Scott Harrison title bout a prelude to Ricky Hatton

04.04.05 - By Steve Mckenna: THE night before Ricky Hatton's challenge to Kostya Tszyu - June 3 - Michael Brodie attempts to kickstart his career by taking on teak-tough Scott Harrison at the Manchester MEN Arena. Brodie has been one of British boxing's nearly men over the past decade. He has been in some thrilling fights, but has fallen at the last hurdle on three occasions..

The Manchester stylist was outpointed by Willie Jorrin in a WBC super-bantamweight title fight in 2000, when the consensus was that he won clearly. Then, in two wars with In Jin Chi up at featherweight, he snatched a controversial draw, before being stopped in seven brutal rounds in the rematch. Brodie is a skilful technician, who can outbox all but the very best opponents. But he has a warrior's spirit and nearly always gets drawn into slugfests, which is great for the fans, but less so for him - and his long-suffering manager Jack Trickett. Brodie also has a propensity to mark up around the face, which hinders his ability to avoid punches in the meaty exchanges he seems to love. With this style of fighting, one wonders how much he has left in the tank.

By the time the Harrison fight arrives, Brodie will be 31 and, with three failed world-title attempts behind him, this is last-chance saloon territory. Harrison, the WBO featherweight champion, could be a good opponent for him - or a bad one, depending on which strategy he takes. Harrison is younger and fresher and undoubtedly has the edge in natural strength and power. If Brodie wants a scrap with the Scot, it could be a painful night and it would surprise no-one if he failed to hear the final bell for the second time in his career. However, if he boxes smart, fends Harrison off with his jab and digs in some of his trademark hurtful body punches, it could be his night. Victor Polo proved in Harrison's last fight that Frank Maloney's man has his limitations.

The predictable champion was lucky to escape with a draw. Prior to that fight, all the talk was of Harrison taking on one of the top Mexicans, like Marco Antonio Barrera or Juan Manuel Marquez. Instead, after his strong showing in Glasgow, Polo has got the nod to take on Marquez, while Harrison has to be content with Brodie. This may inspire him to raise his game.

He knows that he failed to deliver against Polo and will want to set the record straight in the
'Battle of Britain'. While some argue this is a 50-50 fight, I'd have to edge towards Harrison. Whatever tactics Brodie enters the ring with, it is likely that they will go out of the window at some stage. And, while that will lead to a tremendous fight taking place, it will also play into the hands of the robotic Harrison, who is likely to prevail by either a late stoppage or close, but unanimous, points decision. But Brodie could prove everyone wrong. And, if he does, no-one, apart from the Harrison camp, of course, could begrudge him that.

Article posted on 04.04.2005

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