Scott Harrison ‘a changed man’, says father
But perhaps the 35-year-old from Cambuslang is entitled to the benefit of the doubt for once as he prepares for his forthcoming European lightweight title bout with Liam Walsh at Wembley Arena on 20 April.
Harrison’s father and trainer, Peter, who has remained intransigent in his defence of his son in the face of well documented problems, yesterday offered a compelling insight into the mind of the man who is statistically Scotland’s most successful boxer.
In doing so, he succeeded in conveying the impression that Harrison will not squander this final chance to resurrect his career after forcing his way back into title contention more than seven years after the last of his ten world title bouts.
Harrison senior claimed: “Scott is a different person, a completely changed man. He appreciates being given this chance and I am personally delighted for him.
“To use that well worn cliché, I am over the moon for Scott after watching him work so hard in training. He has turned the corner. There were occasions when I thought it maybe wasn’t going to be, but strange things happen, especially in the boxing world, and Scott proved in his last two fights that he is still a powerful force.
“What he has been through over the last five or six years would have finished some people but Scott is an exceptionally fit guy with a very strong mind.
“There were times when he was down in the dumps, when nothing seemed to be going right for him, but through it all he kept training and believing.
“He surprised even me at times. But Scott has always wanted to go the extra mile and he is willing to spend an extra hour in the gym. He has been training three times a day.
“There is no doubt in his mind that he will beat Walsh and there is none in mine either, because Scott is such a determined individual. As far as Scott is concerned, Walsh is standing in his way to a world title shot and he is determined to remove him.
“Personally, I hope Walsh keeps talking Scott down, saying that he is too old and that he will struggle, because the last person who did that, Wayne McCullough, didn’t do himself any favours.
“Walsh is an undefeated champion and a good boxer, but we have been studying tapes of him to see the best way of going about beating him.”
Harrison added: “I boxed until the age of 33 and fitness wasn’t a problem, it was my reflexes that slowed up.
“But Scott is still very, very sharp and nobody is more determined, and George Fleming, his strength and conditioning coach, is a tremendous motivator. George isn’t a boxing man as such but he has got Scott so fit and they are a very good combination.”