Sydney Olympic champ Harrison to fight Williams
LONDON -- 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 Dec. 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 medalist 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 Monday.
"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 eliminator.
"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."
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