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Old 03-26-2009, 11:12 PM   #16
the beaver
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

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I remember him turning up to an amateur fight I had at Tweed Heads (about 1996), he was blind drunk and full of bad manners, he walked up ringside and abused the ref, the ref stopped the fight momentarily and told him to pull his head in or wait till the bout was over and he would take him outside and sort him out. Then a couple of people managed to talk him out of there, the ref was about 60 at the time and never looked at all bothered he was real calm and confident, his name was Ethol McQueen (I think) my old man used to rave about how good an amateur he was.

Anyway apparently after leaving the fights the hitman was ko'd by a local fisherman who headbutted him in a pub just up the road.

Yeah my brother told me about a time back in early 00's when Harding was blind and picking fights in the Richmond Inn (Southwest Sydney) after the Hawkesbury Cup meeting. He was saying "Do u know who i am" and got into a fight with some old bloke. Apparently his ring craft was less then impressive and the bouncers gave him a touch up shortly after.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

Sad how the mighty can fall.

A few beers are bloody great at times (most times). But booze can sure destroy the unwary.
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

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I remember him turning up to an amateur fight I had at Tweed Heads (about 1996), he was blind drunk and full of bad manners, he walked up ringside and abused the ref, the ref stopped the fight momentarily and told him to pull his head in or wait till the bout was over and he would take him outside and sort him out. Then a couple of people managed to talk him out of there, the ref was about 60 at the time and never looked at all bothered he was real calm and confident, his name was Ethol McQueen (I think) my old man used to rave about how good an amateur he was.

Anyway apparently after leaving the fights the hitman was ko'd by a local fisherman who headbutted him in a pub just up the road.
Great story Texan Joe. The refs name was Athol Mcqueen and he knocked down Smokin' Joe Frazier at the 64 Tokyo Olympics with a left hook before being stopped himself. Thats something Ali couldn't do so the Hitman might have had his hands full.

Great thread in the right spirit about a great former champ who now cannot topple the demons. A couple of people have touched on the real issue. The same stubbornness that got the Hitman to a world title is now the curse that makes him unable to accept help or advice and ends up biting the hands that try to feed him.

Even now on his night he is one of the funniest men out there until it gets nasty. We took him to the premiere of the Lionel documentary with Lionel in the theatre and he was yelling stuff out throughout the film which was making me slump in my chair until after the film when everybody was saying it was one of the funniest nights of their lives.

He leaves boxing fans with a tough dilemma. What do you do with a guy who is responsible for possibly our greatest sporting moment, (one that had Tyson hugging Fenech at Ringside and jumping around like a child) who nobody can seem to help and is sliding to obvious oblivion?
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:58 PM   #19
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

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Great story Texan Joe. The refs name was Athol Mcqueen and he knocked down Smokin' Joe Frazier at the 64 Tokyo Olympics with a left hook before being stopped himself. Thats something Ali couldn't do so the Hitman might have had his hands full.

Great thread in the right spirit about a great former champ who now cannot topple the demons. A couple of people have touched on the real issue. The same stubbornness that got the Hitman to a world title is now the curse that makes him unable to accept help or advice and ends up biting the hands that try to feed him.

Even now on his night he is one of the funniest men out there until it gets nasty. We took him to the premiere of the Lionel documentary with Lionel in the theatre and he was yelling stuff out throughout the film which was making me slump in my chair until after the film when everybody was saying it was one of the funniest nights of their lives.

He leaves boxing fans with a tough dilemma. What do you do with a guy who is responsible for possibly our greatest sporting moment, (one that had Tyson hugging Fenech at Ringside and jumping around like a child) who nobody can seem to help and is sliding to obvious oblivion?
Old ATHOL MCQUEEN top fella was the doorman at the illawong pub at evans head years ago.
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:59 AM   #20
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

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If Jeff Harding walked into your pub and asked you to buy him a beer........would you?

