• Heavyweight

'Starving lion' Wilder vows to eat Audley Harrison

April 4, 2013
Deontay Wilder will bring an unbeaten record into the ring © AP

Golden Boy Promotions has confirmed exciting heavyweight Deontay Wilder, a 2008 US Olympic bronze medalist - the last American to win an Olympic boxing medal - is set to face 2000 British Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison.

The scheduled 12-round bout will take place on the Amir Khan-Julio Diaz undercard on April 27 at Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield.

But while Wilder (27-0, 27 KOs), 27, is on the rise and one of the top heavyweight prospects in boxing, the 41-year-old Harrison (31-6, 23 KOs) never lived up to the lofty expectations many had for him after his gold medal victory and he is now in steep decline.

Still, the 6ft, 5in 240-pound Harrison is the most notable and experienced opponent to date for the 6ft, 7in, 225-pound Wilder.

"The emotion, the excitement and adrenaline rush that I have is ready to explode out of me," Wilder said. "I'm a starving lion that's ready to eat. On April 27 in Sheffield, England my next meal will be served. On the menu: Audley Harrison. Bon appetite. For the many fans in England, Deontay 'Bronze Bomber' Wilder is coming. You've been waiting for this moment and now it's here. I can't wait to show you guys why I am the light and the way for this dark division."

Harrison - who has been knocked out in three of his six of his defeats and is facing a fresh opponent with a perfect knockout percentage - has won three fights in a row, albeit against lesser opposition, since he was starched in the first round by 2012 ESPN.com prospect of the year David Price, a 2008 British Olympic bronze medalist.

"Deontay is a fast, dangerous puncher, but he has not been tested as a pro," Harrison said. "I have lot of respect for him, so it's not personal, but this is the door I must walk through. Lose and it's over, win and I'm in the top 10 for sure, eligible to challenge for the world title. Biggest risk for the biggest reward. It can't get any better than that."

Harrison fought for a version of the heavyweight title in 2010 but was knocked out in the third round of a one-sided fight with David Haye.

Also announced for the undercard was faded former unified lightweight titleholder Nate Campbell (36-10-1, 26 KOs) against lightweight prospect Terry Flannigan (19-0, 5 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round lightweight bout. Campbell, who is 41 and has not been a factor for years, is dropping back to lightweight after having his recent fights at welterweight and junior-welterweight.

"It's a great honor to be fighting in England," Campbell said. "I'm in great shape and looking forward to returning to the lightweight division and this fight will serve notice as to how serious I am."

Flannigan, 23, will be facing his most experienced and notable foe.

"I'm looking forward to showcasing my talents against a former world champion in Nate Campbell," he said. "This is the type of fight I have been waiting for and I'm ready to move up to the next level and prove that I belong there. It's going to be tough, but come the end of the fight, I have no doubt it will be my hand that is raised."

In another undercard bout, 2012 British Olympic bronze medalist Anthony Ogogo will make his professional debut against Kieron Gray in a scheduled six-round middleweight bout. Also making his pro debut on the card will be Haroon Khan, the younger brother of Amir Khan. Haroon Khan will face an opponent to be determined in a scheduled four-round bantamweight fight.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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