Guzman - Harrison: Braveheart Scott Harrison
18.12.05 - By Grant Jeans: Scotland’s Braveheart Scott Harrison has vowed “You’ll never take my title” in response to Joan Guzman’s planned Scottish themed ring walk when he defends his WBO featherweight title for the last time at Braehead Arena early next year..
Article posted on 18.12.2005
Michael Marley, director of public relations for Sycuan Ringside Promotions who handle Guzman, confirmed “the whole entourage will be wearing kilts and tartan when we make our entrance. We will be coming out to the words of William Wallace and that is who we will be dedicating the victory too. We will also be bringing our own bag piper with us. I wouldn’t miss this fight for the world.”
When asked about Guzman’s chances of taking the title Marley said, “we give Scott Harrison all the respect in the world but he is not the same calibre of fighter as Guzman. This is going to be Frank Maloney’s (Harrison’s manager) worst nightmare.”
The undefeated Guzman, originally from the Dominican Republic but now living and training in New York, has recently changed his nickname from ‘Little Tyson’ to ‘Sycuan Warrior’ to highlight his all round ability rather than just his punching power. Speaking from Gleason’s Gym in New York, Guzman sounded upbeat about his chances. In his broken English he said, “Harrison is a strong guy but I am too intelligent. He is only strong, it might go 12 rounds but I will win.”
Delen Parsley, one of Guzman’s trainers, the other being Don House, also feels his fighter may have to go the distance to take the title. “I think it will be a really technical fight and most likely go the full 12 rounds. We’re going to build up Guzman’s punching power while training here in New York and then we might go somewhere else to train in January, we’ll see.”
Guzman’s fighting style has been compared to that of Prince Naseem Hamed’s in the past. When asked if he thought this was a fair comparison Parsley said, “I guess that’s true he is also very elusive, has good technical ability and can punch, so yeah that’s a fair comment.”
Oscar De La Hoya, six weight world champion and currently running his own promotion company, Golden Boy Promotions, has called Guzman “the best featherweight in the world.” The Golden Boy is keen to add Guzman to his growing stable of fighters and had this to add, “I’m very interested in signing Joan Guzman and I think he can beat any featherweight out there. Nothing has been signed yet and any deal will be a 50 – 50 co promotion with Sycuan Ringside Promotions. I have not yet decided if I will be attending the fight in Scotland myself but it should be a good contest.”
Cambuslang warrior Harrison will be making the last defence of his WBO featherweight crown before stepping up to the super-featherweight division and plans to go out with a bang. “Never mind their talk of you’ll never take our freedom, at the Braehead Arena you may try but you’ll never take my title.”
Harrison received some unfair criticism after his last outing against Australia’s Nedal Hussein back in November when he won a unanimous decision and a made a seventh successful defence of the title in his second reign as champion. “I received some criticism for not finishing him off, but I was just being patient and picking my shots because it was obvious he was staying on the ropes to try and sucker me in and attempt to land the uppercut.”
At the end of the day the record books will show that Harrison has made more successful defences of a world title than any other Scotsman and is the only Scot to recapture a world title. ‘Hadji’ won a rematch against Manuel Medina in convincing style, battering the Mexican to the canvas four times on the way to an 11th round TKO victory after loosing a split decision in their first encounter.
With Medina supposedly facing Javier Osvaldo Alvarez in an IBF super-featherweight title eliminator in February, what chance a rubber match sometime in the future?
Harrison does not even think that far ahead as he is only concentrating on his next fight. “I’m only thinking about Guzman. I’ll be training hard in Fort William and there will be no distractions, I keep myself totally focused on the task in hand. This is a really important fight because it will provide the opportunity to let everyone in America know what I can do.”
Harrison’s Father and trainer Peter Harrison had this to add, “If they think that coming over here wearing all that gear is going to help them win over the Scottish fans then they had better think again. It seems like they just want to have a good time but they will find out we are deadly serious and that if they underestimate Scott their little party will be severely wrecked.”
Meanwhile Harrison’s stable mate Gary Young will be looking forward to a more productive 2006 after a stop start campaign in 2005. A hand injury has resulted in the promising Edinburgh welterweight only fighting on three occasions this year. However Young put on a great display in his last outing against Russian Ivor Bonavic, to remain undefeated in his fourteen professional contests, showing his improved ability to close off the ring, walk down his opponent and unload some powerful combinations. “I was pleased with the victory but I need to be busier, fight more often and hopefully avoid injury.”
Young will be fighting his first ten rounder on the under card of Alex Arthur’s defence of his British, Commonwealth and European super-featherweight titles against Ricky Burns on February 18th.
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