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Is Scott Harrison Ready to Step Up?

Above is a question frequently directed at British fighters over the years. The perceived promotional protection is not exclusive to Scott Harrison. Any British fighter with a hint of potential over the last decade or so was seemingly milked dry domestically before achieving consideration to fight the elite. So why is it that Scott Harrison gets such a rough time thumb harrison v brodie1 Is Scott Harrison Ready to Step Up?
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of it from journalists and fans alike? It could be his sometimes less than endearing ring persona or it could be his raw, subtle-as-a-brick-to-the-face style that has failed to sell the public. Whatever the case, he may soon get the chance to demonstrate the caliber of fighter he is, as the rumor mill has been rife with speculation of Harrison-Guzman, Harrison-Arthur or even a Harrison-Barrios fight, should he move up to the super featherweight division.

The most recent idea tossed around (prior to Alex Arthur’s decisive victory over Boris Sinitsin) was a Scott Harrison-Joan Guzman bout. The criminally overlooked Guzman would be Harrison’s most stern test to date. Not only does Guzman hit like a proverbial wrecking ball, but he has the skill to match. Undefeated in twenty-three fights with seventeen knockouts, Guzman is a former WBO super bantamweight champion making his long-awaited step up to featherweight. The mere mention of Guzman competing at super bantamweight is bound to have your eyes rolling in your head, given that Harrison looks like “The Thing” compared to his featherweight counterparts. Don’t think for a second that Guzman doesn’t have the frame to compete at featherweight. In fact, Guzman came in eight pounds over the super bantamweight limit a little under a year ago when he was slated to defend his WBO title against Marcos Licona. So the transition will be a welcome one and undoubtedly a smooth one. Although Guzman would prove to be a formidable opponent, he does not possess the style that has, historically at least, given Harrison so much trouble. He is not a tall, rangy, defense-first fighter. No, he will come looking to put Harrison’s lights out. Given the choice between the names thrown about as prospective Harrison opponents, Guzman would get my vote. It is a fight Harrison can win and it’s a fight likely to get some good exposure.

Another prominent rumor is that of a bout between Scott Harrison and countryman Alex Arthur. Personally, it’s not a fight I would like to see, as I covered in my last piece. I don’t want to see either fighter suffer a setback. And should they fight, a setback for one fighter is inevitable. This fight would certainly make headlines in the UK, but how much notice would the bigwigs across the pond take? I doubt they would even hear about it. No, this fight would serve as a great domestic scrap that would make Frank Warren a few quid. Warren fails to see the bigger picture on this one. Two British fighters capable of competing at world class, both will be twenty-eight by the time the fight is made and both are capable of making Warren a few quid if he would just loosen his grip on the leash a little. The solution? Eliminate one of his star commodities in a domestic bout that is unlikely to have anyone of note bat an eyelid.

Regardless of whether I would like to see the fight made, it is a distinct possibility and deserves discussion. Arthur is the type of fighter who can cause Harrison a headache: a tall, rangy puncher with a piston-like jab. The stark reality is that Harrison is not the type of fighter who can adjust to his opponent. His style remains the same regardless of opposition, and his style does not generally hold up well against a good, solid jab. That fact is down to the Harrison camp’s belief that head movement is utterly redundant. It’s not, and if the Polo and Medina fights didn’t teach them that, I’m not sure anything will. That, among other reasons, is why I would have to pick Arthur in this one. Stylistically it’s wrong for Scott. And honestly, I rate Arthur very highly and feel he has what it takes to be a world champion in the talent-laden 130-pound division. For Harrison’s part, he would have to rough up Arthur, grit his teeth and get inside the jab. That is where he could take the fight: slow Arthur down and not neglect the body. His most recent fight, against Michael Brodie demonstrated just how effective a good body attack can be and it’s an area that Harrison has often neglected in the past.

Whatever the choice of opponent, the step up looks imminent. British boxing received a boost recently, with the arrival of Ricky Hatton on the world stage. Should Harrison excel, another golden age could well be on the horizon. The days of Benn and Eubank seem so long ago. It’s about time this generation had something to talk about and Harrison could play a major role in that.

Contact James MacDonald at ac009b5460@blueyonder.co.uk

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