Boxing


UK Boxing: Audley Harrison; Tony Jeffries; Lenny Daws

AUDLEY Harrison today insisted he can still become World Heavyweight Champion. Harrison, 37, admits he has failed to fulfill his potential after winning Olympic gold in 2000 but believes victory at next month’s Prizefighter Heavyweights III will catapult him back to title level. “I had plans to be the Heavyweight Champion of the World in four or five years and it has not gone the way I wanted but ultimately I still believe I’m going to achieve that goal,” said Harrison..

“When I turned professional I said I would win a world title and provided I do that then I will be happy with my career.

“I was one or two fights away from a world title but my career started to implode out of the ring, not in it. I was ready for the next step but sometimes shit happens. I still have time to achieve my goals and will do so.

“I believe I will get that world title and the British public will understand my path, my battles and I will get that credit.

“I’m probably the greatest amateur boxer ever from Britain and won two National Championships, a Commonwealth Championship and am an Olympic Champion. I achieved most of the titles that are out there as an amateur but as a professional I haven’t achieved yet.

“I’ve had ups and downs but I still have the desire, passion and skill and also, now, a clear head.

“I went through a period of time where I couldn’t focus but now I’m in a good place physically and mentally and looking forward to winning this tournament.”

Prizefighter Heavyweights III takes place at the ExCel in London on October 2 and the draw, which was made by former undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson, has given Harrison a perfect opportunity for revenge.

If he defeats Northern Ireland’s Scott Belshaw, Harrison could have a semi-final clash against Michael Sprott, who he lost to in 2007. Harrison could then have a final showdown with arch rival Danny Williams, the current British Champion, who he has beaten once and lost to once.

“With the draw now in, I can now focus on the potential opponents I will face in Prizefighter,” added Harrison. “Scott Belshaw will have a point to prove after getting stopped in his last bout, so I am taking him 100 per cent seriously.

“The chance to rectify my loss to Michael Sprott in the semi-finals is extra motivation for me to push myself in training.

“If Danny is opposing me in the final, I am confident and sure that, despite his relentless urge to crush me, I will come through a tough battle to take the Prizefighter crown.”

PartyCasino.com Prizefighter Heavyweights III draw.

Quarter-finals: QF 1. Scott Gammer v Coleman Barrett, QF 2. Danny Williams v Carl Baker, QF 3. Audley Harrison v Scott Belshaw, QF 4. Michael Sprott v Danny Hughes.

Semi-finals: SF1: Gammer or Barrett v Williams or Baker, SF 2: Harrison or Belshaw v Sprott or Hughes.

Tickets cost £40 and £80 and are available from See Tickets on 0871 220 0260, www.seetickets.com or from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.


JEFFRIES DOGS IT......BUT NOT IN THE RING

OLYMPIC bronze medallist Tony Jeffries lost his way last week after being sent off course by three crazed dogs, but thankfully his boxing career is still on track.

'Jaffa's' mishap came during a training run in Portugal with fellow Sunderland fighter Dave Ferguson and Blackpool's unbeaten light-middleweight prospect Brian Rose.

The trio lost their way for almost two hours while running in 80 degree heat at their promoter Frank Maloney's Algarve training camp after being chased by three hungry dogs.

The mutt attack sent them in a different direction than normal and with none of the boxers carrying a mobile phone during the running session, Jeffries dad, Phil who was at the camp could not be contacted.

Phil became worried when the fighters hadn't returned and eventually found them in a remote area eight miles from their mountain hideaway.

Phil, who manages his son and heavyweight hope Ferguson said: "I thought they were longer than normal and the penny quickly dropped that they had got lost.

"Frank had returned to London on business for a few days and because he knows the area had been with them every morning.

"They had been working and running hard every day, but wanted a change of scenery and in no time at all were off track when three scraggy dogs scared them more than any opponent.

"Although the dogs were only on their case for a minute or so, the area was full of mazy roads and they were soon barking up the wrong tree."

Red faced Jeffries (3-0) said: "It was pretty rural, but the dogs barking terrified us all and although we lost them we suddenly never had clue where we were.

"The occasional Portuguese motorist went past and we tried to hail them down. They just stared with a look that said; 'Who are these lunatics, wearing shorts and running in this heat?'

"We had just about run out of water when my dad tuned up. He just looked and us and said: 'Weather's turned out nice again'.

"Because of the dogs going bananas we went four miles out of our way which wasn't the brightest thing to do in hot temperatures."

Ferguson (9-2) who Maloney hopes to push into British title contention blamed Jeffries and Rose and said: "I won't follow Tony anywhere again unless it is around Sunderland.

"Because I'm a bit heavier than Tony and Brian, I was a couple yards behind and following them, but I soon got in front when the dogs were growling.

"If you got a load of dogs chasing me on a run, I'd become the world's fittest heavyweight."

Super-middleweight Jeffries and Ferguson are both in action in their hometown at Seaburn Centre on October 16.

Also on the bill is Jeffries possible future rival Darren Sutherland (4-0) who also won a bronze medal in Beijing last August and has stopped all of his professional opponents.

Heading the quality bill is a British super-bantamweight title defence by Jason Booth (33-5) who faces Hartlepool's former European champion Michael Hunter.

Booth, 31, will be having his 17th major title contest and making the second defence of the championship he won against Mark Moran in April.

Tickets priced £35 and £90 are available from 0871 226 1508, Phil Jeffries 0191 564 0202 and www.frankmaloney.com. Those buying from the website will receive a discount.


Daws ready to gain revenge over Morrison

Lenny Daws believes he will become a two time British Light Welterweight Champion on Friday night when he meets old foe Barry Morrison for the vacant title.

Motherwell man Morrison ended Daws first reign as a Lonsdale belt holder when he beat him on a split decision in 2007 but the Morden man is confident of getting revenge at London’s York Hall on Friday.

“I always wanted a rematch with Morrison and now I’ve got the opportunity,” said Daws. “I thought I nicked it by a couple of rounds last time but I can set the record straight now. Last time I started too slowly and I know I can’t afford to make the same mistake this time, I need to get to work from early on and leave no doubts in the judge’s minds.”

Daws is unbeaten in six since his defeat to Morrison and last time out he captured the English Light Welterweight title with a points win over Peter McDonagh however he has always had one eye on a rematch with Morrison.

“It’s been 2 and a half years since I lost my belt and it’s been a difficult time. When you lose that belt it’s like losing a part of you so it’s great that I’ve a chance to get it back now. I always wanted the rematch with Morrison and to have the Lonsdale belt on the line is a real bonus.

“I know him inside out obviously from our first fight and from watching him over the years. I know his strengths and weaknesses, he’s going to be very strong and it’s a huge opportunity for both of us but I know what I need to do to win so it’s up to me to put that game plan in to action.

Article posted on 13.09.2009



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