Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I'll Be Back, Says Audley

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I'll Be Back, Says Audley

Article excerpt

Audley Harrison refuses to admit his world heavyweight title dream has been shattered by the crushing knockout at the hands of Michael Sprott.

Promoter Frank Warren has warned the 35-year-old Olympic gold medallist he faces "a long, hard road back" and that his earning power has been severely hit by his latest and most comprehensive defeat.

However Harrison, nicknamed 'A-Force', insists he is not yet a spent force. He pledged: "I'll be back."

But Sprott ( now one fight away from the world title shot Harrison craved ( and Warren have their doubts.

"I've lost 10 fights and come back," Sprott added. "Maybe he can if he has the determination."

Warren said: "It will be interesting to see how much he does want it because it's about fighting for his future. He'll be getting no big money at this stage."

Harrison spoke of a rematch after being knocked senseless at Wembley Arena despite flooring the former British and Commonwealth champion in the first round. He claimed he thought he could have continued, but Barry McGuigan, the former world featherweight champion, described that view as "deluded."

McGuigan pointed out Harrison was "already damaged goods" before reviving his career with December's three-round destruction of Danny Williams, who outpointed him in their first clash before American Dominick Guinn inflicted his second defeat.

Sprott, the 32-year-old underdog from Reading who wagered pounds 5,000 on himself at 7-2, now tackles Commonwealth champion Matt Skelton at a yet-to-be-decided London venue on May 26, with Warren promising the winner a crack at one of the four versions of the world title.

If Harrison had avoided the left-hand punch from Sprott the way he ducked the post-fight press conference, it might just have been him.

He instead talked to TV, staking his claim for a rematch, claiming: "Me knocking him down kind of messed me up a bit. It made me go away from the game plan and I didn't respect his power. I thought I was okay but the referee said I wasn't. Hopefully, I will have a chance to rectify it. …

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