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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 February 2007, 10:37 GMT
Warren questions Audley's future
By Ben Dirs
BBC Sport at Wembley Arena

Audley Harrison
Harrison has now lost three fights in 14 months
Promoter Frank Warren has questioned whether Audley Harrison can ever recover from his shattering defeat by Michael Sprott at Wembley on Saturday.

Former Olympic champion Harrison was knocked out in the third round by Sprott, his third defeat in 14 months.

Warren said: "If he decides to fight on, it'll be a long, hard road.

"It's a great shame. I think he could have earned much more money and been in a better place now had he come with me in the first place."

Warren added: "He won't be getting big money now, because what's the draw?

The public wanted to see Audley deliver all the things he said he was going to do but it's just not happened

Frank Warren

"It's hard enough for any fighter starting out, without wanting to be a manager and promoter. It's impossible.

"The penny dropped in his last few fights and we did a good job for him. You need experience around you, people who know the business."

Harrison, 35, won gold in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and decided to manage his own affairs on turning professional the following year.

Public opinion quickly turned against him, however, as he fought a succession of sub-standard, hand-picked opponents.

606: DEBATE
GB

And his career was dealt a crushing blow when he was defeated by fellow Londoner Danny Williams in December 2005.

Four months later, Harrison was beaten again by American Dominick Guinn and it looked as though his career might be over.

However, Harrison regrouped and looked sharp in gaining revenge over Williams before Christmas.

Michael Sprott
Sprott floored Harrison with a vicious left in round three

But he will struggle to come back from his latest defeat and Warren said he takes no pleasure in the way Harrison's career has panned out.

"He started off being popular. He came back from the Olympics with fantastic press coverage and was everybody's darling, and quite rightly so," said Warren.

"Unfortunately, he started believing all the old nonsense and when you start saying 'I'm going to do my own thing and I don't care what the public think' you don't do yourself any favours.

"At the end of the day, the public wanted to see him deliver all the things he said he was going to do but it's just not happened.

"Give him his credit, he came to fight (against Sprott) and I was disappointed to hear so many boos after the fight."

Warren confirmed Sprott will now fight Commonwealth champion Matt Skelton in a world title eliminator in London on 26 May.

Reading's Sprott, 32, was knocked out by Bedford brawler Skelton, 40, when the two met in 2004.

SEE ALSO
Audley fronts up
03 Oct 06 |  Boxing
Harrison insists hunger is back
03 Oct 06 |  Boxing


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