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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 October 2006, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
Harrison insists hunger is back
By Simon Austin

Audley Harrison and Matt Skelton
Harrison fights Skelton in London on 9 December
Audley Harrison insists he is a changed man as he attempts to get his career back on track against Matt Skelton.

Harrison, 34, has failed to fulfil his potential after winning Olympic gold in 2000 but says he has now rediscovered his appetite for the sport.

"You get comfortable - you can't get up in the morning when you've got your silk pyjamas on," said Harrison.

"But I'm back, I'm hungry, I'm awake now. I think what was going on out of the ring was affecting me."

Harrison's stock plummeted to an all-time low following back-to-back defeats against Danny Williams and Dominick Guinn.

The US-based Londoner knocked out little-known American Andrew Greeley inside three rounds in his comeback fight in June.

Now, after landing a title shot against Commonwealth champion Skelton, he is determined not to let another chance slip through his grasp.

"I've been to every premier and every event there can be, I've travelled round the world, I've done that celebrity thing," he said.

"People are still phoning me to go on this or that TV programme. But now I've got a different mentality."

Each fight is a learning process for me

Matt Skelton

Harrison will face 39-year-old Skelton at the Excel Arena in London on 9 December, with the winner promised a shot at a world title by promoter Frank Warren.

Skelton, who beat Williams on points in July to win the Commonwealth crown, is confident of victory but says he will not be underestimating Harrison.

"Ultimately, Audley's an Olympic champion and he's still got something there," said the former kick-boxing champion.

Skelton has been criticised for his boxing style, but is unrepentant.

"I'm still learning - each fight is a learning process," he said.

"If this fight is called pretty, all fair and well. But if I fight ugly and still win, I'll be happy."



SEE ALSO
Williams defeats rival Harrison
10 Dec 05 |  Boxing


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