Fighter Profiles

  • Fights: 31
  • Wins: 27
  • By KO: 20
  • Losses: 4
  • Draws: 0
  • No Contests: 0

Harrison's vital stats:

  • Nickname: A-Force
  • Rated at: Heavyweight
  • Height: 197cm (6ft 5½in)
  • Reach: 218cm (86in)
  • Nationality: English
  • Birth Date: 26/10/76 (age 39)
  • Birth Place: Park Royal, UK
  • Stance: Southpaw

Audley Harrison profile

Audley Harrison is a figure that polarises opinion in British boxing.

From the moment he won super-heavyweight gold at the Sydney Olympics, the 6ft 5½in has been admired and mocked in equal measure, but there is no denying he is always big news.

Long before Barack Obama was on the scene he had coveted the catchphrase 'Yes I can' and ever since turning professional in May 2001, has predicted he would one day become heavyweight champion of the world.

Born in north west London, on October 26, 1971, he made his name in the amateurs, winning the British super-heavyweight title, the Commonwealth gold medal in 1988 and becoming the first Briton to strike Olympic gold in that division.

That earned him a trip to Buckingham Palace and an MBE even before he turned pro in a blaze of glory with a second-round stoppage of Mike Middleton, having secured a ground-breaking deal with the BBC to screen his first 10 paid contests.

Injury prevented him climbing back into the ring for another four months, but a points win over Derek McCafferty and a succession of quick stoppages led to him making his American debut in November 2002 in Miami. Harrison stopped Rob Calloway in five but was soon back in Britain and among the headlines as a clash with dear old Frank Bruno, then 41, was mooted.

Audley though was big business on his own and with his BBC deal at an end, he was back in the news at the York Hall in May 2003, when after stopping Matthew Ellis, he clashed with Herbie Hide at ringside and a mini riot ensued. Both were punished by the British Boxing Board of Control and sensibly Harrison relocated to the United States.

He returned to these shorts to take the WBF heavyweight title with a fourth-round stoppage of Richel Herisisia in March 2004 and continued to add to his reputation by out-pointing Julius Francis, who had reigned as British and Commonwealth champion and of course been in with Mike Tyson and an emerging young Ukrainian by the name of Vitali Klitschko.

Tomasz Bonin - who has since been in with David Haye - was despatched in nine, Robert Davis in seven and Robert Wiggins in four before the inevitable showdown with Britain's best, Danny Williams arrived. It started with a punch-up at the press conference beforehand and ended with the audience - at the ExCel Arena and at home - venting their disapproval as the two hugged and huffed their way through 12 unforgettable rounds, for Harrison's first professional loss.

It soon became two at the hands of Dominic Guinn in California before Harrison returned to avenge the Williams defeat, sparking him in three rounds in December 2006 and, after flooring Michael Sprott in the first of their European and British title fight just two months later, looked to finally be fulfilling his potential and silence his growing band of critics.

But Sprott fought back immediately and the chilling sight of Audley needing treatment after being knocked out cold in the third suggested his career was, after his third telling defeat. By then, Matchroom had reinvigorated boxing by introducing Prizefighter and Harrison was soon going in against innnaugural champion Martin Rogan, a cabbie from Belfast.

Although he lost a gripping 10-rounder, Harrison had gone some way to repairing the damage that had been done and more importantly, had struck up a friendship with Barry Hearn and his son, Eddie. That led to him appearing in their next Prizefighter heavyweight which Audley, roundly booed on all three ringwalks, won by flooring Coleman Barrett with the trademark left.

Prizefighter success paved the way for a second, overdue crack at Sprott for the vacant European title in a fight that might yet encapsulate A-Force's career. Behind on the cards and unable to throw punches due to a shoulder injury picked up along the way, he was less than two minutes away from - by his own pre-fight admission - retirement before a massive left sent Sprott sprawling to defeat.

Having said he would go away if he had lost, the golden boy of British heavyweights was back with a belt and back chasing Haye, his one-time friend. At first the WBA champion laughed off his claims but within weeks, Harrison had been granted his wish and, 10 years after Olympic glory, was handed the chance to show the world 'he can'.