the vacant European heavyweight title at the Alexandra Palace in London tonight.
Harrison had been fighting one handed since the second round, when he looked like he had pulled his right shoulder, over stretching a punch, but with the fight slipping away from him as well as his career, Harrison produced a left hook from his boots, which left Sprott as concussed as Harrison was in there first fight.
Sprott going into the final round was winning the fight on all three judges score cards in what had been a good performance by the Reading man.
Having started the 12th round as if to leave the judges with no doubt he was the winner, Sprott switched off for a split second, with his back on the ropes he dropped his hands and the A Force capitalised.
Harrison had promised a spectacular performance, and up until that final round, the fight was far from that. Audley still looking gun shy every time Sprott attacked, although I’m sure the shoulder injury would explain the long lapses in action when neither wanted to lead off.
Harrison 38, at times, as usual looked like he could really turn it on behind his good southpaw jab, but just doesn’t seem to want to commit and take chances, but there is no questioning his heart, he wouldn’t have got back in with a man who had flattened him the last time they met if he hadn’t.
Sprott 35, had been aggressive throughout the fight, coming forward and trying to rough Harrison up, as he stayed in range to land some right hands, which had Harrison on stiff legs at times.
Harrison just didn’t throw the right hand, and just using his left hand, he swapped to a orthodox stance, to try and utilise his left to full effect.
The knockout was brutal in its timing and effect and Sprott lay worryingly motionless on the canvas, after bouncing off the ropes on his way down.
After receiving treatment on the canvas Sprott was helped to back to his corner, with an oxygen mask fitted firmly to his mouth.
Audley now the European heavyweight champion, was taunting David Haye, prior to the fight, calling him a false prophet, on tonight’s showing Harrison needs to count his own blessing’s.