• David Price v Audley Harrison

Warren: Audley has jeopardised British boxing

ESPN staff
October 13, 2012
Audley Harrison barely threw a punch in his high profile bout with David Haye © PA Photos

Boxing promoter Frank Warren has put the boot into Audley Harrison, insisting the heavyweight lacks courage and has "jeopardised professional boxing in Britain".

Harrison heads into an all-British collision with David Price on Saturday claiming he will retire if he loses. The 40-year-old is selling the fight on his belief that he is a different boxer to the one witnessed over the past decade, saying he has been "living a lie".

Those words have irritated Warren, who insists Harrison - following his 2000 Olympic gold medal success - turned TV companies away from offering other fighters multi-million deals due to his lack of success at a crucial period for the sport. What should have been a star in Warren's eyes, has become a farce in those of the nation.

"Over the past decade, the 2000 Olympic gold medallist has done as much as anybody to jeopardise professional boxing in Britain," Warren said in the Sun.

"Firstly, promoting himself under the A-Force banner, he managed to ostracise the BBC from boxing, after negotiating a £1 million, 10-fight deal which lacked any quality control and allowed Harrison to pick ridiculously lame opposition.

"Then Big Aud helped kibosh pay-per-view TV promotions in this country following his lamentable 'no show' when challenging David Haye for the WBA title in November 2010.

"After returning from Sydney a national hero, the self-promoted foghorn single-handedly transformed himself into a figure of ridicule with the British public."

Warren signs up to the belief of many experts that Harrison could have been a real force in world boxing. However, the promoter says there is a fighter's spirit that is missing from the veteran.

"He has been dubbed Fraudley, Audrey and A-Farce. Though blessed with an abundance of natural skill and plenty of poke in his southpaw left cross, not much of his colossal 6ft 6in, 18st frame is made up with heart or balls.

"Time and again, after boldly talking the talk, he has taken flight when the time came to fight. Danny Williams, Michael Sprott, Martin Rogan and Haye have all done him. Tonight at Liverpool's Echo Arena, Price should join that club."

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