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Harrison prepares for Brazilian opponent

PUBLISHED: 11:27 04 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:35 05 October 2010

BRAZILIAN heavyweight champion George Arias was this week unveiled as the opponent for former Repton hero Audley Harrison at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Saturday. Harrison, who was due to fight Martin Rogan before the Irishman pulled out with an injury

BRAZILIAN heavyweight champion George Arias was this week unveiled as the opponent for former Repton hero Audley Harrison at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Saturday.

Harrison, who was due to fight Martin Rogan before the Irishman pulled out with an injury, will keep his place on the undercard of the Sports Network promotion after accepting an offer to take on Arias.

The 2000 Olympic Games gold medallist will make his first appearance in this country since he was beaten in three rounds by Michael Sprott at Wembley in February last year.

Harrison came back in April with a win over American Jason Barnett in Las Vegas, where he is now based, and his record currently stands at 22 wins in 25 pro fights.

Arias is convinced that he can put a dent in Harrison's record despite his own modest record of 10 defeats in a career that has spanned more than 50 contests.

The 34-year old has campaigned mainly in his native Brazil but has also fought some of the top names on the European scene and challenged Sheffield's Johnny Nelson for the WBO cruiserweight title, losing on points at York Hall in 2001.

He said: "Harrison knows that if he loses this fight, he has nowhere left to go and that makes him a very dangerous opponent.

"I've prepared for a war but to be honest I expect to win the fight easily inside the distance.

"It will be carnival time in Manchester on Saturday when I knock him out and shut him up once and for all."

Harrison, nicknamed the A-Force, will be looking for a good win to rekindle his big-time ambitions but Arias is renowned as a durable opponent and has suffered just two points defeats in his last nine fights.

l Repton boxing club prospect Martin Ward has just arrived back from the Olympic Games in Beijing - but he is off on his travels again this week to take part in an international tournament in Germany.

The 17-year-old Ward was selected for the trip to China as one of the outstanding boxing prospects in the country and spent 11 days with Britain's boxing squad in Beijing.

The Repton youngster is now hoping to use that experience to his advantage in Germany, where he will aim to add to his string of national and international awards.

With a world ranking of No 3 he is tipped for another triumph in October when he travels to compete in the Youth World Boxing Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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