Talking Boxing with Scott Dixon

Sunday, September 5, 2010, 21:35

by Matthew Azzopardi.

Boxing is a complex sport. Some call it the noble art of fighting and some downgrade boxing and regard it as human cockfighting. Former Commonwealth Champion Scott Dixon takes a different approach: Dixon calls boxing the sweet science and he regards the sport in the highest pantheon in human self-defence. Knowing that the scotsman is a person of high boxing intellect, I am ready to take him at his word, however, the lanky pugilist is willing to discuss the topic and he invites me to his house for a chat. 

Being a boxing fan for most of my life, I gladly accept the invitation and we set a meeting date. In the days leading up to this meeting, I saw this opportunity as a blessing in disguise as I have been irked for so long with the lack of boxing competition in Malta. For the past five years, various individuals have put on boxing shows giving the impression that they want to revive boxing. The Malta Boxing Federation has also been set up recently and by being affiliated to the very credible world governing body AIBA, this came as very good news to boxers wishing to participate in the amateur game. However, save for the occasional tournament and disputes between members in the MBF, boxing in Malta remained dormant.

So, I eagerly accompany Scott Dixon to the open air patio on the roof of the house that he shares with his girlfiend Daniela. It is a lovely summer evening and the cool breeze just makes the scincillating view from the BBQ area even more exotic. When it comes to interviewing, some people are shy and reserved while others are like an open book that allows you to see the bigger picture.When it comes to Scott Dixon, he is like a colourful, comic book. The scotsman has so many stories to tell: places he has seen, people he met and obviously many boxing moments that have shaped his life.

I am willing to shift the conversation to boxing in Malta and I ask him what he thinks about the local boxing scene. ‘There are many individuals who have love for the game but they are old-timers’ Dixon replies, ‘so much has changed in the boxing system in the aspects of training and nutrition that we need to be innovative in the way we go about bringing up youngsters. The bottom line is that there are too many independent thinkers and unless everyone starts working together, there is no hope for the sport going forward.’

In late July, Dixon’s school of Boxing was opened. When I asked Dixon if that by having his own gym, this was a dream come true for him? The glint in Scott’s eye and his nod of approval are a good enough answer; ‘definately’ he says ‘Daniela and I share a dream to make the gym a fight factory and I want to really set the ball rolling for a big future in Maltese boxing. I have had 101 amateur fights and 41 professional fights and I have been schooled properly. However, I feel so blessed and thankful for being accepted in Malta, that I am willing to share my boxing knowledge with all the other clubs on the island. I will not charge a single penny off them because like I said, we should all be working together for the sake of boxing. I say this not because I believe I am the best, but because I was schooled properly and have learned many fresh ideas from various boxing personnel around the world.’

Schooled properly he has been indeed. Apart from being groomed at the world famous Peacock Gym, Dixon had the opportunity to occasionally spar with high profile boxers namely six-weight world champion Oscar de la Hoya. Just the joy and pride etched on Dixon’s face and his elaborate body language as he recounts that fateful day in Big Bear, California makes me sure of one thing: Scott Dixon is not willing to hang up his gloves just yet. In fact, he has a a fight coming up on the 18th September. When I ask about his future boxing career, Dixon is the first to admit that he is not boxing at the same level he did in his prime and since he is in the twilight of his career, he will box for another three to four fights and then call it quits. Afterwards, the aim is to train up and coming youngsters with the aim being to send a capable Olympic boxing team.

I have to admit, I thought this was too bold of a prediction. Dixon immediately sensed my concern and he was quick to explain. ‘ There is so much raw talent ready to be exploited’ he says ‘the maltese are so tough. What they lack in speed and talent, they more than make up for it with hardcore grit and determination. They have an unbelievable will to survive. The Maltese wear their hearts on their sleeve and believe me, it is pretty amazing.’ So what would Scott Dixon’s message to sport committees in Malta be in order to help make this dream come true? ‘We are not asking for a ton of money’ Dixon says ‘Just a simple scheme to help young, aspiring boxers with the gym fees, equipment fees and so on. Like I said before, I am willing to do my part and offer my club as a sanctuary for training all local boxers. I am willing to organise amateur competitions in my gym giving all the proceeds from my part to charity. I am offering this opportunity to all Maltese clubs on a silver platter and if they do not accept it, then clearly they do not want to help the sport move forward.’

