Boxing: Haye wants Harrison at his best

David Haye hopes heavy underdog Audley Harrison is at his enigmatic best on Saturday in order to give the paying public "more than a minute's worth of entertainment".

Harrison challenges huge favourite Haye for the WBA heavyweight in Manchester, with his world title credentials widely questioned following nearly 10 years of under-achievement.



The 2000 Olympic champion has shown only flashes of the heart and ability which won him a gold medal in Sydney since turning professional. However, a dramatic come-from-behind knockout of Michael Sprott to win the European title earlier this year catapulted him into the world title picture and earned him a lucrative all-British clash with former cruiserweight champion Haye.



And the champion, formerly friends with fellow Londoner Harrison, hopes the fighter who beat Sprott and Danny Williams turns up rather than the man who capitulated against the likes of Martin Rogan and Dominick Guinn.



Haye told Press Association Sport: "I'm preparing for the best Audley Harrison and I want the best Audley Harrison to turn up.



"I really do, for the viewers, the paying public, the people watching on Sky 3D - I know people who have actually bought 3D televisions specifically to watch this fight. "I want to give them more than a minute's worth of entertainment.



"I want Audley to come out and give me some problems and some puzzles to solve so I can go out there and give people some entertainment."



Harrison's high profile, stemming from both his Olympic glory and his professional failure, was the factor which effectively made the fight happen.



Haye has been delighted by the public interest in the fight, which is a mandatory defence of his title.



"I knew once it caught the public's imagination how big it would go, with a snowball effect," said the champion.



"Looking at the column inches we've got, even way before the fight this week it's been back page news in certain newspapers.



"That shows the magnitude of it. How often do you get a boxing match on the backpages other than right after the event? It happens very rarely.



"I'm really happy that this fight's caught people's imaginations because that's what you want in boxing. I'm in boxing to create a legacy and in Britain people will remember this fight for years to come."



Harrison has never publicly doubted his ability to win world honours and after weeks of typical back-and-forth sniping, believes the British people may finally be warming to him.



"I think there's definitely been a swing in public support because my story has resonated with people," the veteran told Press Association Sport.



"It's a story of hope, triumph over adversity, never giving up, and people are starting to see 'this guy has been beaten down, never given up and now he gets an opportunity, he gets his moment'.



"These are the moments when I get up.



"I relish being the underdog. I relish these big occasions, these moments in time when it's all on the line. There's no November 14. This is the title shot, you have to go for it. Just like the Olympics, the European title shot, the Prizefighter tournament. I like these kind of scenarios."



He added: "I'm just looking forward to it. It's going to be a tough fight because he's the champion and he doesn't want to give up his belt. I'm the challenger and I want the belt.



"It's going to be tough but ultimately I'm going to prevail."

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game