By Ron Jackson
Albert Scott, the first South African to fight at Madison Square Garden in New York, has died in Port Elizabeth. He was 76. The tough and determined Scott, who was born Albert Jacobus on February 2, 1933, fought as a middleweight in the 1950s, and met top-class opponents when he was based in the south of Johannesburg. Scott trained at the Johannesburg Central Fire Station where he was guided by Harry Best and Herby Jones. Best was also the long-time trainer of Olympic bronze medallist and SA heavyweight champion Johnny Arthur. Scott fought Shorty Smook, the SA amateur light-middleweight champion, before making his professional debut in Johannesburg on July 6, 1953 when he stopped Don Riggs in the first round. He then drew with “Irish” Teddy Quinn, one of the toughest welterweights around. Quinn had his jaw and his nose broken early in his career but was never knocked out.
Scott had two more fights against Quinn, winning one on points and losing the other on a ninth-round disqualification.
He then beat a future SA middleweight champion, Chris van Rooyen, on a third-round technical knockout but lost to Van Rooyen on a disqualification in a return fight in 1955. Scott also stopped Jimmy Carlsson and Alex Weiss to finish a successful first year in the professional ranks.
He was blasted out inside a round by Eddie Thomas in June 1954 when challenging for the SA middleweight title. However, in a return fight about two years later he stopped Thomas in the sixth round to win the vacant Transvaal middleweight title.
He then lost a close decision to Mike Holt, who went on to become one of the all-time greats in SA boxing. In a return match with Holt in Salisbury (Harare), Scott was knocked out in the second round.
Scott then drew with Tommy du Preez and beat Joe Munro before beating Thomas in their return match and leaving for the UK.
After arriving in Liverpool, Scott was impressive in his first fight on August 2, 1956, when he stopped Young Garvin Garroway.
Fighting at light heavyweight, he then stopped Eddie Williams and Neville Rowe in Liverpool.
He also won on a third-round technical knockout against Ken Gardner in Nottingham before losing on points to the rugged Nigerian Sammy Langford, who was campaigning in the UK at the time.
Scott then travelled to New York, where, in February 1957, he outpointed Juan Pomare from Panama over four rounds.
He also fought at the famous Madison Square Garden, winning on points over four rounds in an undercard bout against Bruce Damphier on March 15.
Returning to England, he stopped Joe Crickmer in the fifth before losing to Manuel Burgo on a fifth-round technical knockout.
In his last fight, on June 24, 1957, he faced Scotland’s Willie Armstrong in Carlisle and was stopped in the eighth round. He finished with a record of 19-8-2, with 12 knockouts.
He later managed a pub in Rosettenville before retiring to Port Elizabeth, where he died in December 2009.