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Lennox Lewis believes Harrison can upset Haye

David Haye v Audley Harrison, WBA heavyweight championship
Venue: MEN Arena, Manchester Date: Saturday 13 November
Coverage: Live text commentary online and on mobile phones; Live on Sky Box Office

David Haye (left) and Audley Harrison
Haye (left) v Harrison is the third all-British heavyweight world title fight

Lennox Lewis believes Audley Harrison has the power to cause an upset in next Saturday's all-British world heavyweight fight against David Haye.

Former heavyweight world champion Lewis gives Harrison a puncher's chance against the WBA title-holder.

He told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek: "Audley realises this time it's now or never. He sounds very confident.

"Audley's got the power to stun the world and upset everybody's thinking. It's another great fight for Britain."

The contest at Manchester's 22,000 capacity MEN Arena is a sell-out and promoters believe it could break British pay-per-view records for a boxing match.

The bookmakers have 30-year-old Haye a heavy favourite against the former Olympic champion, but Lewis thinks it will be closer than many people think.

"David Haye is a better boxer, he can get off his combinations quicker," said the former three-time world champion, arguably Britain's greatest boxer.

"But Audley is a consummate pro. He is an Olympic champion and that is a great pedigree.

"There have been a couple of stumbling blocks but he is still here. That shows me the desire to be accomplished and successful. I think it will be a close fight."

The fight is widely viewed as Harrison's last chance to resurrect a career which has up until now failed to live up to expectations.

Harrison, 39, won gold at the Sydney Games in 2000 and joined the paid ranks the following year, but his credibility soon began to drain away.

Having fought a succession of journeymen opponents, failing to impress the critics along the way, he was beaten by Danny Williams in 2005 and by American Dominick Guinn in his following fight.

He was knocked out by Michael Sprott in 2007 and outpointed by Martin Rogan in 2008, and it was only victory in the Prizefighter heavyweight tournament last year that kept a creaking career on the tracks.

In his last fight in April, a rematch against Sprott for the European title, Harrison was behind on all three judges' scorecards when he pulled out a knockout punch in the final round.

Haye, meanwhile, is a former undisputed cruiserweight champion and won the WBA heavyweight crown in only his third fight in the division.

But Lewis, who was on the receiving end of two huge upsets in his career, against Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman, refused to write Harrison off.

"Audley needs to prove to us that he has got good stamina," said Lewis, who was involved in the two previous all-British heavyweight world title fights, against Frank Bruno in 1993 and Henry Akinwande in 1997.

"And he needs to throw a lot of punches and use that left jab and his size advantage and try to get through with one of those terrific left hands.

"Boxing's an uncertainty. You never know what may happen if Audley's able to contend with David Haye's speed and neutralise it."

see also
Harrison 'feels sorry' for Haye
01 Nov 10 |  Boxing
Harrison to take on champion Haye
07 Sep 10 |  Boxing
Last-gasp Harrison stops Sprott
09 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Haye set to start Klitschko talks
13 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Harrison eyes Klitschko brothers
22 Feb 10 |  Boxing
Haye stops Ruiz to retain title
03 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Harrison wins Prizefighter title
03 Oct 09 |  Boxing

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