As a white-collar worker with the thinnest of fistic endeavour behind me I cannot ever bring myself to discourage professional fighters from doing what they do best whether a fathom removed from their prime or not. The likes of Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins all earned the right to make their own decisions and though a shadow of their former selves they remain steadfastly more capable than a plethora of younger fighters for whom world-titles will always remain a pipe-dream. You cannot make a fighter retire simply because of their age or the evident decay in their performances. However, as an independent observer with a soft spot for the Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera I’d be happy to whisper quietly that its time for him to stop. If I could get close enough.
Precious few combatants evoke the same swell of good will that will greet Wayne McCullough when he strides to the ring for the 35th time in a fortnight’s time. The former Super-Bantamweight world title-holder has had a frustrating Autumn to his career, with the shadow of an overturned suspension for irregular brain scans thwarting his attempts to regain momentum in his ebbing trajectory. A retirement six rounds in to a fight he appeared to be winning last June, on the back of a doctor’s intervention during the rematch with Oscar Larios, remain his only meaningful action of the past 40 months.
Boxing lost a loyal servant this weekend with the unexpected death of Oscar Suarez, the trainer most widely known for shaping Brazilian Acelino Freitas. Later he would take over the most high profile job in boxing, training Prince Naseem Hamed, and though maligned for his lack of impact on the Sheffield-man his death is reason for all of us to pause and take stock. Suarez was believed to have been diagnosed with terminal cancer just over a month ago and leaves behind a wife, Marie, and children. He was just 47.
All posted comments will be directed to the Suarez family at the end of the week.
The sorry tale of Scott Harrison lurched to a new low this week when he was sentenced to a total of 8 months imprisonment for assaulting his girlfriend and a police-officer alongside being found guilty of driving whilst 4-times over the legal limit. Should Harrison remain at Her Majesty’s service for the entire sentence, he will emerge, squinting at the crumbled remnants of his life, a fast-approaching 32nd birthday and over 3 years of professional inactivity. Not to mention a destructive thirst he can never quench.
The story of Scott Harrison the fighter, and he was a competent world-level operator at his best, is close to becoming a footnote in the life of the former two-time WBO Featherweight belt holder. Today, having pleaded guilty to assaulting girlfriend Stacy Gardner and an attendant police officer, the gruff former fighter was sentenced to two months imprisonment. Continue reading “Is this the bottom for Scott Harrison, or can he fall further?”
A few disparate references got me thinking this week. First it was the retirement of Floyd Mayweather, brought into sharper focus by this weekend’s Welterweight face off between Cotto and Margarito, then it was a YouTube compilation of Prince Naseem getting battered from pillar to post with super slow-mo’s to make the former Featherweight king look like a clown. And finally, it was the news Bernard Hopkins, the veteran determined not to fight beyond 40 to keep a promise to his mother, apparently signing to fight Kelly Pavlik just shy of his 45th birthday. Too early, too late, boxing fans will crucify you either way.