Boxing


Michael Sprott: I'll KO Audley Harrison and dedicate belt to late sister

Sprott vs HarrisonMICHAEL Sprott has vowed to win the European Heavyweight Championship and dedicate the title to his late sister Ginette. Sprott, a former British and Commonwealth Champion, fights Audley Harrison for the vacant European belt at London’s Alexandra Palace on April 9. However, Sprott, 35, has only recently returned to the ring after Ginette Sprott died in September when she was hit by a train. “I still think she will walk through my door now,” said Sprott.

“It’s been a tough time and it’s something that’s never going to go away. It will always be there. I remember getting a phone call on the day and one of my other sisters was crying on the phone.

“Ginette came to a lot of my fights and always supported me.

“She always wanted me to do well and her memory does inspire me so I would definitely dedicate this victory to my sister.

“It will be an emotional night on April 9th but I’m going to be very strong and carry it with me..

“We were already a very close family and we’ve been sticking together.

“Everything that’s happened has made me a stronger person and I’m in my prime and feel strong both physically and mentally.”

Ginette’s death led to Sprott withdrawing from Prizefighter Heavyweights 3 in October, which Harrison won to set up his European title shot.

Harrison, 38, was due to fight ex-title holder Albert Sosnowski but the Pole decided to fight WBC Champion Vitali Klitschko instead.

After winning Prizefighter, Harrison donated the trophy to Sprott’s family and, although grateful for the gesture, Sprott insisted he would take care of business.

“Had I been in Prizefighter then I would’ve won,” said Sprott, who beat Harrison with a third round knockout when the pair fought in February 2007.

“Audley did what he had to do at Prizefighter and won but some of the guys he fought weren’t at my level.

“Donating the trophy to us was very touching and very nice of Audley. I didn’t really expect it and it surprised me but my mind wasn’t on Prizefighter.

“I wasn’t thinking about boxing, I was only thinking about my family - they always come first.

“But hands up to him, it was a nice gesture, he’s a nice guy and I’ve always got on well with him.

“But this is business and you have to put these things to one side when you’re in the ring.

“I’m very confident that what happened last time is going to happen again – only this time I will knock him out quicker.”

Tickets for the show at Alexandra Palace on April 9 cost £30 and £60 and are available from www.seetickets.com or 0871 230 7148.


Harrison: "I’m calling this revenge or retirement”

AUDLEY Harrison will quit professional boxing if he fails to win the vacant European Heavyweight Championship on April 9. Ex-Olympic gold medalist Harrison insists he will hang up his gloves if he loses against Michael Sprott at London’s Alexandra Palace. “I’m calling this revenge or retirement,” said 38-year-old Harrison in an interview with Sky Sports News. “If I can’t get revenge over Michael Sprott then my career can’t go forward. “If I can’t beat him then there’s nowhere else to go. That’s the mentality I’m going in the ring with – I have to go and win this to move to the next level.

“I will retire if I don’t win this so we know what’s going to happen – I’m going to win this fight, no doubt.”

Harrison and Sprott fought in February 2007 with Sprott winning with a third round knockout.

But Harrison, who saved his career by winning Prizefighter Heavyweights 3 in October, is adamant the result will be different this time.

“I was scheduled to be fighting Albert Sosnowski for the title but he got poached by (WBC Champion) Vitali Klitschko so we had to find the next available challenger,” added Harrison.

“That man was Michael Sprott and he is ranked seventh in the European rankings but I feel like I’ve been blessed to get this opportunity.

“I made some major errors in my first fight with Sprott and he was able to knock me out.

“I’ve been looking forward to avenging that defeat and the fact it’s for a European title is a double boost for me.

“Albert Sosnowski didn’t even defend his European title and he only won it in December so fighting for a world title is definitely a reality for me.

“Everyone is talking about the Klitschko brothers (Vitali and IBF / WBO Champion Wladimir) so these are the guys that I will be targeting.

“I would love to fight (WBA Champion) David Haye but I want to get one of the belts and the real champions are the Klitschko brothers.

“The recent fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Eddie Chambers, even though it wasn’t a good one, was still sold to 110 countries so it shows the Klitschkos are who the world is talking about.

“Michael Sprott has beaten me once but this is going to be a real fight and a real tear-up as I’ve got something to prove.”

Tickets for the show at Alexandra Palace on April 9 cost £30 and £60 and are available from www.seetickets.com or 0871 230 7148.


Harrison vs Sprott

OLD rivals Audley Harrison and Michael Sprott will fight for the vacant European Heavyweight Championship next month. Ex-Olympic gold medalist Harrison and former British and Commonwealth title holder Sprott will clash for the belt at London’s Alexandra Palace on April 9. The pair have fought before in February 2007 and Harrison will be keen for revenge after he was knocked out in the third round. Harrison, 38, who saved his career by winning Prizefighter Heavyweights 3 in October, had been scheduled to meet Poland’s Albert Sosnowski for the title. However, Sosnowski will now face WBC Champion Vitali Klitschko in May and is set to vacate the European belt to set up the mouth-watering all-British clash.

“When Albert pulled out, I told Matchroom I don't care who accepts the fight as there are no easy fights at this level and I’d be ready for anyone,” said Harrison.

“To have the opportunity to rectify my loss against Sprott is a blessing that is better than my expectations.

“I’m glad I get a chance to correct the mistakes I made in that fight. In 2007, had I beaten Sprott I would’ve fought for the world title that year.

“Now I’ve gone full circle and I will show I’m finally ready to fulfil my destiny and fight for and win a world title.

“I have nothing or no one to fear in the division and 2010 will be the rise, redemption and glory of Audley A Force Harrison.”

The bout, which will be the main event of Matchroom sport’s next boxing show, gives both fighters one last shot at the big time.

Sprott was due to take part in the same Prizefighter tournament as Harrison before he withdrew following the death of his sister.

After winning Prizefighter, Harrison donated the trophy to Sprott’s family, although there will be no love lost on April 9 in what will be a make-or-break night in both boxers’ careers.

Sprott, 35, returned to the ring after a nine-month absence in stunning fashion on Saturday with a knockout victory inside 60 seconds against German Werner Kreiskoff.

“When I suffered the tragic loss of my sister, I had to pull out of the Prizefighter tournament that Audley went on to win,” added Sprott.

“I have no doubt in my mind I would’ve won that tournament. I’m confident the result against Audley will be the same as last time.”

Matchroom Sport Chairman Barry Hearn was expecting a fantastic contest. He said: “This is a fight the public wants to see between two of Britain’s best heavyweights

“Albert Sosnowski getting a shot at the WBC belt has shown how close these boxers are to fighting for a world title if they win on April 9.”

Tickets cost £30 and £60 and are available from www.seetickets.com or 0871 230 7148

Article posted on 25.03.2010



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