Audley Harrison felt his hardest punch before he turned professional – and it trumped the likes of Deontay Wilder and David Haye.
Harrison was the first boxer from the United Kingdom to win gold in the super-heavyweight category at the Olympics, and turned to the pro ranks with a lot of hype behind him.
He fell short facing the top contenders, though, with Haye taking care of business in three rounds and Wilder doing the same not long after the first bell.
Having hung up the gloves for good in 2013, he recently spoke to Mega Casino about his career, naming Samuel Peter as the hardest hitter he faced.
“I always say the hardest puncher I ever faced in my career was Samuel Peter – the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’.
I boxed him in a pre-Olympic tournament, with a head guard on, he hit me on the top of the head and it sent shockwaves all the way through my body!”
Peter went 24 fights undefeated as a professional before coming up against Wladimir Klitschko in 2005.
The Vegas-residing Nigerian native held the WBC world title in 2008 before losing it later that year to another Klitschko in Vitali. He’s not quite retired, his last outing being a first round TKO loss to up and comer, Arslanbek Makhmudov.
Harrison went on to compare the power of Peter to other men he faced in his career, including David Price and Deontay Wilder.
“The thing with David Price, I went to sleep when he knocked me out. When you’re knocked unconscious like that, you don’t know too much about it.”
“Deontay hit me and then he threw 100 punches after that, so it was just all a blur. I just took the Samuel Peter shot and the head guard probably stopped me from getting knocked out.
“But I know that was the hardest shot I faced because it put me on Queer Street. The David Price and Michael Sprott knockouts put me to sleep. I woke up and wanted to start fighting again, but my corner told me ‘Audley, the fight has been over for 30 seconds.’”
Many have branded Wilder as one of the most devastating punchers the sport has seen. The American has stopped every man he’s fought other than current champion, Tyson Fury.
Harrison’s praise of Peter, then, is a badge of honour for a heavyweight that has been providing entertainment for since 2001.