Former two-time featherweight titlist Scott Harrison of Scotland has been a huge troublemaker.
He has been incarcerated multiple times. There have been charges for assault, drunk driving, domestic violence and theft, and he has had a problem with alcohol. He has been in trouble regularly for years, which is what led to him being out of the ring from late 2005 (when he was still a reigning titleholder) until June 2012, when he returned for a fourth-round knockout of novice pro Gyorgy Mizsei at lightweight. Harrison fought another novice, Joe Elfidh, in September at welterweight and won a six-round decision.
Harrison will continue his comeback by facing up-and-coming lightweight Liam Walsh (13-0, 10 KOs), 26, of England, in a 12-rounder on April 20 at Wembley Arena in London on the undercard of Welshman Nathan Cleverly’s mandatory light heavyweight title defense against Robin Krasniqi of Germany.
Harrison (27-2-2, 15 KOs) is 35, and if he is going to make another title run, he better do it now.
“Walsh is a good young fighter,” Harrison said. “He’s fast and he’s ambitious and this is the fight that will show all the doubters that I’m back and I mean business. I’ve had two wins since making my comeback and this is the first high-profile fight against a young, hungry fighter, which will test me and show me how far I’m off [from] challenging for a world title. A win will give me an important ranking in the top 10 of the WBO, so this is must-win fight for me.
“I believe that I’ve got the strength and power to win, though, plus the experience at the highest level. I’m on my way back to the world title. It’s going to be a hard road with everything I’ve gone through, but it will be an incredible story when I’ve achieved it.”
Walsh was supposed to challenge lightweight titlist Ricky Burns in December but got into a minor car accident. Walsh hurt his back, and his shot at a world title was canceled. So the fight with Harrison will be Walsh’s first since July.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Scott,” Walsh said. “I remember watching his fights years ago against Manuel Medina, shouting at the TV and cheering him on. So it seems a little surreal that I'm now gonna to be fighting him. On the other hand, that was years ago and this is a crucial fight for me to win on the way to a world title. I don't believe he is the same fighter he once was.
“I’m certainly not overawed by him. I'm young, fresh and very ambitious, but that makes the fight more appealing. It’s a good clash of styles. I'm very excited about this fight.”
Promoter Frank Warren also announced this week that he has added a rematch between Commonwealth light heavyweight champion Ovill McKenzie (21-11, 10 KOs), 33, of England, and former cruiserweight world titleholder Enzo Maccarinelli (35-6, 27 KOs), 32, of Wales, to the card.
Their fight in November ended in a second-round storm of controversy when referee Ian John-Lewis stopped the fight after Maccarinelli had barely been hit with anything. It was one of the worst stoppages ever.
“This is unfinished business for me and it’s going to be settled once and for all on the night,” Maccarinelli said. “Initially I was really disappointed with the result and felt that the referee had stepped in too early, but what’s happened has happened, there is no point looking back at it. All I want to do now is reverse the result with a win. There will be no dispute with the result this time, I’m back to my dynamite-punching best and I’m going to knock McKenzie clean out.”
Jamaican-born McKenzie said he’ll get the same result again this time around.
“The referee did Maccarinelli a big favor by stopping the fight early,” he said. “Another 30 seconds and he would have been knocked out. I think that it was stopped 10-15 seconds early and it robbed me of a KO win. Maccarinelli wants it again, but this will be his last fight. It will be a career-ender when I’ve finished with him. He’ll get the same treatment again and I’ll finish it inside two rounds again.”
Also on the card is former heavyweight title challenger Dereck Chisora (15-4, 9 KOs) of England against Andrej Pala (32-3, 22 KOs), 28, of the Czech Republic, in a 10-rounder. BoxNation televises the card in Great Britain. In the United States, Epix is slated to carry the Cleverly-Krasniqi and Chisora-Pala bouts.