October 17, 2005

Harrison, Williams to clash in British showdown

By Ossian Shine

LONDON (Reuters) - Sydney Olympic champion Audley Harrison
will box Mike Tyson's conqueror Danny Williams in December in
the biggest British heavyweight fight for a decade.

The fight will take place on December 10 in London,
promoter Frank Warren said on Monday.

The bout is being billed as the biggest all-British
heavyweight clash since Frank Bruno was beaten by Lennox Lewis
at Cardiff Arms Park in 1993.

Gold medallist in Sydney in 2000, Harrison is unbeaten in
19 professional fights but has been criticized for the quality
of his opposition. He sees this fight as a yardstick on his way
to gaining a title bout, as well as silencing critics.

"People are still undecided about me -- they are still not
sure. But Danny Williams is going to find out I have a lot to
offer. I can measure myself against Williams," he said on

"I am not a celebrity boxer. I have substance and status.
Nobody can take away the fact I won the gold medal at the
Olympics but this fight will get me in the door for a title


"What I don't want after the Williams victory is for people
to say Danny was shot or any other excuse. I want my respect.
This is probably the toughest fight of my career so far."

Harrison, who turns 34 later this month, failed to
negotiate a deal with Warren to fight British champion Matt
Skelton in London a year ago but has since boxed twice in
low-key events in the United States.

Harrison's fight with Williams will be on the undercard of
Skelton's WBU world title fight against Kevin McBride and will
mark his return to a British ring for the first time since his
win over Pole Tomasz Bonin in London's in June 2004.

December's fight will be a boost to Williams's career which
had seemed all-but over when he pulled out of a fight with
Skelton at 24 hours' notice in July, citing influenza.

Williams remains a big name in British boxing following his
knockout of Tyson in Louisville in July 2004. He was beaten by
Vitali Klitschko in a fight for the World Boxing Council title
last December.

"My mouth is watering for this fight, I am hungry for it,"
Williams said. "He has been disrespectful to me but it's been
five years since he won the Olympics."