Prizefighter champion Audley Harrison believes David Haye will inspire him to win boxing titles in 2010. Haye claimed the WBA Heavyweight Championship on Saturday and Harrison believes the victory acts as an incentive for the rest of the British heavyweights. “I was motivated to achieve my goals already, but David’s win and publicity has given me more fuel to get back to the top,” said 38-year-old Harrison. “I’m ticking over in Los Angeles and can’t wait to get going again. 2010 will be a beautiful thing as I shock the world.”
Harrison, who won an Olympic gold medal in 2000, was facing the end of his professional career after a defeat against Northern Ireland’s Martin Rogan in December 2008.
However, Harrison saved his career by winning Barry Hearn’s Prizefighter Heavyweights 3 last month as victories over Scott Belshaw and undefeated duo Danny Hughes and Coleman Barrett saw him lift the trophy.
“I really enjoyed the experience of Prizefighter,” added Harrison. “The contests were all exciting and my three opponents all brought something different to the table.
“The atmosphere was fantastic and I thought the whole production and media attention was spot on.
“I was running out of opportunities to achieve my goal so it was important I came and produced the performances I did. Onwards and upwards.”
The next event in the Prizefighter Series takes place at the National Hall, Olympia, London, on Friday, December 4.
It will be the first ever light-welterweight tournament and the eight-man line-up includes former World, European and British Champions.
Harrison admits he finds it difficult to predict the winner, although he expects former WBA World Champion Gavin Rees to be a strong challenger.
“David Barnes and Colin Lynes could meet in final, depending on the draw, but Gavin Rees will put up fierce resistance and could be the guy to win it,” said Harrison.
“But Michael Grant is my dark horse to make the final. Looking at the records and experience of the fighters, it’s hard to pick a clear winner and I think these bouts will be evenly contested, which will make for a cracking night.
“The tactic I used was to stay patient, wait for my opponents to make mistakes and make them pay.
“Good fitness is required to be successful in this tournament format so it’s no good having a war in your first bout. The ideal tactics are to control the bout, win without losing too much energy and then pick it up for the semis and final.
“The favourites need to focus on each and every opponent they face and not underestimate their opponents as (current British Heavyweight Champion) Danny Williams did in our event.
“Danny’s punch resistance is totally gone, but probably would’ve beaten Carl Baker had he not been so obsessed with me.”
Prizefighter Light-Welterweights tickets cost £40 (unreserved) and £80 (reserved) and are available from See Tickets on 0870 903 9033, www.seetickets.com or from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900.
The full list of competitors is: Ted Bami (Brixton, London), David Barnes (Manchester), Jason Cook (Maesteg, Wales), Michael Grant (Tottenham, London), Colin Lynes (Hornchurch, Essex), Barry Morrison (Motherwell, Scotland), Young Muttley (West Bromwich, West Midlands), Gavin Rees (Newbridge, Wales).