He has and i did.
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:16 PM   #21
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

I met Jeff's mum at a West Ryde pub where she was a cook. Lovely person.
We had a talk about his career. (He was champ at the time)
Their was always an undercurrant of media bias around him & Jeff Fenech. She cited the time when Jeff won his title fight but the Back page was given to Jeff Fenech's announcement of his come back.

Another thing that gave me some concern was that Jeff was on a collision course with Tommy Hearns.
I wouldn't be alone in this worry because given that Jeff would take 3 to give one against a normal light Heavy, fighting Tommy would have been very messy.
Tommy was not only remarkable because of his skill, but to go from Welter to Cruiser & record only 5 losses in a career of 67 fights was testament to his speed & power.
The Cobra was no match for Jeff but the persistant call from urgers & the press was a constant bane for Johnny Lewis.
I might be talking out of school here but from memory, Jeff moved to (I think) Charlie Gurgen shorty after & I suspect that a Hearns fight & Johnny's opposition to it was an ingredient to the shift.

Jeff Harding was never treated fairly by the press. They didn't give him credit for what he acheived, only discredit for what they expected of him, ignorant as it was, & to this day they seem unrepentant that they were a major contributor to his condition, & still they ride him.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:18 AM   #22
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

Johnny Lewis certainly appreciated that fighters like Jeff Harding pay a high price for their success due to the number of blows they catch with their heads.

Sounds like when Jeff won the title Johnny mapped out about 3 more fights (that thankfully didn't include Hitman Hearns) and then they'd pull the pin.

The 'money' fight in johnny's plan was going to be Lalonde, whom Johnny thought was shot, and whom they could cash-in on in Jeff's final fight.

Sadly Jeff listened to others not Johnny, and the rest is history and even more sadly, the present.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:27 AM   #23
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

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Johnny Lewis certainly appreciated that fighters like Jeff Harding pay a high price for their success due to the number of blows they catch with their heads.

Sounds like when Jeff won the title Johnny mapped out about 3 more fights (that thankfully didn't include Hitman Hearns) and then they'd pull the pin.

The 'money' fight in johnny's plan was going to be Lalonde, whom Johnny thought was shot, and whom they could cash-in on in Jeff's final fight.

Sadly Jeff listened to others not Johnny, and the rest is history and even more sadly, the present.
Thats the saddest part of the game, the guys with all the guts and talent often fall prey to the sycophants and forget about the people that got them that far, harding said in an interview that he was a wide eyed kid from south grafton who was sucked in by the bright lights and you can only imagine how certain people would have stood to gain simply by appealing to his ego at the time.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:38 AM   #24
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

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Thats the saddest part of the game, the guys with all the guts and talent often fall prey to the sycophants and forget about the people that got them that far, harding said in an interview that he was a wide eyed kid from south grafton who was sucked in by the bright lights and you can only imagine how certain people would have stood to gain simply by appealing to his ego at the time.
Its these same sycophants or hangers-on, that let go once the blood has been sucked. Letting go is an easy thing, and leaving a bloke a mess is disgraceful.

I wonder how many of these guys, who haunted Lester Ellis, Lionel Rose, Jeff Harding, Ron Richards etc etc etc etc etc, would go out of their way to return the favours????? Precisely nil.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:49 AM   #25
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

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...I wonder how many of these guys, who haunted Lester Ellis, Lionel Rose, Jeff Harding, Ron Richards etc etc etc etc etc, would go out of their way to return the favours????? Precisely nil.
A good case in point was Gangitano, who admittedly was closer with Ellis than Michael, but at various times road the fame train of both fighters.

There are various accounts of why the imfamous altication took place, from Barry trying to collect money owed to him by Gangitano from the Michael vs Ellis bout, to Gangitano being Cranky on Barry for not giving Lester a re-match. Whatever the reason, the damage inflicted was not only cowardly, but probably stuffed the tail end of Barry's career, and this from a guy who was at one stage a fan.
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:54 AM   #26
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

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A good case in point was Gangitano, who admittedly was closer with Ellis than Michael, but at various times road the fame train of both fighters.

