At the age of 40 former European heavyweight champion Audley Harrison has one last chance to rescue a far from impressive boxing career on October 14 when he unbeaten prospect David Price for the British heavyweight title at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Below is a question and answer interview with the former WBA heavyweight title challenger, courtesy of frankmaloney.com
Q; How has your training and preparation been going?
It’s been going very well. I started off a bit sluggish and there were a couple of niggles to work through, but I’ve had a good time and am getting there. It’s full steam ahead as we approach the show.
Q: What kind of sparring have you had for this fight?
To be honest, it’s really just been about getting myself in shape. The older you get the harder it is to get in shape so that’s what the focus has been on. Someone like Sergio Martinez, he doesn’t do much sparring. It’s about getting in shape, working on my skills and my ability, that’s been the big focus.
Q: How closely have you followed David Price’s career?
Not his earlier fights, but I’ve definitely followed his last few fights, and I’ve said I wouldn’t mind having a crack at him or Tyson Fury. It’s been interesting watching him develop and he hasn’t really put a foot wrong in the pros. He’s definitely a good prospect but he hasn’t really been tested yet, and they’re doing everything right with him.
Q: What are David’s strengths and weaknesses?
David Price has definitely got strengths and weaknesses, like everybody else. He’s definitely not the finished article; he does have weaknesses which I’m not going to talk about other than to say we’ll be exploiting them on the night. He’s also got a lot of strengths and is definitely a formidable task to get past. He does a lot of good things in there, but he does have weaknesses that haven’t really been exposed. In his amateur days he was exposed a few times and if there’s one thing I could be critical of it’s that he’s not had an opportunity to work those mistakes out. I’m definitely going to be looking to exploit those weaknesses and I believe I’ll be able to do that with my skills and ability.
Q: Will your size be a factor in the fight?
He’s definitely bigger than me. He’s got the size and the strength, but I’ve got the experience and I’ve had a good camp. I’ve just got to use my skills and ability. He’s got a lot of strength and I’m not going to get in there and fight with him, I’ve got to use my skills. I’ve always said ’I’ve got the skills to pay the bills’ and I’ll use them and make it hard for him.
Q: You’re far more experienced, does he bring anything to the table you haven’t seen before?
Amateur and professional, I’ve fought a lot of guys, and the tall guys have given me trouble in the past. As a pro I’ve only fought one tall guy, Julius Long, who I knocked out in two rounds. This guy’s going to pose me some challenges, but it’s going to be a challenge on either side. David Price is going to know he’s in a fight and I’ll know I’m in a fight. I know he’s trained for that and so have I. It’s going to be a cracking fight for the public because everything’s on the line for both of us.
Q: You’re 40 now; it’s a hard business – what’s the motivation for carrying on?
Just to finish my journey. It doesn’t get any easier when you get to 40 and in my last fight [Ali Adams TKO 4] I had every injury in the book and it was a real test, but it helped my motivation and passion. I fell out of love with boxing in 2004; I tried to take on the system and I’ve really been in the wilderness for a long time, trying to get back to this place. I didn’t want to be retired on the David Haye fight; it would have been terrible to retire after that. My last fight was off TV but they were all cheering my name when I knocked him out. This fight is back on TV, it’s probably the biggest fight of the year after David Haye against [Dereck] Chisora. This is where I should be, back in the big billing and win, lose or draw, I’ll definitely leave it all in the ring.
Q: You’ve had lots of criticism over the years – is this fight about redemption?
Redemption 2012, I’ve been saying it all year. It’s on my Twitter and Facebook timeline. It’s redemption because the David Haye performance; it wasn’t a performance I could be proud of. A lot of people have judged me on that one fight. If you look at my whole career, I’ve achieved a lot and I didn’t want to walk away with that performance as my lasting legacy. This fight is definitely going to put me back in position; it’s back in the limelight and this is back where I need to be.
Q: Is there anywhere to go if you lose?
Really, there’s nowhere to go, that’s why it’s all bells to the whistle. There is no October 14th; it’s all or nothing, unless I clearly win the fight and don’t get the decision, then we’d have to do a rematch!
Q: You’re fighting in Price’s back yard – how do you feel about that?
It’s not ideal, but I’ve had some great times in Liverpool. Obviously I know he’s their boy and they’ll be supporting him in droves and any Liverpudlians who like me will know they’ll have to keep quiet on the night! They’ll all have to be shouting for David Price, but I’m hoping I get a few people that break ranks and give me a few chants on the way, along with all the boos!
Q: Lastly, what’s your prediction for the fight?
Well, it’s going to be a tough barnstormer. It’ll be back and forth; it’ll be a tussle but in the end ’A-Force’ will be victorious
October 4, 2012