Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Boxing: Haye to fight Harrison in November

WBA heavyweight champion David Haye announced his next title defence against Audley Harrison today before lashing out at his bitter rival with a string of insults.

Haye will make the second defence of his belt against his fellow Londoner - and former friend - on November 13 at Manchester's MEN Arena.

Having failed to agree a unification showdown with either of the Klitschko brothers, Bermondsey fighter Haye was short of viable alternative opponents.

Indeed, he admitted Harrison is not a worthy world title challenger and promised to "violate" and "embarrass" the 2000 Olympic champion at a heated press conference in London today.

"I don't think he deserves to fight me," said Haye.

"I don't think he's done enough in his career - but I'm happy to do my duty for the British people.

"The public want to see one final high-profile destruction of Audley Harrison, and I can assure them this will be the last time they ever see him in a boxing ring.

"Once I've cleaned up the mess, Audley's going to slither back to Los Angeles."

He addressed Harrison: "You're going to get violated in that ring. I am going to close the curtain on the joke that is the Audley Harrison show."

While 38-year-old Harrison's credentials are questionable, the fight is likely to make good money in Britain while 'A-Force' also boosted his reputation with a late knockout of Reading's Michael Sprott earlier this year in a fight he had been losing clearly.

"If David Haye thinks I've taken this fight strictly for a payday, he is in for a rude awakening," said Harrison (27-4, 20 KOs).

"After winning Olympic gold, I set a new goal to become a world heavyweight champion. David Haye stands in my way of achieving that goal."

Haye, meanwhile, has yet to secure a dream fight against either WBC champion Vitali Klitschko or his brother Wladimir, the WBO and IBF holder. Poland's Tomasz Adamek was the most credible challenger but Harrison was always a more financially viable option.

Harrison has flattered to deceive since turning professional nine years ago, fighting a string of knockover opponents before being defeated by the likes of Danny Williams, Dominick Guinn, Sprott and Martin Rogan.

Despite those setbacks, Harrison never conceded defeat in his quest to challenge for a world title despite being widely mocked by the boxing public.

Victory in the 'Prizefighter' tournament last year secured him a European title shot against Sprott which he took in dramatic fashion, knocking his countryman out in the 12th round to collect his first genuine title, which he subsequently relinquished due to injury sustained in the fight.

The 'Battle of Britain' will be screened live on Sky Box Office.