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Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 18:47 UK

David Haye camp says Audley Harrison talks under way

David Haye (left) and Audley Harrison
Haye (left) and Harrison were close friends - but no longer

The manager of WBA title-holder David Haye has confirmed he has spoken to Audley Harrison's camp about an all-British heavyweight showdown this year.

But Adam Booth insists Harrison is one of six possible opponents and says no contract discussions have taken place.

Harrison had also said talks were under way with the Klitschko brothers.

But the Ukrainians' manager Bernd Boente told the BBC that there had been no talks and predicted Haye would take the "easy option" and fight Harrison.

Harrison, 38, has vacated the European crown he won with a last-gasp knockout of Michael Sprott in April and the Olympic super-heavyweight champion from 2000 says he will be ready to fight in October, having recovered from a torn pectoral muscle.

Vitali Klitschko, 38, holds the WBC title while his brother Wladimir, 34, holds the IBF and WBO belts - and anticipation has risen over a possible meeting for either brother with 29-year-old Haye.

"David Haye is a false prophet. One punch and that chin will shatter like glass," said Harrison.

606: DEBATE
Balmab

"If I was him I'd keep running from the Klitschkos and keep beating up on shop-worn American heavyweights.

"I'm told by my promoters that both David Haye and the Klitschko brothers have expressed an interest in facing me when I return after rehab.

"If it's either Klitschko brother the task will be hard, but that's how I want it. I respect both brothers as they are effective at what they do but both can be beat.

"Whatever the route I will find a way to fulfil my destiny and become heavyweight champion of the world."

Vitali Klitschko laboured to a 10th-round knockout of Poland's Albert Sosnowski in his last fight last month.

Sosnowski held the European title before Harrison and was scheduled to fight the Londoner in April but opted for a clash with Klitschko instead.

Meanwhile, Wladimir Klitschko was scheduled to fight Haye last year, only for the Englishman to withdraw with a back injury.

Haye went on to fight Nikolay Valuev for the WBA belt instead, outpointing the giant Russian in Nuremburg last November.

Boente told the BBC that either of the brothers would prefer to fight Haye, but accused the Briton of "running scared".

We have not discussed for one minute a fight with Audley Harrison

The Klitschko brothers' manager Bernd Boente

"He's always challenging the Klitschko brothers but since Vitali challenged him we haven't heard from him. My feeling is that he's afraid," said Boente.

"We have not discussed for one minute a fight with Audley Harrison and at the moment it would not make much sense, it's not up for discussion. I think he wants to bring that to Haye's people."

Haye knocked out former world champion John Ruiz in nine rounds in April, since when he has been non-committal about his future.

Harrison's promoter Eddie Hearn has no doubts as to what Haye's next move should be, calling a match between the two Londoners potentially "the biggest the UK has ever seen".

"Everyone wants to fight Audley because they know what he brings to the table," added Hearn, the son of veteran sports promoter Barry.

"He will be installed as the mandatory challenger for the European title but we are also in discussions with the Klitchkos and David Haye and Adam Booth regarding a world title shot later this year.

"Audley's last two appearances in the UK have attracted record viewing figures, so couple that with Haye's popularity and the fight is huge."

Since winning gold at the Sydney Olympics, Harrison's professional career has been a rollercoaster affair and before his victory over Sprott in April he had never been in possession of a recognised title.

His career looked all but over before his triumph in Barry Hearn's Prizefighter heavyweight tournament last October and he was behind on points against Sprott before producing a stunning left hook in the final round.

And while Eddie Hearn may be overstating things when he says a match between Haye and Harrison, who used to be close friends, is potentially the biggest in British history, it would certainly appeal to many boxing fans.



see also
Chagaev targets Haye title tilt
22 May 10 |  Boxing
Harrison ruled out for 16 weeks
27 Apr 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
Haye shocks Valuev to take title
07 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Harrison loses to Rogan on points
06 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Sprott knockout shatters Harrison
17 Feb 07 |  Boxing
Harrison in bloody Williams win
09 Dec 06 |  Boxing
Williams defeats rival Harrison
10 Dec 05 |  Boxing


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