By James Crook

145002219May 21 - British Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison has performed a shock U-turn on his decision to retire from boxing, citing the birth of his son as his inspiration to carry on.

The 41-year-old, who won the super-heavyweight gold medal at Sydney 2000, suffered the latest in a spate of humbling knockout defeats to American fighter Deontay Wilder last month when he lasted just 70 seconds before the fight was stopped.

Despite announcing his retirement earlier this month, Harrison today announced that he will continue fighting following the birth of his son, which inspired his decision.

"I wrestled with it for a few weeks, and spoke to everyone from the Boxing Board, to Lennox Lewis, David Haye, my dad, wife and many others...ultimately, seeing my son born crystallised my decision," said Harrison in a statement.

Harrison also puzzlingly claimed to be in peak condition, despite the series of high-profile walkover defeats he has suffered in recent years.

167666442Audley Harrison was unhappy that his fight against Deontay Wilder was stopped by the referee after just 70 seconds last month

"There is no way I am going to tell my son, 'I gave up because I didn't want to climb the mountain again, I didn't want to dust myself off again', when I'm now in the best shape of my career, doing things I haven't done for years, and back in love with the can I retire, when I know I have another shot in me?

"We all saw how the [Wilder] fight ended, which was not right.

"I can't walk away with that performance.

"If I do, it would haunt me until I'm old and grey.

"I got up, they should have let him come to finish me, and let me show what I got."

The former European champion has insisted he is up to the challenge of returning to the ring, despite his recent bouts suggesting otherwise.

"People who worry I may get hurt, I thank you for your concerns," he continued.

"We live in a free society and my desire for freedom and autonomy is my universal right."

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