Re: If Alan Rudkin had beaten Fighting Harada...
Here's a start on what of written on the subject, there is plenty more to come but i want to get something down before the thread gets sabotaged.
It's a subject I've wondered about myself and I'm sure dad did. I don't thinkl he would of had a problem finding quality contenders.
Most likely there would of been a return with Harada in London or even Liverpool. Dad really fancied his chances in a return, he felt he could of pressed Harada more and earlier in the fight. He hadn't boxed 15 rounds before and was a bit worried about going the distance, he knew he wasn't a particularly big puncher and always prepared for the full distance with that in mind. He was a big underdog, Harada had won the title against the great Jofrel and the fight was in Japan. As it happens he finished strongly, stronger than Harada with plenty left in the tank.
Trust me, nobody has watched that fight more than me and with dad talking through it. I thought the fight was a lot closer than the two Japanese judges scored it. It was a sign of things to come when did slipped at the end of the first after throwing an overhand right. He'd had a pretty bright start but the 2 Japanese scored it 5-3. Harada took a knee late on in the fight but there was no count for that. There was a lot of quality infighting in this bout, Harada caught dad quite often with lead rights over the top when he was short with the jab. Dad did a lot of effective body shots which took their toll on harada late in the fight when Harada was looking for a breather, grabbing, wrestling and throwing punches in bursts. Dad stood with him in these exchanges and usually got the last shot off. He had good spells where he outboxed Harada throwing left jabs, straight rights and coming back with the left hook to keep H off balance. He was also throwing good body shots from the outside and right uppercuts under the heart. He held centre ring and refused to be bullied to the ropes. Me dad said Harada was one of the strongest he fought and very fast. He had to keep his wits about him at all times and not only was it a physically draining fight it was mentally draining as well. Harada said that dad was the fastest man he'd fought and trying to hit him was like trying to hit a fish in deep water. He didn't consider Harada a particularly big puncher buit he was sharp. There is a good exchange in the 7th where dad was having a good round making H miss, they engaged at one point both landing right hands simultaneously with both of their legs dipping. Dad told me while watching it that he remembered that particular shot but both of them carried on throwing bombs. People don't consider H a big puncher but he's the only fighter I'ves seen really shake Jofre up in that 1st fight, 4th round. I believe that most fighters at that level can hurt you no matter who you are if you can land cleanly.
There is talk of Harada's weight problems and he did balloon between fights. He did taough stay at bantam for another 2 and a half years, he was a former fly champ and still a young man, 22 I think. Judge Nicky Pope scored it 72-70, 5 rounds to 3 with 10 even. You think some of them could of went either way and it shows how competitive it was. All in all, dad didn't argue about the decision, it was over there and maybe he could of done more. He'd put up a good show and had consolidated his world rating. He'd come from nowhere in 65. He started out as British tiltle contender, won the title from Caldwell, former world claimant, shutout reigning European champ and world top 5, Mimoun Ben Ali over 10 in Newcastle, stopped a Mexican and then finished with the shot against Harada. He was awarded the "Ring" prospect of the year award and was on the world scene.
To follow, the other contenders.