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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 07:17 GMT 08:17 UK
Harrison: I'm still on track
Harrison scored his fifth professional win
Harrison had to battle for his fifth professional win

Audley Harrison claimed his career was firmly on track after scoring a less than perfect fifth professional win on Tuesday night.

Harrison was pushed to a six-round points decision in a gruelling and attractive scrap with late substitute Mark Krence of Chesterfield.

It was easily the toughest fight of the Olympic super-heavyweight champion's fledgling paid career.

And the light-hitting Krence even seemed to shake Harrison with a superb left hook in the fourth round.

Referee John Keane awarded Harrison a thoroughly fair 58-55 verdict, which included an extra point off Krence for a knockdown in round two which he insisted was a slip.


I don't think Audley gave Mark Krence the respect he deserved
Harrison's trainer Thell Torrance

Harrison said: "I've been a pro almost exactly a year and I'm already beating guys who are high up in the British boxing rankings.

"He caught me with some good shots and at some point you have to take the punches. I think I'm right on track.

"I was fighting a fit guy who was as ambitious as hell. I'm still coming back after six months out through injury and if training had been 100% I think I would have stopped him."

Struggle

Krence had acted as Harrison's sparring partner to prepare him for his scheduled bout with Dominic Negus.

And when Negus pulled out with a viral infection, the Derbyshire fighter was given his chance.

Krence said: "I definitely caught him and hurt him."

Harrison seemed to struggle after a fine start to the fourth and took a breather in the fifth before finishing strongly.

Krence took Harrison the distance
Krence took Harrison the six-round distance
His manager, Colin McMillan, admitted: "It wasn't perfect."

And his American trainer Thell Torrance said he had plenty to work on before he returns, hopefully within six weeks.

Torrance said: "I was satisfied with his performance because it gave us the opportunity to have a look at some of the things he has got to work on.

"The problem was not getting this guy up to fight Audley, it was a problem of getting Audley up to fight this guy.

"I don't think Audley gave Mark Krence the respect he deserved in the first three rounds.

"If he had done, I think he would have knocked him out.

"But it is very good for him at this stage of his career to go the full six rounds."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Boxing commentator John Rawling
"There are big questions over Harrison"
Audley Harrison
"It was a reasonable performance"
Audley Harrison's professional career - so far

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