Repton hero Harrison returns

PUBLISHED: 14:29 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 05 October 2010

Audley Harrison knows his career will be on the line when he returns to Britain next month to face Belfast's Martin Rogan.

AUDLEY Harrison knows his career will be on the line when he returns to Britain next month to face Belfast's Martin Rogan.

The former Repton hero and 2000 Olympic champion is back for a ten-round clash in Birmingham against Belfast banger Rogan - who won the recent Prizefighter heavyweight tournament at York Hall.

Harrison, who now fights under promoter Frank Warren, still harbours world title hopes after winning his last fight against Jason Barnett in five rounds in Las Vegas.

That success came after three defeats in five bouts had all but ended his big-time ambitions - and he knows that another loss against Rogan would deliver a knockout blow to his pro career.

"This is it for me - I'm in a position where I have to beat Rogan and everybody else put in front of me from now on," said Harrison.

"I've had my ups and downs on the way but I'm still here fighting away.

"I know that a loss at this stage is fatal but I'm re-focused and know in my heart that I will win a world title."

Harrison, who was knocked out in the third round by Reading's Michael Sprott on his last appearance in Britain 12 months ago, failed to impress in his defeat of journeyman Barnett in April.

But the super heavyweight champion at the Sydney Games insists he will be at his best against Rogan - because he has run out of second chances.

He said: "Rogan looks like a tough guy with plenty of heart and he wants to have a win next to my name on his career record.

"But he's going up against a guy with everything to lose, so that will make me a very dangerous man."

Yet Rogan, who is unbeaten in 10 fights as a professional, is confident he can be the man to destroy Harrison's world title dreams when he steps up to the big stage on July 19.

"I'm delighted to get a fight against a big name like Audley," said Rogan.

"He probably wouldn't know me if he passed me on the street, but he's going to know all about me when I land a big right-hander on that porcelain chin of his.

"Harrison wants me because he thinks I will be an easy touch, but this is his last chance and he will be finished if he loses.

"He will have to come in and fight me because I don't do tip-tap, fancy, boxing. I'm a big guy and so is he so let's just stand toe-to-toe, slug it out, and see who has the best heart

and chin.

"It is very fitting that we are coming up to the second Olympic Games since Harrison won Gold in Sydney and on that anniversary he will have his career ended by Martin Rogan.

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