SCOTT HARRISON made a successful return to the ring with a fourth round stoppage of Hungarian teenager GYORGY MIZSEI JR at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.
The 34-year-old’s last fight occurred in 2005 when he successfully defended his WBO featherweight title against Nedal Hussein.
Harrison’s reign of glory ended when he was stripped of his title, his boxing licence and declared bankrupt after a series of personal issues that culminated with a spell in a Spanish jail.
However despite his near seven-year absence from the ring, Harrison showed no signs of ring rust and was relentless in his quest to make a statement in his long-awaited comeback bout for the vacant International Masters lightweight title.
“The Real McCoy” undoubtedly received the largest reception of the night from the over 1000 strong crowd who rose to their feet to catch a glimpse of the man who used to attract crowds of 8,000-10,000.
This may not have been a major world title fight but at certain points during the fight it felt like a throwback to a bygone era, where Harrison dethroned the likes of Wayne McCullough and Manuel Medina at the Braehead Arena.
Harrison entered in his traditional black hooded gown accompanied by his father and long-time trainer Peter, to a cacophony of noise from the rapturous Glaswegian crowd.
The 18-year-old Mizsei came into the bout undefeated having won all of his first seven professional contests. When comparing the two in the centre of the ring, it appeared that the fight could well have been a serious mismatch.
Mizsei’s wiry frame was a stark contrast to the chiselled physique of the intense Harrison.
Once the opening bell sounded Harrison moved forward straight away, immediately looking to pile the pressure on his sacrificial lamb. However, Mizsei was not hear to act as fodder for Harrison and caught the Scot on his nose through his guard.
Despite this however, Harrison was the aggressor and a late flurry of solid hooks in the dying seconds shook Mizsei. Harrison began to dominate in the second using his tremendous speed and power to overwhelm Mizsei.
Mizsei was clearly struggling to deal with Harrison’s awesome strength and a stiff body blow sent Mizsei to the floor. Mizsei rose to his feet but it appeared the end was nigh as the Hungarian was forced on the back foot by the animal-like Harrison who knocked down Mizsei for a second time with another body shot.
Harrison’s loyal support roared him on throughout and begged the former world champion to finish Mizsei off and it seemed they got their wish as a flurry of shots sent Mizsei crumpling to the canvas for a third time.
However, Mizsei bravely got up and continued to attempt to fend off Harrison’s incessant attacks. Mizsei managed to make it to the third round but was on the receiving end of Harrison’s blistering combinations.
Mizsei deserved plaudits for hanging on and trying to provide some sort of comeback but it was to no avail as Harrison began to pick the teenager apart with three and four-punch combinations.
Mizsei miraculously survived the round without being knocked on his backside again. It was more of the same from Harrison in the fourth, utilising his frightening power to great effect and repeatedly punishing Mizsei with combinations to the body.
Mizsei was then sent crashing for a fourth time by an overhand right to the head. Mizsei insisted that he was able to continue but referee Victor Laughlin had seen enough and waved Mizsei off.
Harrison leapt to the top of the ropes to thank his supporters and then embraced with his father who may not have thought he would ever see his son victorious in the ring again after several years on a path of self-destruction.
Mizsei earned this reporter’s respect for his efforts, he did not simply lay down for Harrison but attempted to engage in a fight with the former WBO champion but did not earn the same respect from some of the fans.
Speaking to the press who piled into his changing room, Harrison said: “I’m glad to be back. It was a privilege to fight in front of the fans. I want to thank them for coming out to support me,” he said.
“I don’t live in the past, I live in the future and hopefully in the future I can get the world title back.
“According to the papers, I’m at death’s door, I’m going to die early; but throughout my suspension I’ve always kept myself in condition,” he added.
“In the past, I’ve trained to lose weight. This time I trained to build muscle. As the fight went on, I felt I was punching harder.
“My body shots were strong. I’ve been working on that left hook for the past three or four months.
“I just couldn’t wait to get in there after the places I’ve been,” he said.
“To get back in there doing your job again, fighting in front of those fans and making money for your family, it’s brilliant.
“I want to box for money. I’ve wasted a lot but you live and learn. I’m looking forward to this last chapter in my career.”