David Price insists Audley Harrison remains a big threat

By Ben DirsBBC Sport

David Price insists Audley Harrison will be "a big threat" when they fight for the former's British heavyweight title in Liverpool on Saturday.

Price, an Olympic bronze medallist in 2008, is expected to send Harrison, who won gold in 2000, into retirement.

Price is unbeaten in 13 pro fights while Harrison has not delivered on his amateur promise, losing five of 33.

"Now the pressure is off him that might bring something out of him, it brings risks," Price told BBC Sport.

"We haven't left any stone unturned, we realise Audley Harrison is a big threat."

Harrison, 40, turned pro in 2001 amid great fanfare having won Britain's first boxing gold at an Olympics for 32 years.external-link

But his career in the paid ranks has rarely hit the same heights, the Londoner reaching his nadir in his knockout defeat by David Haye, a fight in which he threw one punch in three rounds.

But while 29-year-old Price agreed that Harrison is effectively a no-win fight, he claimed he is a step up in terms of quality of opponent.

"If I knock him out early that's what I was expected to do but if I beat him on points I'll probably get slated," said Liverpudlian Price, who has knocked out 11 of his opponents so far.

"Because of the way the public perceive him, if I was to lose to him, how would that make me look?

"But as far as my development as a professional boxer is concerned it's the step up that I needed, it's no disgrace.

"Sam Sexton [who Price knocked out in four rounds in his last fight in May] was the Commonwealth champion and Audley is a former European champion and world title challenger.

"I won't be going out there to get rid of him early, I've got to do a professional job. If I go flying in there's a always a chance I get caught, it's heavyweight boxing.

"I've got to be professional and if that means waiting a little bit longer to close the show, so be it."

Price, who was beaten in his Olympic semi-final in Beijing by Italy's Roberto Cammarelle, the man Britain's Anthony Joshua beat in his final at London 2012,external-link said he might not be long for the domestic scene.

He was scheduled to meet Manchester's Tyson Fury earlier this year but Fury vacated the British and Commonwealth titlesexternal-link instead of fighting his old amateur foe.

"It doesn't look like it [a fight against Fury] is going to happen any time soon," said Price, who beat Fury on his way to winning his third senior ABA title in 2006.

"It could have happened but they decided to go down a different route, which was a disappointment for me and more so for the fans.

"If we can both stay undefeated that fight would be massive but if we run out of domestic fights which will develop me as a fighter then we'll move on to the next level."