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Audley Harrison Stops Thomasz Bonin
By Stephen Jones (June 21, 2004) 
Audley Harrison
June 18 - Alexandra Palace
London, England

Referee John Keene halted Audley Harrison's second WBF Heavyweight title defence against unbeaten Polish heavyweight champion Thomasz Bonin (pronounced Boyneen) in the 9th round of a fight that many -including myself- thought the Pole was edging by being slightly more active throughout the 8 completed rounds.

Audley did turn up the power when he utilized his best assets, (i.e.: the jab ) and was much more the controlled and balanced boxer of the two. The fight was very entertaining throughout with the southpaw Harrison dominating whenever he did get into gear, but as Bonin began to bullishly out work Audley when the Briton became a little relaxed, points began to mount in the Poles favour.

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In many ringsiders opinion, referee John Keene chose to call a halt quite prematurely when Harrison unleashed a barrage of four unanswered punches that forced Bonin to turn his head away slightly. This fight did tell us a lot about both fighters; Harrison though not blazing his way through Thomasz, showed a lot of nice smooth mature combinations that would probably have stopped the Pole if he let them go more fluidly and more frequently. The virtually unknown Polishman would be welcomed back any day soon with his all action brave come forward style.

The packed crowd in attendance at The Alexandra Palace did voice their discontent with John Keene's stoppage by booing the conclusion of the bout, but the result may have been just the same anyhow if Audley got another 30 seconds or so to deal with his almost dwarfed opponent.

The fight was Harrison's last fight in Britain to be televised live on British BBC TV channel. Harrison now wishes to take a well earned rest for a month or two to get over what he called his hardest preparation ever for personal reasons.

My opinion on the fight.. When Audley opened up he showed what he is capable of and in better company he may produce better work rate. I give opponent Thomasz Bonin an A- for a great effort, and Audley an A- for showing he is now finally becoming a true seasoned pro. The end was premature, but in hindsight Bonin was looking weary at the close.

Entertainment value an A... the fight was value for any fans money, shame about the inconclusive ending
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