After months of speculation, WBA heavyweight champion David Haye and fellow UK fighter Audley Harrison have agreed to face off on November 13 at the MEN Arena.
Last month, Harrison boasted that the contracts had already been drawn up and Haye was stalling to sign. The claim resulted in a “shut the fuck up, Fraudley” comment from Haye and further warnings to keep quiet.
Haye, who’s last viral video criticized the Klitschko brothers for their next opponents in Samuel Peter and Shannon Briggs, justified his pick of the lowly Harrison by explaining it’s a fight the British fans demanded.
“Everyone wants to see it. I get more emails and messages wanting me to fight Audley than anyone else,” Haye told Sky Sports News. “That’s who they [the British public] know. They’ve seen Audley for the last 10 years after the Olympics. He’s a household name. So people want me to genuinely destroy him…They want me to close the show on him.”
Harrison is ranked #13 by the WBA. He turned pro to a lot of fanfare and hype in 2001 following his Olympic gold medal win as a super heavyweight. However, after several losses to lower-level talent the British heavyweight has been written off by most fans and earned the derisive nickname “Fraudley.” In his last bout, he rematched Michael Sprott, a fighter who had knocked him out in three rounds back in 2007. Harrison was dominated for the entire contest before posting a dramatic, desperation 12th round TKO.
Even though Haye has opened as an immense betting favorite (1-7) to defeat him, the 38-year-old Audley Harrison is determined to pull off what would be the biggest upset of the year.
“I’ve said it many times that I will be a world champion before I retire and now I get the chance to fulfil my destiny in boxing,” he stated. “So go ahead, write me off but I can’t wait for the day when ‘A-Force’ Harrison, destroys Mr. Haye. Yes I can.”
Haye vs. Harrison will be broadcast live on Sky Sports PPV.
I believe Haye made some reasonable points regarding why the Wladimir Klitschko fight fell through, but for now on the Hayemaker will need to keep quiet about their choice of opponents.
There’s no conceivable way anyone would rank Audley Harrison over Samuel Peter or even Shannon Briggs. Those two American fighters have held titles and been top-ranked contenders. Audley Harrison never was a contender or a threat to anyone’s belt.
This fight is nothing more than a high-priced sparring session. Stay busy fights are ok, but not when they’re on PPV and you’ve been clowning your rival’s opponents.
Am I wrong, UK fans? Is there a demand for this fight over there?