Harry Scott, Liverpool’s teak tough middleweight, dies at 78

Harry Scott and Rubin Carter
Tony Connolly pays tribute to Harry Scott, the Bootle boxer who beat Hurricane Carter

HARRY SCOTT, iron man from Bootle in Liverpool who beat the notorious Rubin Hurricane Carter to shake up the world, has died after a long illness at the age of 78.

Scott featured in two 10-rounders with feared American Carter, the Marvin Hagler of his day with his domed head and big punches and surly demeanour.

Carter won the first fight, many say luckily on cuts, so Mickey Duff arranged a quick rematch.  Scott gained his revenge on points.

Both were in 1965 at the Royal Albert Hall.

Their first fight, in May, saw Harry put up the fight of his life. He was not overawed by the brooding Carter, who was still highly ranked, and exchanged punch for punch with the American.

It was stopped when Harry was badly cut over the left eye in the ninth of their 10-rounder.

The fight was still up for grabs. Scott had been a 5 to 1 underdog.

A return was scheduled for the same venue a month later. Harry again suffered a cut over the left eye but this time the fight was not stopped and Harry proved that the first fight was no fluke, thumping his way to the 10-round decision.

They were bruising fights.

The win earned Scott another world-class 10-rounder, with reigning world welterweight champion Emile Griffith, again at the Albert Hall, in October 1965.

Griffith proved too slick and strong and forced Harry to bail out at the end of the seventh round with nose damage of a non-title 10-rounder.

Scott was a nearly man. He reached an ABA final, beat Carter but lost to the man who Carter had destroyed, Griffith, and also lost many important eliminators for the British title.

He actually bridged a long gap in his 13-year career, fighting the likes of Phil Edwards, George Aldridge, Wally Swift and Yolande Pompey to Bunny Sterling, Trevor Francis, both Finnegans and Alan Minter.

He also fought such boxing dignitaries as Nino Benvenuti, Tom Bogs, Laszlo Papp, Pierre Fourie and Juan Carlos Duran, none of whom stopped him.

Bert McCarthy, who conducted Scott’s business affairs in  the later stages of his career, said that Harry’s courage and power was out of character with his unassuming, gentlemanly approach to life.

My only regret regarding Harry Scott, added McCarthy, was not having the opportunity and pleasure in conducting his affairs throughout his career.

Financially, Harry earned nothing commensurate with his ability and dedication, said McCarthy.

This was brought out by the failure to capitalise on the two classic contests with Carter, McCarthy said.

Harry’s funeral will be held on Tuesday  December 29 at 12.30pm at the Blessed Sacrament, Walton Vale, Liverpool L9 2DG.

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