Frank Maloney will make one final heartfelt plea
FRANK Maloney will make one final heartfelt plea to Scott Harrison this weekend to turn his life around. He will fly to Glasgow today for talks with the troubled WBO featherweight champion and his father Peter. The 28-year boxer walked out of the city’s Priory clinic – where he is being treated for depression and alcohol problems – for a drink on Thursday before returning hours later. Maloney has planned what he is going to say, having spoken to numerous experts, but he admits there is nothing anybody can do if Harrison is not up for his biggest battle yet. “I haven’t spoken to him today,” said Maloney. “I am going to go up to Glasgow tomorrow to have a chat with him and his father and see how things are going and see where we go from here. “I don’t want him in London. I’d just like him somewhere away from everything and all the temptations. It doesn’t matter where we put him because the drink is always there. That’s the message I want to put across – he has to want to do this himself. “He walked out of the Priory yesterday, so I am going to put everything on the table and say how I see it. I have spoken to a number of people and counsellors in the last 48 hours and I know the tactics I have go to use. I know what I have to say to him, but if he doesn’t listen there is nothing more anyone can do.”
Lennox Lewis’ former manager is clearly taking this week’s events hard. Maloney has been with the Scot from early in his career and he would be devastated to see him throw his talent away. Harrison was due to defend his title against Gairy St Clair in Belfast on Saturday. But Maloney added: “This has been so difficult for me because I find it so distressing to see a man with so much talent wasting it. “Part of me says, ‘To hell with it – let him waste it if he wants to’. But part of me wants to help him. I have known him for such a long time and have been with him since 18, the first time he put on a pair of professional gloves, and I was so proud to put the world title belt around his shoulders. It’s been an incredible journey and I don’t want it to end like this.”
Maloney has also called for the bar staff of Glasgow to refuse Harrison drinks should he enter their premises. He added: “I don’t believe the people of Glasgow should help and not hinder the situation. What I mean is people who see Scott in bars should help him and refuse him drinks. “I don’t want people to serve him. I want people to point out to him that he is wasting his life and his career by drinking.”
Scottish boxing manager Alex Morrison has pledged to help Harrison, having won his own battle with the bottle. Maloney has received calls from a number of other people in sport and would welcome any help, but he insists even God cannot do anything for Harrison if he does not want to turn the corner himself. “That is up to Scott and his father,” concluded Maloney. “Anybody can talk to Scott – I don’t have a problem with that. If people want to help then fine. If Alex wants to talk to him I will set it up. I have had calls for a number of sports personalities who want to help him.
Meanwhile, Amir Khan has thrown down an audacious challenge to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather as he prepares for his seventh professional test in Belfast tonight. The bullish Bolton teenager believes he has mastered the four-round distance to such an extent he could give the American superstar a run for his money – and would even cross the Atlantic to prove it. Khan is brimming with confidence after a dazzling start to his professional career, which extends to seven fights against Hungarian Laszlo Komjathi at a sold-out King’s Hall. Khan said: “Talent-wise I am already one of the best fighters in the world over four rounds. I would love to have four rounds with Mayweather. I am as quick if not quicker than him and I can sustain a fast pace non-stop. “I would definitely like to fight in the US soon, some time later this year preferably, to expose myself and show what I can do. I think they have probably heard of me already.”
BY : Chris Roberts