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Harrison victory fails to silence his critics

PUBLISHED: 11:32 11 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:36 05 October 2010

IT WAS business as usual for Audley Harrison on Saturday night as he dismissed the jeers that followed his victory over Brazilian George Arias and insisted he is still capable of winning the world heavyweight title. There was no doubt about his points vi

IT WAS business as usual for Audley Harrison on Saturday night as he dismissed the jeers that followed his victory over Brazilian George Arias and insisted he is still capable of winning the world heavyweight title.

There was no doubt about his points victory - Harrison won 98-92 on the scorecard - but his return to action on the Sports Network show at the MEN Arena left many questions still unanswered.

The 2000 Olympic Gold Medal winner, who was a national hero in his amateur days at the Repton club in Bethnal Green, laboured to his latest unimpressive victory.

The northern crowd booed him from the start as once again Audley failed to provide the fireworks to silence his critics.

Firing accurate long-range jabs from the start and slamming home solid uppercuts at close quarters, Harrison looked a winner all the way.

But the heavyweight, who is now based in Las Vegas, was shaken more than once when the stocky Brazilian fired back with his own shots.

Harrison attempted to explain away another disappointing display by complaining that he had been unable to prepare for his opponent.

And he maintains that he is still confident of becoming heavyweight champion in the future.

He said: "One hundred per cent. There

hasn't been an Olympic gold medallist from Great Britain who has gone on to win a world title.

"I honestly believe that in 2009 [I can be a world champion]. I've got skills and if you put my skills against any other heavyweight I'm going to come out on top, that's my honest belief.

"He was a last-minute opponent and I never got a video of him. I just had to take my time behind a good jab and try and open up with the uppercuts.

"I was trying to do different things, he caught me with some good shots, but the main thing is to get the victory."

Harrison brushed off the boos that greeted his departure from the ring, insisting that the catcalls from the crowd were inevitable.

"The crowd are always going to get behind an underdog who has a big heart," said Harrison.

He claimed the victory keeps him on track for bigger fights next year: "I've got skills and you put my skills against any other heavyweight and I will come out on top.

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