analysis Morrison pulls Harrison from Kelvin Hall bill as assault case persists

THE long-running Scott Harrison soap opera took a fresh twist yesterday when the former world champion's manager and promoter, Alex Morrison, withdrew the troubled boxer from his show at the Kelvin Hall on December 1.

He did so with the utmost reluctance, but he feels it is in Harrison's best interests after considering all the facts in the wake of a Spanish court's judgment that the Glaswegian should serve a four-year prison term after he was found guilty of assault.

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Harrison had been due to top next month's bill in his third comeback bout against Greenock's John Simpson. However, Morrison feels he has been left with no choice but to pull Harrison off the show after expressing concern about the 35-year-old's state of readiness to fight in the circumstances.

Morrison feels that the latest hammer blow to Harrison's hopes of completing a successful comeback after more than six-and-a-half years out of the ring means he would not be mentally tuned to the task. Edinburgh middleweight Craig McEwan will now top the bill.

Harrison, who enjoyed a three-year reign as world champion after taking the title from Argentina's Julio Pablo Chacon in 2002, embarked on a remarkable comeback in June, due in the main to Morrison's benevolence. He returned to the ring to defeat Gyorgy Mizsei and then Joe Efidh, in turn, forcing his critics to eat their words to a large extent. But Morrison said: "Scott has too many issues to deal with at the moment and it wouldn't be fair to expect him to undertake an important fight with everything that's going on in his life. But I am not giving up on him. Hopefully, we can get this Spanish business cleared up and, if so, he will return to the ring early in the new year.

"I have already stated that I think Scott is the victim of a witch hunt as the case against him was supposed to have been dealt with five years ago."

Morrison also intends opposing any attempt by the British Boxing Board of Control to strip Harrison of his licence.

The situation will be discussed by the stewards of the BBBC at a meeting in Cardiff later this week after they threatened to pull the plug on the ex-WBO featherweight ring king.

Harrison is appealing against his latest sentence, but BBBC general secretary Robert Smith said: "While we will have to hear from the various authorities first, it isn't looking very clever for Harrison."

But Morrison added: "Scott is still in training and I will do everything in my power to try to ensure that he keeps his licence."