It has been confirmed this morning that WBA Heavyweight Champion David Haye will make the second defence of his title against the former European Champion and Olympic Gold medal winner Audley Harrison.
The fight is to take place on November 13th at Manchester’s M.E.N. Arena.
Despite Haye wanting a credible opponent for his next defence, no terms were agreed with both the Klitschko brothers, and so Audley steps into the breach, making it an all British world title fight.
Harrison earned his shot at Haye with his last-gasp dramatic KO of Michael Sprott, although most people feel his fight with Haye is a mismatch.
Haye’s record is 24-1 (22 KO) and Harrison’s ledger currently reads 27-4 (20 KO) It will be Audley’s first fight for a major world belt, Haye of couse is a former WBA, WBC & WBO World Cruiserweight Champion and has had four previous world title fights.
The champion Haye as also recently reiterated his intention to retire by October 13th next year, this does not give him much time to unify the titles, something he has repeatedly stated he wants to do. The Harrison fight is a sad reflection on the fact that David’s reign as champion has been a let-down, neither Klitschko brother has been able to agree terms with Haye, and it looks as if David’s legacy as a Heavyweight champion will be one of “what if?”
Audley will of course see this title shot as a chance to fulfil his “destiny”, and finally make good on the promise he seemed to show in his early career. In reality he has flattered to deceive with his timid fighting style. It seems that Harrison has all the tools required to be a success except one, heart.
This fight is one that Haye should be able to win in double-quick time, but the fact remains that his whiskers are known to be a little dodgy, and having been both floored and stopped as a Cruiserweight, Audley must have a chance if he can land squarely on Haye’s jaw.
For the sake of the Heavyweight division Haye needs to not give Audley the chance to test his chin, and get the challenger out of there in spectacular style. A fight with either or both of the other belt-holders is then vital if David is to retain his credibility, he simply can no longer been seen to be avoiding Wladimir and Vitali and taking on easier opponents.