SCOTT Harrison, the former WBO featherweight title-holder from Cambuslang, remains convinced that he is capable of regaining his status as a world champion more than seven years after he last held the belt.
Harrison’s weekend defeat at the hands of WBO European lightweight champion Liam Walsh would appear to suggest that it has become little more than a pipe dream for the 35-year-old. But it’s remarkable that Harrison even made it back into the ring after a turbulent time outwith it and even more amazing that he was able to stand and trade blows with Walsh for ten rounds at Wembley Arena on Saturday evening.
At the end of it, the judges – a Hungarian and two Americans – saw fit to award a unanimous points decision to the much younger Walsh, 98-92 and 97-93, twice. But the margin of his success flattered 26-year-old Walsh. I had Harrison just in front at halfway and a loser by a round, two at most, with the challenger himself claiming: “I feel hard done to. I thought I won the fight. I just nicked it.
“He became cagey the last few rounds and kept on moving. I was working inside him and whenever he caught me with his jab I hit him with two back. I was the one coming forward, but he won and fair play to him for doing well.
“I’ll be back because I’m a survivor. People couldn’t imagine how I could come back, but I have shown I can and there are very few fighters who could do what I’ve done.”
Harrison opened a cut above Walsh’s right eye in the opening round and proceeded to stun the champion with a right quickly followed by a left to the head in the fourth before time caught up with him in the latter stages. But courage alone wasn’t enough and the question remains: Can he regain the stamina and sharpness of reflexes necessary to compete at the top level? Given Harrison’s durability, who is to say for sure?
Promoter Frank Warren said: “We’ll give Scott another fight in June or July as we owe him that. I am pleased for him that he is back in the ring because he needs to get focus back in his life, but it’s also sad when you think what a great champion he was and what could have been.
“Scott had great skills and there were signs of them still being there even after more than seven years. He was up against a fresh and younger fighter and he gave the kid problems in the early rounds, but it was more about his stamina in the closing stages and I don’t know if he can get that back.”