There are various accounts of why the imfamous altication took place, from Barry trying to collect money owed to him by Gangitano from the Michael vs Ellis bout, to Gangitano being Cranky on Barry for not giving Lester a re-match. Whatever the reason, the damage inflicted was not only cowardly, but probably stuffed the tail end of Barry's career, and this from a guy who was at one stage a fan.
Well, poor Al was 'bowling balled' himself, by his own 'greatest fan' in the end.

I'd like to say another sad ending, but I'd piss myself laughing.

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Old 03-30-2009, 03:16 AM   #27
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

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Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
I met Jeff's mum at a West Ryde pub where she was a cook. Lovely person.
We had a talk about his career. (He was champ at the time)
Their was always an undercurrant of media bias around him & Jeff Fenech. She cited the time when Jeff won his title fight but the Back page was given to Jeff Fenech's announcement of his come back.

Another thing that gave me some concern was that Jeff was on a collision course with Tommy Hearns.
I wouldn't be alone in this worry because given that Jeff would take 3 to give one against a normal light Heavy, fighting Tommy would have been very messy.
Tommy was not only remarkable because of his skill, but to go from Welter to Cruiser & record only 5 losses in a career of 67 fights was testament to his speed & power.
The Cobra was no match for Jeff but the persistant call from urgers & the press was a constant bane for Johnny Lewis.
I might be talking out of school here but from memory, Jeff moved to (I think) Charlie Gurgen shorty after & I suspect that a Hearns fight & Johnny's opposition to it was an ingredient to the shift.

Jeff Harding was never treated fairly by the press. They didn't give him credit for what he acheived, only discredit for what they expected of him, ignorant as it was, & to this day they seem unrepentant that they were a major contributor to his condition, & still they ride him.
Yeh, it was very nice of Fenech to announce his comeback at that time wasnt it
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:14 AM   #28
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

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Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
I met Jeff's mum at a West Ryde pub where she was a cook. Lovely person.
We had a talk about his career. (He was champ at the time)
Their was always an undercurrant of media bias around him & Jeff Fenech. She cited the time when Jeff won his title fight but the Back page was given to Jeff Fenech's announcement of his come back.

Another thing that gave me some concern was that Jeff was on a collision course with Tommy Hearns.
I wouldn't be alone in this worry because given that Jeff would take 3 to give one against a normal light Heavy, fighting Tommy would have been very messy.
Tommy was not only remarkable because of his skill, but to go from Welter to Cruiser & record only 5 losses in a career of 67 fights was testament to his speed & power.
The Cobra was no match for Jeff but the persistant call from urgers & the press was a constant bane for Johnny Lewis.
I might be talking out of school here but from memory, Jeff moved to (I think) Charlie Gurgen shorty after & I suspect that a Hearns fight & Johnny's opposition to it was an ingredient to the shift.

Jeff Harding was never treated fairly by the press. They didn't give him credit for what he acheived, only discredit for what they expected of him, ignorant as it was, & to this day they seem unrepentant that they were a major contributor to his condition, & still they ride him.


Think he moved onto Manny Hinton as trainer.

Saw Jeff spar many atime at Glebe Estate Gym, owned by Johnny McColl.

Have a nice pair of gloves signed by him when he was at the peak of his career, thanks to a old mate who was involved in boxing, he was such a nice bloke when he was training & fit & healthy, such a shame he got torn down by the drink
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:05 PM   #29
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

Tremendous fighter was Harding,bloody shame what has happened to him.Very sad indeed.
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:03 PM   #30
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Default Re: Whatever happened to Jeff Harding?

You would think a guy like Jeff would stay in boxing and try his hand at training/ manager/ Promoter....maybe get small sponsorship.

He would have lots of respect from fighters coming up and could help promoters snag fighters as Jeff would be part of the team.

I guess the booze and the dole is another option
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