By Rick Reeno
In a battle of Olympic heavyweight medal winners, 2008 bronze medal winner Deontay Wilder (27-0, 27 KOs) will face 2000 gold medalist Audley Harrison (31-6, 23 KOs) on Apri 27th at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told BoxingScene.com a deal was close on Tuesday night, and Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Diaz confirmed on Wednesday that both sides have agreed to take the fight.
"The fight is finalized. Both of them have agreed to the fight and it's going to happen on April 27th. We are going to announce it shortly," Diaz told BoxinScene.com.
The card will be headlined by a Showtime televised clash between Amir Khan and Julio Diaz.
Audley sparred with Wilder prior to a first round TKO loss to David Price in October of last year. The British veteran bounced back by winning his second Prizefighter tournament at York Hall in February - with a TKO of Claus Bertino, a decision of Martin Rogan and a TKO of Derric Rossy.
"There's nothing like the day before, the morning of and night after you've claimed VICTORY," said Wilder. "The emotion, the excitement and adrenaline rush that I have is ready to explode out of me. I'm a starving lion that's ready to eat. On April 27 in Sheffield, England my next meal will be served; on the menu: Audley Harrison...Bon appetite. For the many fans in England, Deontay 'Bronze Bomber' Wilder is coming. You've been waiting for this moment and now it's here. I can't wait to show you guys why I am the light and the way for this dark division."
"Deontay is a fast, dangerous puncher, but he has not been tested as a pro," said Harrison. "I have lot of respect for him, so it's not personal, but this is the door I must walk through. Lose and it's over, win and I'm in the top ten for sure, eligible to challenge for the world title. Biggest risk, for the biggest reward. It can't get any better than that."
Also featured on the undercard will be former Unified Lightweight World Champion Nate "The Galaxxy Warrior" Campbell (36-10-1, 26 KO's) of Jacksonville, Florida who takes on the exciting undefeated Manchester prospect Terry "Turbo" Flannigan (19-0, 5 KO's) in a 10-round lightweight bout.
"It's a great honor to be fighting in England," said Campbell. "I'm in great shape and looking forward to returning to the lightweight division and this fight will serve notice as to how serious I am."
"I'm looking forward to showcasing my talents against a former world champion in Nate Campbell," said Flannigan. "This is the type of fight I have been waiting for and I'm ready to move up to the next level and prove that I belong there. It's going to be tough, but come the end of the fight, I have no doubt it will be my hand that is raised."
British fight fans will also be able to enjoy a simmering local rivalry with a Lancashire-Yorkshire battle set as former British Champion Gary "Five Star" Sykes (23-3, 5 KO's) puts his English super-featherweight crown on the line against Jon "2 Smokes" Kays (16-2-1, 4 KO's) in a 10-round clash.
No love has been lost between the duo and the April 27 card is all set for fireworks when they go head-to-head.
"John Kays is a good fighter so I will need to be at my best," said Sykes. "I know what to expect, but I'm confident and believe that my experience is going to help me. I'm coming off of a good winning streak and hope to put myself back into the mix for a British title shot by winning. I'm focused and am ready for this fight. I'm not giving up my English title to anyone."
"I'm going into this fight ready to give it everything," said Kays. "This is my time and I won't let anyone take it away from me. I'm super fit, have a good boxing brain and know I have the ability to cause him trouble. It won't be easy, but to get that title I'm willing to do whatever it takes. It's going to be a really exciting fight."
Also appearing on the show will be 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Anthony Ogogo of Lowestoft making his professional debut against Kieron Gray (5-13-1, 1 KO) of Telford in a six round middleweight fight and the younger brother of Amir Khan, Haroon Khan making his professional debut against an opponent to be determined in a four-round bantamweight fight. Plus, Manchester's Adrian Gonzales (6-1) facing Marc Callaghan (19-32-1, 4 KO's) of Barking in a six-round welterweight battle, Jack Catterral (3-0, 2 KO's) of Chorley taking on Marc McKray (4-18-1, 3 KO's) of Manchester in a four-round welterweight fight, Tomasz Mazurkiewicz (5-8-2, 1 KO) of Warsaw, Poland up against Doncaster's Adam Jones (2-3) in a four-round junior middleweight fight and Carl Spencer (2-0, 2 KO's) of Doncaster featured in a four round heavyweight bout.