Local fans can go see for themselves this weekend. Scott, 22, is set for his fifth professional bout Sunday in West Midtown. His goal is to follow in Evander Holyfield’s footsteps and become a heavyweight champion from the area. Scott has a long way to go in a sport where it’s usually necessary to start from the bottom. He’s off to a good start.
Scott is 4-0 as a professional with one knockout and three stoppages. Only one of those fights lasted beyond the first round. But Scott’s opponents are a combined 4-30. Donald Pierce, Scott’s highest-rated foe per BoxRec, was 2-2 when they fought in Jonesboro in December.
Scott’s figures to face a tougher test Sunday against Knoxville’s Jaden Booth. In his last fight Booth knocked out Keith Mayes Jr., who was 8-0. Booth, 30, has three knockout victories against two losses. He’s listed at 6-foot-4 and weighed in at 250 pounds for the fight against Mayes.
Booth is Scott’s highest-rated foe yet (79th in the U.S.). “Mactruck” predicts he’ll flatten him like he did the others.
“A short man fighting a big man, and the big man can’t hit him, then he’s going to knock the big man out,” Scott said. “You are still going to get the typical knockout, but it’s going to be highly skilled (boxing). I’m going to make him miss and make him pay without getting hit.
“That’s the game, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
It’s a very hard game that requires a lot of sacrifice and placing one’s body in peril. That’s among the many reasons for boxing’s decline as a sport in the U.S., especially in the heavyweight division.
It used to be that heavyweight champions could be relatively normal-sized humans. Joe Frazier is a tad under 6-foot. Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes each weighed about 215 pounds for their 1980 title fight. Holyfield’s prime fighting weight wasn’t much more than 200 pounds.
Then Lennox Lewis (6-5, 250 pounds) helped usher in an era of super-sized heavyweights. The current recognized champions are Tyson Fury (6-9, 273 for his last fight) and Anthony Joshua (6-6, 240). Most of the top contenders have similar builds. American athletes with that kind of size tend to make their way to football or basketball, where they can make money without taking punches.
Scott said he started boxing when he was 8 years old. He tried other sports, too.
“I played football, I played basketball, soccer,” he said. “I played all that. But boxing just kind of stood out the most. I love to fight. My mom put me in it. My mom used to do it.”
It’s possible for Scott to make his stature work in his favor. That’s how Mike Tyson became heavyweight champion. He generated enormous power by crouching his 5-10 frame before delivering punches. Tyson’s right uppercut was especially devastating. During his prime, Tyson combined that power with great hand speed and slippery defense.
Said Scott: “Everybody compares me to Mike Tyson. Yeah, I throw combinations like Mike Tyson, but I’m not (him). I’m way more skilled.”
That kind of supreme confidence is typical for fighters, who aren’t known for their modesty. It helps Scott that he can back up the talk with hard punches. Scott said his power came naturally. He only recently started lifting weights seriously.
Scott’s 9-7 amateur record includes two losses at the U.S. Olympic Trials in December 2019. Amateur boxers earn points by landing punches. Professionals are rewarded for being aggressive and landing big shots. Scott decided to become a prizefighter early in 2020.
Scott switched up gyms during preparation for his latest bout. He recently reunited with trainer Mustafa Meekins at the Atlanta Grindhouse in Decatur. Scott said they’ve put in “a lot of hard work” to hone his skills. Scott expects to weigh about 250 pounds for Sunday’s fight, but said he eventually plans to go as low as 230 “and then see how I feel.”
Scott is trying to make it as a relatively small man in a big man’s division. He’s aiming even higher than being the best heavyweight.
“Everybody says they want to be world champion,” Scott said. “I want to be a world champion, but I want to be a legend. I want my name to go down like Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson, David Tua, James Toney.
“I want it where, 40 years from now, the young fighters will talk about me and the good things I do.”
What: Clash of the Titans professional boxing
Where: Revel Nightclub,1778 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Tickets: Go to april18boswellpromotions.eventbrite.com (select DaCarree Scott from dropdown menu) or call (973) 309-1228.