I created him

Audley Harrison hasn’t been much more than a standing joke in boxing for a very long time. Since his victory in the 2000 Olympics, his career highlights have been few and far between, and some of his fights on the BBC were farcical. However, he is getting a shot at the WBA World Heavyweight title against his former friend David Haye, and has decided to open up a war of words.

‘He's just like I was,’ said Harrison. ‘I also was young and brash. His ego's out of control. Part of the beast that is David Haye, I created it. He idolised me. I'm coming back to destroy a part of each other I left behind years ago.’

Haye Meanwhile is less than happy with Harrison comments, and launched into a stinging attack on him and his career, and claiming that he’s too clever to be a fighter. Which you might read as calling himself stupid, if you were the less charitable sort.

‘I do have an ego,’ Haye said, ‘but it's not out of control. Look, he can try to be as philosophical as he wants. He can try to say he created me. He didn't create me. He says he was an idol of mine. He wasn't. Who cares? I'm going to get in the ring and I'm going to knock him out.

‘He's in fantasy land. That's his problem. He looks too much into things. I've heard him talk about opponents in the past, breaking them down fraction by fraction. He has to have a strategy, write everything down, with plan A, plan B, plan C. When it comes to it, he just gets beat. He's too busy thinking what he actually wants to do.

‘I'm a natural-born fighter. I don't care who it is; I get in the ring and fight them. Boxing is instinctive. Audley's a very intelligent man. Before big fights he's tipped a fighter to win a certain way, I'd disagree – and he would be right. So he knows boxing. But that all-knowing eye that he has got, no question, he doesn't shine it on himself.’

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