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Friday, 22 November, 2002, 14:11 GMT
Harrison dedicates fight to late uncle
British heavyweight Audley Harrison makes his US debut against American Shawn Robinson
Harrison has won all seven of his professional bouts
Highlights of Saturday's fight will be shown on Sunday Grandstand at 1445 GMT on BBC Two.

Audley Harrison has vowed to fight for the memory of his late uncle when he steps into the ring for his United States debut on Saturday.

The Olympic champion's uncle Roland Harrison died from a brain haemorrhage last month - a tragedy which the fighter described as a "massive shock".

But as Harrison prepared to fight on the undercard of the light-welterweight bout between Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti, he pledged to honour his uncle's memory.

"My dad is frightened of me boxing, but my uncle always wanted me to fight. This fight is dedicated to his memory," he said.


All Harrison will have done is beat up another journeyman on a run of poor form
Danny Williams
Commonwealth champion

"I would be doing him a disservice if I went into the ring not fully prepared and ready to give it my all. I'm fighting in his memory."

Harrison will throw his first punches on US soil in front of a 15,000 sell-out crowd at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

And he said he will be happy to give the American public a taster of his talents against US fighter Shawn Robinson.

Harrison said he will be pleased to avoid the British critics who have scrutinised him - and his choice of opponents - ever since he announced his intention to claim the world heavyweight title.

Robinson has the apparently respectable record of 15 wins and four defeats with 13 of the wins coming inside the distance.

But he has lost his last three fights, a downward spiral started when Danny Williams, the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion, crushed him in two rounds 11 months ago.

Williams said Robinson was another poor choice of opponent for Harrison - who has been criticised for fighting journeymen in his career to date.

"When Audley knocks this guy out quickly - which he will - he'll be shouting his mouth off that he did the same job on Robinson that I did," he said.

Britain's Audley Harrison on his way to his victory against Wade Lewis
Harrison is hoping to impress US viewers

"But really all he'll have done is beat up another journeyman who is on a run of poor form."

But Harrison's trainer Jim McDonnell insisted that Robinson would prove a durable opponent.

"He's short but very strong and has punching power as well," he said.

"He's no world-beater but he will come to fight and won't lie down."

Harrison, meanwhile, kept out of the verbal sparring, preferring instead to focus on what he felt would be another stop on the route to fame.

"It's a different audience who have heard a bit about me from the Olympics but have not had the chance to see me so obviously there will be some interest," he said.

"This is a big event and I'm looking forward to being part of it. Being Olympic gold medallist, these sort of opportunities open up and I'm going to take full advantage."

Audley Harrison's professional career - so far

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