Scott Harrison is targeting a world title shot before Christmas as he prepares for his eight-round contest at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow on Saturday.
The former two-time WBO featherweight champion will feature on the undercard of Ricky Burns’ WBO lightweight title clash with Kevin Mitchell against an as yet unnamed opponent.
Having fought in ten full world title bouts and one interim contest, you have to go back just over eleven years to the Cambuslang man’s fifth round British and Commonwealth title win over Gary Thornhill for the last promotion on which Harrison was not the main draw.
On that night in the MEN Arena it was Manchester’s own Ricky Hatton, and now Burns-Mitchell is top of the bill. Harrison will have the unusual experience of there being no belt on the line when he steps between the ropes but is eager to build momentum ahead of a potential clash with the winner of the main event.
Harrison made his long-awaited return to the ring as a lightweight after an absence of over six and a half years back in June with a fourth round stoppage of György Mizsei, flooring the Hungarian three times with body shots in the second round en route to picking up the International Masters belt.
At the age of 35, Harrison knows he cannot afford to hang around. He said: “I’ll have the carrot of a world title fight being dangled in front of me as there could be the chance to take on whoever wins between Burns and Mitchell.
“I still don’t know who I’ll be fighting at the SECC but I’ve just been focussing on my training. It’s a long time since I was scheduled to fight less than ten rounds and there wasn’t a title at stake but I need to win this fight to stay on course.
“I want to challenge for a world title but I can’t do that if I don’t take care of whoever is put in front of me on Saturday.”
Harrison’s father and trainer, Peter, is delighted with his son’s preparations, as is strength and conditioning coach George Fleming.
Harrison senior said: “Scott’s comeback was a very happy night for me. I was delighted with the way he boxed and that he proved he is still The Real McCoy.
“It’s unusual for Scott to be boxing eight rounds on the undercard of a title fight but he is training just as hard as he would for a twelve-round contest. When Scott focuses on something you can’t stop him.
“He is determined to be a world champion again and these eight rounds have to be negotiated along the way to that world title shot.”
Fleming said: “Scott’s commitment is out of this world; he gives 100 per cent every session. Scott is a human dynamo and has the necessary drive and determination. I have seen nothing to suggest he’s lost any of his enthusiasm. If anything, he’s more determined.
“Scott’s enthusiasm transfers through me to the youngsters in the gym, who are constantly looking at the giant photo of him on the wall and asking what they have to do to get a physique like he has.”