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By Mark Vester

Former sparring partners are ready to clash on February 17, at the Wembley Arena in England. Michael Sprott will defend his European Union Heavyweight belt against 2000 Olympic gold winner Audley Harrison.

Sprott tells the Reading Evening Post that he is more than ready to jump on the opportunity of scoring an upset over Harrison. The two men sparred on numerous occasions, but Sprott is unable to discuss any of the sparring because Harrison made him sign a confidentiality agreement prior to hiring him as a sparring partner. There have been rumors that Sprott caused an rib injury to Harrison during a heated sparring session, which made Harrison postpone his second pro fight.

“I’ve let myself down in the past,” said Sprott. "Opportunities have been there, but I’m not going to throw this opportunity away. Whatever happened when we were sparring was never made public. But, whatever did happen, I'm taking into the fight on the 17th. I’ve got the punching power to do some damage. His size doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve put bigger men down. I do fancy it. I’ve got enough time to prepare for the fight, that’s why I've taken it. This is a big opportunity and I’m confident. From what I’ve seen of Audley Harrison, sometimes he has a lack of heart."

Harrison was originally going to face Scott Gammer, but was unable to come to a financial agreement with the British heavyweight champ. He feels Sprott is a tougher fight, and admits that their sparring sessions were tough.

“Back then they were even spars but I think I have moved on. They were heated but never once was I put down. Michael Sprott would beat Scott Gammer nine times out of 10, and this is a tougher fight and a better test,” said Harrison. “My heart, my mind, my passion, my soul and my dedication is about this world title. My whole focus is on winning a world title this year.”
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