Scott Dixon may be a former world reknowned sportsman, but there are other dark reasons why the Scotsman is so notorious. Just a few weeks after his 27th birthday, Dixon was cornered and beaten up with a baseball bat in an abandoned Glasgow alleyway. His attackers left him to die and Dixon only survived the attack by doing what he does best: trying to get up even though he had been put down hard. It was this attitude that made him successful in his boxing career and the same one that made him crawl to safety despite his massive injuries. ‘The accident still haunts me to this present day. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, getting flashbacks from that horrible evening’ Scott confesses ‘but then I start thinking of my girlfriend, my children and I know that with the help of Jesus Christ, I will be ok. I am the first to admit that I made a lot of mistakes in my life and I want to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone that I have ever wronged. I am now a reformed man, please forgive me because I repent and I am now one with the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I ask Dixon if his stint in Malta is just a pitstop before he moves on to other things. ‘No way’ he claims ‘ this is my home! I am going nowhere!’ If Scott Dixon is here to stay, I honestly believe that it is a huge plus for people who have boxing in their best interest as Dixon is both willing and capable of helping out prospective youngsters excel in the noble art of boxing. Before I depart the comfy confines of his house, I ask Dixon one last question: How does he want to be remembered in the eyes of Maltese people? Dixon takes a while to consider his answer. With his head slightly tilted to the side, his face is unmistakenly that of a fighter; his nose is flat and pushed to the side with the scar tissue prominent on the handsome features of his face. ‘I want to be known as an ambassador of Maltese boxing, as a person who tried to make a difference in maltese sport and last but not least: as a good man/’ And on that final note we end our conversation as we enjoy a drink together, sipping through our glasses and gazing at the setting sun.





9 Comments

  1. paul says:

    scott you are in the best shape of your life you really have put the work in.your conditioning coach james jap kavanagh has took you to the highest level you never looked so good i no you say hes an inspiration you and he has increased your strenth endurance ,speed and he has you in tremendous fighting shape i remember you last year and i would safely say james jap kavanagh has done the impossable you were in a bad way last year he really has changed you attitiude i hope you win scott does jap only train you or wouid he train other people

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    james jap kavanagh Reply:

     scott has put them days behind him now yes i trained scott and i pushed him very hard but he was up for it his heart was in it he was hungry for the title i could see it in his eyes he never complained he did what ever i asked of him i put him true 16 weeks of hard training and sparring he would run every morning after lunch time boxing training then at nite we would hit the weights yes he was in great shape paul and thank you for your kind comments but thats my job to get scott in to great fighting shape we new baker was going to be a tuff fight he was a great champion whit a big heart scott now fights whit a never say die attitiude and now he is a great champion and some one i am proud to call my friend and brother as scott would say that is how we roll pikey rules and to answer your question yes i do train other people james jap kavanagh 

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  2. Matthew Azzopardi says:

    Simon and Andrea. This article is not about a certain individual. It is about doing something for boxing in Malta. Its about trying to get clubs working together. The article is centred around Scott as he is the most experienced man, in terms of boxing pedigree, on the island. As a matter of fact, Billy Corito is trained by Scott as well. That being said, it is my intention to make an article about the Hitman but I would like you to know that this was just my first article so please cut me some slack. Thanks for your critisicm.

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  3. scott dixon says:

    please read the article closely boys its about bringing on kids, im sure matthew will do an article with billy and if you noticed theres a photograph of me and billy..

    settle down boys

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  4. simon cassar says:

    they ve 2 interview  mr.billy d hitman corito  : how he b came he now , how he b came malta no.champion wit his own hands,his life & wot though passeges had 2 pass 2 come 2 dis place right now,,u should interview him & thank him 4 giving name 2 d maltese boxing  in d present y his not finding boxers 2 compete wit him 4 his belt – in d end i shoukd say he owns & deserve wot hes now coz he got it wit heart,passion,dedication & strenght coz u dont get wre u want tht easy 10x d undisputed undifited heavyweight maltas boxinh champion mrrrrrrrrrrrrr. billy d hiiiiiiiiiiitman corito

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  5. DONT FORGET ABOUT BILY CORITO. REMEMBER SCOTT HE HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL TO YOU IN MALTA AND HAS BEEN THERE FOR YOU DURING THE HARDEST TIMES. I HAVE NOT SEEN HIS NAME MENTION ONCE IN THIS ARTICLE. 

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  6. Charlo Azzopardi says:

    I dare say that along with a handful of other local boxing enthusiasts, Scott’s input in the Maltese’s boxing scene is vital if we want to see our youngsters progress to higher levels. Any young aspiring boxer should take advantage of Scott’s raw talent, dedication and experience. 

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    paul Reply:

      scott ive been told u are been trained by an irish guy called jap who is he and wat does he bring to your camp 

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    scott dixon Reply:

    jap has been an inspiration to me if anyone can get you in tremendous fighting shape its this guy…he has increased my strength, endurance, speed and confidence i now have a never say die attitiude and im ready for my world title shot on the 25th aug in malta……jap is well known in the muscle game and he is a great addition to team dixon……

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