Remembering Hackney cruiserweight Bruce ‘Lionheart’ Scott’s best moments
- Credit: PA
Born in Jamaica in August 1969 and having already established a decent amateur record in the Caribbean, Bruce Scott moved to Hackney in pursuit of fame and fortune in the professional boxing ring.
Initially he was managed by Mickey Duff and his National Promotions organisation; but later in his career he switched to Frank Warren, with whom he gained his ring success.
A disappointing paid debut in April 1991 at the Hilton Hotel in Mayfair against Mark Bowen ended in a clear points loss over six rounds and few would have thought that when he last boxed in May 2009, he would have twice held the British and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles, boxed three times for various world cruiserweight titles, and been involved in no fewer than 10 championship battles.
His final career statistics read 27 victories (18 inside) with 10 losses (four inside). Almost half of his ring victims failed to hear the final bell.
Initially he campaigned as a light-heavyweight and following the loss to Bowen he racked up 18 straight victories, boxing mainly in assorted London venues, including the iconic York Hall in Bethnal Green.
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In November 1996, Scott boxed the very experienced Welshman Nicky Piper for the latter’s Commonwealth light-heavyweight crown, but it proved to be a step too far, with Scott being stopped in seven rounds.
Three contests later he won the Southern Area cruiserweight belt, stopping Dominic Negus in the ninth round of a scheduled ten.
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He was now about to move into the cruiserweight championship fast lane proper and a trip to Belfast saw him win the Commonwealth crown and vacant British title after stopping Darren Corbett in 10 rounds.
Then two unsuccessful shots at the WBO and WBC world cruiserweight championships followed, first being stopped by Sheffield’s Johnny Nelson and then by German based Cuban Juan Carlos Gomez.
In June 2000 there was further disappointment for Bruce when Australian Adam Watt stopped him in four rounds for the vacant Commonwealth crown at Glasgow’s Hampden Park.
A certain Mike Tyson was also on the fight card that evening in the pouring rain at the home of Scottish football.
However, Scott bounced back six months later to win the vacant British title by knocking out John “Buster” Keeton in six rounds and three months later he successfully defended his British title and annexed the vacant Commonwealth championship by forcing a third-round retirement of Garry Delaney at York Hall.
A few years earlier, West Ham’s Delaney had received a victory over Scott by disqualification in the early rounds of the London ABA championships, so it proved sweet revenge finally for the Hackney hero.
Bruce’s winning roll continued when he claimed the vacant WBU International cruiserweight title by unanimously outpointing Frenchman Rene Janvier at the Royal Albert Hall on July 26, 2001.
However, the winning trail did not continue as challenging for the vacant WBU cruiserweight crown in Cardiff in June 2003, Scott was halted in four rounds by Welsh puncher Enzo Maccarinelli; Bruce having floored his opponent in the opening session.
Time was beginning to run out for Scott, who challenged Mark Hobson’s for his British and Commonwealth belts in December 2004, losing unanimously on points by a wide margin at a venue in Huddersfield.
Following a routine win and then a loss in 2005 and 2006 respectively, Scott did not box again until May 2009 when he entered Brentwood promoter Barry Hearn’s popular Matchroom ‘prizefighter’ cruiserweight tournament.
He lost a unanimous third-round decision to Keeton, a man whom he had knocked out twice previously and he retired shortly after this disappointing final defeat.
Scott possessed decent firepower and was somewhat short of stature for his two main weight divisions.
He was often a slow starter in many of his contests and fell just short at aspiring to true world championship level.
Nevertheless, Scott was an exciting fighter who sadly failed to attract a large local fan base, and fully deserved all the various title spoils he acquired.