Audley Harrison believes world heavyweight champion David Haye is a false prophet with many weaknesses that he could exploit, and that Haye is keeping the belt “warm” for one of his rivals.
The Prize fighter champion and former Olympic gold medalist was speaking on the eve of Friday night’s European heavyweight title fight against Michael Sprott.
The 38-year-old Harrison said at yesterdays weigh in that he as never been better metally or physically and also suggested that when he wins the rematch with Sprott it will catapult him into the heavyweight top 10 and a shot at one of the Klitchko brothers but also has his sights set on a title bout with current WBA champion Haye.
Harrison 26-4, 19 KO’s, was in no mood to praise Haye although he did say he gives him 100% respect!
Speaking on Haye’s rise to prominence, Harrison said: “He’s done what he had to do. He’s explosive as David always is, he’s exciting.
“I’m sure the Klitchkos and the Arreolas of this world will see things that they feel they could exploit, like I could see.
“But, for what he’s doing, it’s good for British boxing. You can’t deny it, it’s could for British boxing, it’s good for the heavyweight division.
“Long may it continue, he’s keeping it warm, he’s keeping it warm.”
The A Force has his own work cut out tonight though first, against previous conqueror Michael Sprott, before he looks forward to a showdown with Haye, who he admits he is not on friendly terms, after Haye didn’t put him on an Haymaker promotion in Liverpool last year.
Sprott 32-14, 17 KO’s, knocked out Harrison in three rounds in 2007, in a devastating blow to Harrison’s ambitions, and he has since rebuilt himself, and mentioned managerial and promotional issues for him not focusing, resulting in this defeat as well as Danny Williams and Martin Rogan.
Harrison cannot afford anymore slips ups, if his career is to go anywhere from here, and holding a European title will give his cause some back bone, but Harrison made it clear that he doesn’t intend to lose twice to Sprott.
“If I can’t beat Michael there will be no more levels I can move to if I want to become a world champion.”
However, Sprott, 35, insisted: “I’m going to make sure he will lose.”
Harrison weighed in at 17st 12lb 4oz, more than one stone heavier than Sprott at 16st 9lb 12oz, and insisted he will not be stopped this time around at Alexandra Palace.
“Michael Sprott thinks he can do what he do what he did last time and he’s also fighting in memory of his beloved sister who passed away so I know he’s coming in with a lot of emotion, strength and confidence,” said Harrison.
Darren Barker fights French man Affif Belghecham for the vacant European middleweight title on the undercard. The pair clash for the title in London after injured holder Matthew Macklin recently relinquished the belt.
Barker with a 21-0, 14knockouts, record going into the fight, which includes dropping the durable Darren McDermott in just four rounds, while he also handed a first career stoppage to Danny Butler.
The unbeaten British and Commonwealth middleweight champion now believes he can hand out the same treatment to tough French middleweight champion Belghecham, who recently took top Irish prospect Andy Lee all the way before losing on points.
Barker said: “I think I can knock this guy out, I really do. My power is really starting to sting opponents as McDermott and Butler would both testify.”
Barker is a talented fighter and looks set to add a another title to his ever growing collection.