By Will Humphries: In the past month, two British, former Olympian heavyweights scored convincing fourth round knockout victories. But for David Price and Audley Harrison the similarities end there and at this juncture, both men’s careers are on vastly different trajectories. Price is the rising star of the heavyweight division and is primed to showcase his talents internationally.
He has barely put a foot wrong in the professional ranks and is beginning to look like he has the tools and the one-punch power to, in good time, challenge the division’s top performers. Harrison on the other hand, is still on his seemingly perpetual comeback trail, quest for redemption and journey to fulfil his ‘destiny’ of winning a world crown. Despite their positions at opposite ends of the boxing spectrum however, the stage seems perfectly set for their paths to cross.
A clash between the two big men would represent a step towards each of their respective goals. For all the mockery and ridicule that increasingly shrouds Harrison’s career, for Price, the fight would offer another step-up in class as he shrewdly builds towards world level. Stepping into the ring against the Sydney gold medallist would have multiple benefits. Not only does Harrison afford Price the opportunity to gain more experience against a similarly sizeable heavyweight, a southpaw and, if he can put his shots together, a decent puncher, more pertinently A-Force brings a media profile. For all his shortcomings in the ring, it is difficult to criticise Harrison’s media savvy, his ability to sell a fight and grab some mainstream media attention. This is probably the most valuable attribute the poetic pugilist brings to the table and this would certainly be an attractive prospect for Price as he continues on his journey towards becoming a world champion and a star of British sport. The big Liverpudlian would enter the fight as a strong betting favourite but there would certainly be value in adding Harrison’s scalp to his burgeoning résumé.
It seems fairly certain that Harrison would, despite the underdog status, relish a shot at Price. However unlikely, a win against the hottest the British heavyweight, a mantle once bestowed on Harrison, would, in his eyes at least, be a giant leap back towards further meaningful fights and his ultimate goal of capturing a world title. There is no doubt Harrison would ooze confidence and be certain of victory should the fight get made, but the public are wise to Harrison’s inability to back up his pre-fight hype in the ring and it is difficult to envisage the Londoner pulling off the upset.
But as long as there is a twinkle in his eye, fight fans will be drawn into the circus Audley provides when he is involved in a fight. The combination of Harrison’s pre-fight smoke and mirrors self-belief and self-promotion, and the genuine promise and excitement Price inspires in the boxing community, means the fight will sell. And to top it off, providing Audley doesn’t freeze, the clash itself, between two powerful and athletic combatants, would hopefully be as entertaining as the build-up. Timing is everything in boxing and it seems the perfect moment for these two heavyweights to square off in an Olympic battle.
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