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Friday, 5 October, 2001, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
Criticism spurs Audley on
Audley Harrison spears Derek McCafferty with a jab
Harrison received plenty of criticism for his last win
By BBC Sport Online's Sanjeev Shetty

Audley Harrison has revealed that the verbal punches he has been taking in recent weeks have acted as his motivation.

The 29-year-old has been the target of much abuse since his six round points win over Derek McCafferty in September.

Speaking to BBC Sport Online about his soon to be published autobiography, Harrison admitted that he had dealt with negative feedback all his life.

"I love proving people wrong - all that criticism I received in the press is just such motivation for me - keep it coming!" said the Olympic gold medallist.

I could have turned out to be a real nasty guy
Audley Harrison

"People can write me off, criticise me - more fool them! I know where I'm going."

Harrison is preparing for his third professional fight which takes place in Scotland on 20 October.

And he admits that his tale of rags-to-riches does not always show him in the best of lights.

"I was going through a phase where I wanted to be the bad guy," Harrison says about his early years when he was in and out of young offenders' institutions.

"I could have turned out to be a real nasty guy.

"I was always told that I was the bad guy and I was not going to make nothing of myself.

"If you start believing that you won't make nothing of yourself."

Audley Harrison at the races
Harrison's style is not everyone's cup of tea
Among the criticism that Harrison has received since the start of his professional career is the notion that he should not be headlining shows.

But the London man says that typifies his character.

"I'm non conformist by nature.

"I'm not a person who goes with the flow. I don't toe the line.

"I'm just doing what's right for Audley Harrison."

The story of Harrison's life, title 'Realising the Dream' is released on 22 October by Granada Books.

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