Boxing


David Haye Tells Audley Harrison - "Beat Michael Sprott And Alexander Dimitrenko, Then Come Knock On My Door"

by James Slater - WBA heavyweight champion Brit David Haye has admitted he has something of a soft spot for countryman and former Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison. And though "The Hayemaker" admits the 38-year-old known as "A-Force" has a long way to go before he can be looked at as a serious and credible challenger for his WBA belt, the 29-year-old has not ruled out such a fight.

Talking to Sky Sports recently, Haye spoke about Harrison and his frequent attempts at, not so much calling him out per se, but at putting forth the idea of an all-British heavyweight title clash..

"I've achieved everything I said I would [in my career] and Audley said when he won the Olympics (in 2000) that he'd be the British champion in five fights," Haye said. "I don't think he's ever won the British title to this day (he hasn't), and this (tomorrow's rematch with Michael Sprott) is his first major title fight, and it's for a vacant title against a guy who knocked him spark out in three rounds.

"I like Audley. I think he's got a lot of ability and a lot of potential, but for some reason something's not clicking. Hopefully he's got that figured out now, and hopefully he can KO Michael Sprott, he can KO [Alexander] Dimitrenko, and he could be my next contender. Before that he's got to beat two guys."

So who knows? Maybe, if Harrison, 26-4(19) can gain revenge over Sprott in London tomorrow evening, and if he can then get Ukraine's Dimitrenko into the ring with him and beat him also, he could, just maybe, find himself not a million miles away from sharing a ring with Haye.

It's interesting Haye mentions a Harrison-Dimitrenko fight. The big 27-year-old has not been seen since his humbling points loss to "Fast" Eddie Chambers, last July. Still a big name in Europe, however, Dimitrenko will be looking to take the European belt off Harrison if the southpaw can win it tomorrow night. And though many fans would probably make Dimitrenko, 29-1(19) a favourite over "A-Force," a win for the Londoner would make his credentials as far as a shot at Haye that much more impressive.

Still, as Haye - who has bigger fish to fry, so to speak - says, big Audley is a long ways from being in a position to challenge him at the moment. After all, Sprott, who has promised another KO win over Harrison, may well win on Friday night.

But just supposing, in say, six months time, if Harrison has beaten Sprott and Dimitrenko, and if Haye is still in possession of his WBA belt - what would the critics say if Haye accepted the challenge of Harrison? It's fair to say, unless he's beaten at least one of the Klitschkos by then, Haye would come under real fire if he took what the cynics would undoubtedly call an easy fight.

If, however, Haye HAS beaten a Klitschko by October or November or thereabouts, he would be free to pretty much fight whoever he wants by way of a voluntary defence; this fight being a "warm-up" for the inevitable second Klitschko fight. This possible turn of events aside, I don't see Harrison ever facing Haye in the ring. All the same, Audley will likely take heart at how Haye is even talking about him!

Article posted on 09.04.2010



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