Audley still A-Force to be reckoned with

AUDLEY HARRISON claimed the �32,000 top prize in Barry Hearn s Prizefighter Heavyweights III tournament at Newham s ExCel Arena on Friday night and boasted it was his springboard back to the boxing big time – and the world heavyweight title, writes LEN WH

AUDLEY HARRISON claimed the �32,000 top prize in Barry Hearn's Prizefighter Heavyweights III tournament at Newham's ExCel Arena on Friday night and boasted it was his springboard back to the boxing big time - and the world heavyweight title, writes LEN WHALEY.

The 37-year-old ex-Repton Olympic gold medal hero earlier insisted he would retire if he lost, but claimed the trophy with a second-round knockout of Irishman Coleman Barrett in the final.

"I think I've now created an opportunity where, hopefully, I can achieve my goals," said A-Force Audley, ignoring the boos of some fans.

"My journey isn't about the criticism I get, it's about my own goal to be World Champion, and I get knocked down, but always get back up again.


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"All roads lead to a world title, so I want to go the quickest way possible," said Harrison, who could be backed by Matchroom boss Hearn, as he goes for glory once again.

The latest eight-man, one-night Prizefighter tournament was held in front of over 5,000 fans at a packed ExCel, with the usual thrilling action as fighters hit the canvas seven times.

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Harrison claimed the title after a stoppage of Scott Belshaw in the quarter-final, then a points triumph over Danny Hughes in the semi-final, before the victory over Barrett.

He displayed come crisp hitting power when he unloaded, but too often looked hesitant and reluctant to take risks.

"The place was sold out and I've seen loads of coverage in the papers so there's still interest in Audley Harrison. After those three performances, there's still hope for me and hope for Britain to have a World Champion," said the ever-ambitious fighter.

However, despite his encouraging form against near-novice opposition, A-Force Audley still looks a long way removed from his target of taking apart the top heavyweight names on the world scene.

But the future for British champion Danny Williams looks bleak after his sad points defeat against unfancied Carl Baker in the quarter-final.

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