By Curtis McCormick
WBO featherweight champion Scott Harrison faces a true do or die situation against his most dangerous domestic rival, three-time world title challenger Michael Brodie, this Friday at Manchester, England's MEN Arena. The Frank Maloney-managed Glasgow man is coming off a sub-par title defense against Colombia's Victor Polo and can ill afford a slip up on what promoters Sports Network are terming "The Battle of Britain."
Many feel Michael Brodie an uncrowned champion as the Manchester native turned in a tremendous performance against Willie Jorrin at super feather a few years ago, only to lose in highly controversial fashion on the judges' scorecards.
Brodie also fought current WBC champion Injin Chi to a standstill in their first fight last year, forcing a draw with the Korean battler for the vacant title. The brave Brit was overwhelmed in the return bout a few months later, as he was handled convincingly by Chi before suffering a seventh round stoppage.
Harrison has experienced great frustrations of late, barely escaping with his title belt intact after tangling with the vastly under rated Victor Polo most recently. Only a furious charge in the last round allowed the Scott to preserve his WBO crown.
The champion goes into Friday's contest against Brodie with a sizeable strength advantage and it's crucial that the Glaswegian maximize that edge to offset the superior boxing skills of the challenger.
Harrison has been campaigning for a shot at title unification for some time now, yearning to share the ring with either IBF/WBA kingpin Juan Manuel Marquez or WBC titlist Injin Chi. A loss to Brodie would conceivably rule out such a step-up fight ,but even a lackluster showing could seriously damage Harrison's chances to realize his ambitions.
If Harrison can mount an unrelenting pressure attack on his adversary, we could see Brodie run out of gas and resort to slugging with the larger man, something "The Real McCoy" would relish.
No matter what course of action takes place at the MEN Arena the night before Ricky Hatton faces Kostya Tszyu, a very entertaining bout should take place between Scott Harrison and Michael Brodie - for as long as it lasts. With Showtime screening the struggle in America, British boxing will definitely take a big step forward in the spotlight the industry has collectively worked so hard to obtain.
Official Scott Harrison website: www.scottharrison.net