Fact: There is little upside to fighting Malik Scott.
Win, and you have beaten an unknown American who, despite an unbeaten record, has no fan base and no buzz around him.
Lose, and you will add an ‘L’ to your resume in the aftermath of a boring fight.
And most heavyweights will lose. At 6’4” and equipped with a steady jab and hard to hit chin, Scott is as technical as any other big man in boxing. In February, Main Events thought it was a good idea to match rising heavyweight contender Czar Glazkov with Scott as the main event of a show on NBC Sports Network. In a fight that featured little action, Scott boxed Glazkov to a draw, even as some ringside reporters -- including this one -- believed Scott won fairly easily.
That's why it was surprising when promoter Frank Warren signed up Scott to fight Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora at Wembley Arena in London on Saturday night. Chisora needs a win. He has lost three of his last four fights, including a crushing knockout loss to David Haye last year. Chisora is an appealing heavyweight opponent -- he talks tough and comes straight forward, a style that lends itself to entertaining fights -- but there are only so many losses he can take before his marketability starts to slide. And against Scott, Chisora has an opponent who could easily box circles around him.
“Malik's in tremendous shape,” said Scott’s trainer, Jesse Reid. “He's my prize racehorse and he's ready for Chisora. His strongest assets are his speed, footwork and intelligence. He knows how to stay calm under pressure. I'm more than confident. I've trained many world champions in my 42 years in boxing and some of the biggest names in the sport, but a world heavyweight champion has eluded me. But I believe I've got one in Malik.”
That may be wishful thinking. Scott’s sleep-inducing style isn’t going to have either Klitschko brother clamoring to face him, which means the only way he will get a shot is to position himself as the mandatory challenger. And Scott (35-0-1) isn’t ranked in the top 10 by any of the major organizations.
Still, beating Chisora (16-4) would undoubtedly move Scott up. Chisora, however, doesn’t expect that to happen.
“I'm happy now that I've looked into his eyes and I see that the boy is scared," Chisora, said. “What counts is what happens in the ring on Saturday, and I'm going to do a real good job on this boy and pack him back off to America, defeated.”
Added Chisora’s trainer, Don Charles, “"Scott looks in great shape, which is good news for us, as it will be all the better when Del beats him. Trust me, Del is in the best shape of his career and Scott will not be able to stand the heat that Del is going to dish out. Scott has not met anyone like Del and he's caught him at the wrong time. Del is hungry and determined as he knows he can't afford to lose this fight.”
Tough talk from a Scott opponent is nothing new. Being able to back it up would be.