Boxing: Harrison's talk is a sideshow to Price potential

 

It should not be about Audley Harrison tonight when he finally, after 12 years and 33 fights, gets the chance to win the British title he once claimed he could win in his first bout.

It should be all about the British heavyweight champion David Price, his future, his hopes and his realistic chances of becoming a huge attraction. But instead Big Aud has once against taken over. He did the same thing when he fought David Haye for the WBA version of the heavyweight title, another night when he was the overwhelming underdog, and he has been doing the same thing throughout his remarkable career in boxing.

Price, who has a share of the promotion, selected Harrison for all the right reasons, knowing that the 40-year-old is arguably the best in the sport at whipping up business when it matters.

Harrison has never stopped believing and has recently revised his assessment of his life in boxing, which is generally considered to be a failure, and now insists that the clock has been turned back and it is 2000 all over again. It is boxing's equivalent of the shower scene with Bobby Ewing in Dallas.

"You see, right now I'm being true to myself," claimed Harrison. "I have the door open and finally I have the knowledge to go through it – it has taken a long time but finally it will happen because the learning curve is over and it's time to fulfil my sporting ambition." Harrison, it turns out, has given the last 12 years of experience to himself as a gift.

Harrison is in a rare position, a position extreme even by the warped standards of modern boxing, because if, as expected, he loses, he will be finished, but if he can use his experience to win then he will end up sharing a ring with a Klitschko brother in a world title next; it is a fight that threatens to redefine 'make or break' with its lunatic alternative endings.

"Audley is so good at talking that I'm even starting to believe him and people I know have started to believe him!" claimed Price, who has fought just 13 times and by his own admission has never met anybody with Harrison's ring credentials. "Look at the facts: Audley won the European title by knocking out a man that had beaten him [Michael Sprott] and his only loss since was in a world title fight [Haye]. Why do some people think it is a walkover?"

Price is right and Harrison with his height, his brain and his jab can make the night competitive, possibly for a long fight, and especially if Price goes looking for glory. It is not a woeful mismatch and it could have some seriously entertaining moments.

Tonight, at just after 9:30pm, Price will walk through 8,000 people at the Echo Arena in his hometown of Liverpool to join Harrison in the ring for the most eagerly awaited British heavyweight title fight for over 20 years.

There will be a bit of jostling and then the bell will sound for the start of his serious career and the end of Harrison's headline dominance of a business that was once his for the taking.

Tale of the tape

David Price/Audley Harrison

29 Age 40

Liverpool Birthplace London

2009 Turned pro 2001

6ft 8in Height 6ft 5.5in

82in Reach 86in

Orthodox Stance Southpaw

13 Fights 33

13 Wins 28

11 KOs 21

0 Losses 5

0 Draws 0

84.62 KO win% 63.64

1-8 Odds 8-1

Bronze in 2008 Olympic medals Gold in 2000

TV Boxnation, tonight from 6.45pm at the Liverpool Echo Arena. Fight scheduled to start at 9.30pm.

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before