By Peter Wells: What does a Gold medal really mean? How can it be enjoyed when all it brings with it is expectation and pressure? It has taken Audley Harrison 12 years to finally be able to enjoy the feeling of being a Gold medallist. The ridiculous pressure that Audley has faced since winning the Heavyweight Gold medal at the Sydney Games in 2000, have at last been removed from his shoulders and he can look back at his memorable moment with joy, rather than stressing over a future that will never glisten as bright as that medal around his neck. Anthony Joshua has now taken the load from Audley’s 40 year old shoulders as he will now be under the microscope throughout his career after capturing the Heavyweight Gold for Great Britain at this years Olympics.
This means for once all eyes aren’t sternly staring down at Harrison, when he meets the up-and-coming British and Commonwealth Champion, David Price. The giant Liverpudlian is hot property right now, coming off the back of 3 big early knockout victories.
In 2008, David Price tried to replicate what his opponent did 8 years prior, but was stopped in the semi-finals by Italian Roberto Cammeralle. Price did come home from Beijing with a bronze medal, and was quickly swooped up by Frank Maloney. It wasn’t until June last year though, that the talk about Price got serious. The unbeaten Tom Dallas was meant to give Price a tough fight, one that many believed he had a chance of winning. Price made a mockery of those suggestions, knocking out his outgunned foe in just 2 rounds, stamping his fist into the heavyweight scene. Then with the disappointment of David Haye’s fight with Wladimir Klitschko and Fury’s struggle against John McDermott, twice, all the attention was being diverted to Price.
In January this year, David Price demolished John McDermott in the opening round, scoring 3 knockdowns to capture the English title. Then after Tyson Fury vacated his British and Commonwealth titles, David Price took them with pleasure, annihilating Sam Sexton in just 4 rounds. That is ultimately why the talk about David Price has now spread across the Atlantic.
Harrison has a monster task ahead of him, but proved in May this year that he isn’t washed up yet, taking out Ali Adams in 4 rounds before Adams tested positive for steroids. It was Harrison who had demanded that Adams be tested, and was right to do so, earning back some of the respect he lost after his embarrassing defeat at the hands of David Haye.
So how much does Harrison have left? And how much of a challenge can he give David Price? Well, he could give Price a big challenge. Harrison can produce, and can teach the younger Price a trick or two in the fight, but Price is on a hot streak, and won’t be fazed by anything that Harrison offers. The pick is for Harrison to gradually become less effective as the fight goes on before being stopped between rounds 8-10.