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Audley hails his US move.

Audley Harrison is relishing his new lease of life across the Atlantic and is ready to claim his 13th straight win in Las Vegas tonight.

The Olympic super-heavyweight champion landed a three-fight deal with US television network ESPN in August after deciding to escape the microscope in Britain.

He takes on Argentine Lisandro Diaz in an eight-rounder at the Mandalay Bay complex convinced chasing his dream abroad was the best thing he ever did.

Harrison said: "I have already gained a tremendous amount of recognition at the highest level of professional boxing possible.

"Just sitting alongside boxing greats like Evander Holyfield and James Toney, I can see the advantage of having a presence in America."

Holyfield and Toney meet in their eagerly-anticipated 10-round non-title heavyweight fight at the same venue the following night.

Diaz stepped in at short notice after original opponent Tommy Connelly pulled out with an eye injury.

He has stopped six of his 11 opponents inside the distance - but has also been beaten four times himself - including a first-round loss to novice Manuel Quezada a year ago, and a second-round defeat since then.

Harrison is convinced Diaz will bring new skills to help him realise his tortuous grand plan.

But he took another opportunity this week to berate the British rivals.

Harrison added: "It makes me realise how ridiculous the other British heavyweights are. "Lennox Lewis has already done his part and now I am the only one over here representing Britain.

"It makes no sense to me why someone like Danny Williams would bother to spend five years of his career at home if he was really serious about advancing his name in this division."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 3, 2003
Words:279
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