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Exclusive: Audley Was My Hero But Now I...

Glax0r's Photo Glax0r 03 Oct 2012

Exclusive: Audley Was My Hero but Now I'm Going to Knock Him Out!

Ian Stafford, Sports Vibe

David Price admitted last night that his hero growing up as a young boxer was Audley Harrison, the very man he now faces on October 13th as he looks to defend his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles.

The 29-year-old scouser will have home advantage, with the Liverpool Echo Arena expected to be full of partisan support for Price who won the 2006 Commonwealth gold and 2008 Olympic bronze medals in the Super-Heavyweight divisions.

And with a record of 13 wins in 13 fights, 11 of which ending with knockouts, Price will be the favourite to continue his unbeaten run against Harrison, the 1998 Commonwealth and 2000 Olympic Super Heavyweight gold medallist who, now aged 40, has faltered ever since turning professional.

For Harrison, who has lost five of his 28 bouts, including David Haye in 2010 after a timid and much-criticised performance and, before that, to the likes of Michael Sprott and Danny Williams, the fight against Price represents a final chance.

Lose to the Liverpudlian and Harrison may as well hang up his gloves for good.

Price may have worshipped him once, but he insists there will be no sentiment shown next month.

"When I first started to box Lennox Lewis was my hero but when I began to get into the England set-up Audley was my man," he said.

"I was 17 when he won the Olympic gold in Sydney and he rapidly became a big hero for me. A lot's happened since then, of course, and now I'm the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion.

"I've worked hard for those titles and as highly as I thought of Audley he's standing in my way to progress further. That's why there'll be no sentiment in the ring when I fight him. It will be strictly business from the moment the bell rings for the first round."

Price has impressed with his first 13 professional fights and believes that inside two years he will be ready to become world champion, with or without the world champion Klitschko brothers.

"There will be a vacuum soon created by the Klitschko's giving up," he explained. "Both have been great fighters who, like Lennox, will be better appreciated when they quit. Vitali could stop any day now. Wladimir will probably go on for another two years, by which time, if not before, I'll be ready to take over. It may even mean beating Wladimir to become the world champion. I believe I'd be more than ready by then, but first I have to make sure people like Audley Harrison don't ruin my plans."

Price has another reason for performing well after an emotional few weeks for the city of Liverpool in the wake of the Hillsborough Review findings.

"I'm a Liverpool FC supporter and it's been a very emotional time over the past few days, not just for Reds fans but for all the city," he added. "We've all felt it.

"If I can do anything to give a little joy to the city, like knocking Audley Harrison out in front of all my home fans, then I'd be delighted to do so. I'll certainly have a big advantage fighting in my home city and I can't see any other outcome but a David Price win. As all but two of my wins in my unbeaten run have come from knockouts you can expect the same again."