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Harrison out of his depth against Haye.

Byline: MARTIN WILLIAMS

APOLOGIES to regular readers for my month-long hiatus, I've been busy changing nappies and enjoying life at home with my three-week old daughter.

So I'm back to get my teeth into probably the biggest, and most ridiculous match-up on the domestic and world scene - David Haye vs Audley Harrison.

I just can't believe this is happening.

As one of the WBA heavyweight champion's biggest supporter's I'm shocked he looks set to give A-Force a shot at the belt.

What has he done to deserve it? He was pummelled by Michael Sprott for the European strap earlier this year, only to land a make-or-break hook to steal the contest.

Every time he's stepped up, even slightly, he's been outworked and outfought, notably by the limited Martin Rogan, a knackered Danny Williams and the laughable Dominick Guinn.

It's 10 years since he won Olympic gold, yet now he has the opportunity to win a world title? There are far more deserving boxers out there.

I appreciate this match will sell tickets, and that Harrison will have a puncher's chance given Haye's suspect whiskers.

But I can only see this going one way - Haye will knock him out in less than two rounds.

It's a pay day for Harrison, little more.

What's going to be different this time around? He showed bravery against Sprott but too often he's been lacking in the heart department.

Despite this, Harrison said: "I'm about as bored as every other fight fan about hearing why you (Haye) won't accept fights. What are we in this game for? "I say to try and win titles and create a legacy but if it's money you want then outside of the Klitschko fight I'm the only guy that makes you money. I amaccepting the terms you have offered me and now we will see what you are made of.

"So bring on the Battle of Britain and I will be the Hayebreaker come November 13."

Harrison's promoter Eddie Hearn added: "The hard work is done and now it's up to Haye and (manager Adam) Booth.

"We are at the end of the line now, everything is in place and now it's up to them.

"This is a pounds 10m fight and the biggest the country has ever seen, but more than that it's personal between them - there will be no love lost in the ring if we get this signed."

Earlier this week, the pair sparred on social networking site, Twitter.

On Monday, Harrison urged Haye to finally end mounting speculation and sign for their mooted pounds 10m clash at Manchester'sMENArena on November 13, but was unceremoniously told to "shut the f*** up" by Haye, in the Bermondsey Bomber's latest 'tweet'.

Harrison responded: "Keep talking! You have your sidekick wasting our time working out a deal, yet you won't sign. Adamek is cut and Valuev is injured. Hope your not waiting for James Toney this weekend.

"You really are becoming a joke. You are in for a big surprise. My left hand will connect with your chin at some point and you will be out cold. Thirty chin-ups are not going to protect your chin. Man up and sign!" Man up? Haye has shown time and again he has cajones. He proved this against Thompson (albeit naively), Jean Marc Mormeck, Nikolay Valuev and in facing the heavy-handed Enzo Maccarinelli.

Harrison on the other hand, has shown quite the opposite. 'Tentative' would be the word I'd use to describe his style.

However, with Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko's next title defences already sealed against Shannon Briggs and Samuel Peter respectively, Haye has few attractive options available to him for his next defence.

Faded veteran Toney, who will make his UFC debut against Randy Couture on Saturday, is surely no longer a credible option.

Perhaps Harrison is the only man left for him to fight then, but he's not a worthy opponent, not in my opinion, and not if Haye wants to be taken seriously and enter the Hall of Fame.

If this goes ahead, the only real entertainment will be during the press conferences.

CAPTION(S):

Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison has done nothing to earn a world title fight against WBA champion David Haye
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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion, Columns
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 26, 2010
Words:705
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