Harrison in search of new opponent


Audley Harrison is without an opponent for his fifth professional fight in two weeks' time after Dominic Negus pulled out today.

Havering cruiserweight Negus had been unveiled last week as the Olympic super-heavyweight champion's next opponent at Excel in London's Docklands on May 21st.

But a viral infection has obliterated his training regime and Harrison's management team now have little time to find an adequate replacement.

Harrison's manager, the former British featherweight champion Colin McMillan, insisted the promotion would still go ahead and a new opponent would be announced next Monday.

He added: "It's a shame Dominic has been forced to pull out because I think it would have been a great fight.

"I don't think Dominic was running scared, and we look forward to making the match in the future."

Negus was to have presented Harrison with a very lightweight threat compared to his last opponent of just under three weeks ago, the 7ft 2ins, 20-stone American Julius Long, who lasted only four minutes.

Harrison has been criticised both for the pace of his professional career and for the quality of his opponents. And although his progress was hampered by a freak injury he picked up at a charity function after his third contest, the critics will be watching the announcement of his new opponent closely.

Nevertheless Harrison continues to insist he will not bow to his battery of critics and will pursue a career strictly according to his own agenda.

"I don't worry about what anybody else thinks," said Harrison. "When the time is right I will not duck anybody, I promise you that. When the time is right I will welcome the challenge."