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Page last updated at 10:55 GMT, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 11:55 UK

WBA champion David Haye to fight Audley Harrison

Haye & Harrison entertain at press conference

David Haye will make the second defence of his WBA world heavyweight title against fellow Briton and 2000 Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison.

"I don't believe Audley deserves a chance but enough people want to see him finally destroyed, that is why this fight is happening," stated Haye.

Harrison said: "I am ecstatic at getting a shot at the title. When I land my left hand on him he is done."

The pair will meet at the MEN Arena in Manchester on 13 November.

It will be the biggest all-British fight for a world heavyweight title since Lennox Lewis defended his WBC crown by stopping Frank Bruno in round seven of their 1993 contest in Cardiff.

Bad blood between us - Harrison

Haye, 29, won the WBA belt by beating giant Russian Nikolay Valuev on points in Germany on 7 November 2009.

The former cruiserweight king, who has lost only once in 25 professional bouts, then defended his title by stopping American John Ruiz at the MEN Arena in April.

"The fight will be a public execution," added Haye. "His resume is not as good as that of the last five people I have fought.

"Everybody feels passionately that they want me to finally close the curtain on the joke that is the Audley Harrison show.

"Audley has known me for years, he knows how devastating I am in the ring. He knows it first hand from sparring sessions. I'm no joke.

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"I'm the most devastating fighter on the planet. This is the time your career gets well and truly finished."

Haye and Harrison are former friends and training partners, but the two men traded insults at a news conference to announce the fight on Tuesday morning.

"He is a guy I groomed," added Harrison. "I have tasted his punches and power and he never hurt me in a training session.

"This is my destiny - on 13 November Audley Harrison will be champion of the world and of that there is no doubt.

"If David Haye thinks I've taken this fight strictly for a payday, he is in for a rude awakening."

Harrison is a joke - Haye

For 38-year-old Harrison, November's contest against Haye gives him the chance to fulfil his dream of winning a genuine world title.

Harrison won super heavyweight gold at the Sydney Games and was tipped to become a world champion in the professional ranks.

But his career failed to take off in any meaningful way and looked to be over when he suffered a shock points loss to Belfast taxi driver Martin Rogan in December 2008.

The 1998 Commonwealth Games champion reignited his career by winning Prizefighter last year and then scored a 12th-round knockout against Michael Sprott to win the EBU heavyweight title in April.

David Haye lands a right hook

Listen to 5 live commentary as Haye clinches the title

Haye had hoped to meet either of the Klitschko brothers, who hold the other recognised world heavyweight titles, after beating Ruiz.

Haye's manager, Adam Booth, held talks earlier this year with Vitali (WBC) and Wladimir (WBO and IBF) about a possible unification fight but these negotiations came to nothing.

A contest between Haye and fellow Londoner Harrison, who were once close friends before a public war of words last year, will have box-office appeal in Britain, with the MEN Arena virtually guaranteed to sell out.



see also
Haye and Harrison camps in talks
08 Jun 10 |  Boxing
Chagaev targets Haye title tilt
22 May 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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