Audley vows to carry on
My journey is not over yet, insists Harrison
Last Updated: 03/12/10 10:03am
Harrison: carrying on
Audley Harrison has vowed to carry on boxing.
"It hurts not to achieve your goals, but we roll up our sleeves and we try again; such is the beauty of life."
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The Olympic gold medalist says he has no plans to retire despite his recent humiliation at the hands of former friend David Haye.
Harrison was jeered from the ring at the MEN Arena after landing just one punch in three rounds of the WBA heavyweight title showdown.
Immediately after the fight, the 39-year-old admitted he would have to sit down and consider his future and many, including Sky Sports' Johnny Nelson, Barry McGuigan and fellow heavyweight Dereck Chisora called on him to quit.
But now the dust has settled, Harrison insists his "boxing journey" is not over.
"After spending some time away reflecting on the fight and outcome, I have made the decision to continue my journey in boxing and carry on my career as a professional," he said in a statement.
"The David Haye experience had many highs away from the ring and I'm happy I had a great training camp and worked with two of my brothers again in camp.
"I surrounded myself with a world-class team and pushed myself to the limit in training and left my changing room knowing I had given my all to get to this point."
Harrison insists that despite landing that solitary jab, he had the right plan to take down Haye.
And he insists referee Luis Pabon was wrong to step in and call the fight off, even though he had been floored and was on the receiving end of another barrage from the WBA champion when the contest was halted.
"The outcry from the fight is expected as I didn't get the result I wanted and the critics have once again tried to bury me under the rubble and hope I disappear," the statement continued.
"All I can say is I had a game plan and went into the ring to win. The way the fight ended was frustrating to me as I didn't get going and was just settling into my rhythm.
"Both styles of feinting and moving was off-setting the both of us in the first two rounds and I was just zoning in on his rhythm when he got through.
"I'll never be crash - bang - wallop and I'm glad about that; my style is unique but can run into problems like all styles can and I got caught by a good set of punches to go down.
"I give David credit as I never expected him to hurt me as he did, but anyone could see it was a premature stoppage and I should have been allowed to carry on and ride out the rough patch, even if that meant I would have got KO'd.
"I think the Vitali Klitschko beating of Shannon Briggs a few weeks earlier and the public outcry made the referee jump in early and I was denied the opportunity to show my grit, determination and desire to be in there and compete and try to get back on level terms."
Harrison does not expect his decision to go down well with boxing - and sports - fans in Britain and is aware of the criticism aimed his way.
But he says nothing will change his mind and he is determined to climb back in the ring and fulfil what he says is his destiny - to become world heavyweight champion.
"Let the haters and negative comments continue - I don't really care," he added. "I know me and I can sleep at night as I'm happy with who I am today. Yes it hurts not to achieve your goals, but we roll up our sleeves and we try again; such is the beauty of life."