CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa, Japan -- It was the championship bout during the Junior
Olympics in 1998. Two fighters had gone the distance and awaited the
decision. It was this decision that made "Red Boy" quit what he now
says is his calling.
"Everyone knew I'd won the fight," said Marine Pfc. Travis R. Scott,
out-booking agent with the Camp Foster Traffic Management Office here.
Everyone, that is, except for the referees.
Scott didn't receive the victory; that decision changed his life.
"I lost motivation and thought I'd lost the love for boxing," Scott
said. "But now I've realized how much it really meant to me."
This New Orleans native has worked hard to overcome the challenges of life and
time. Now combining his skill in the ring with his service in the Marine
Corps, Scott has been selected for the All-Marine Boxing team and is currently
awaiting orders to Camp Lejune, N.C. Scott said he dreams of fighting in
the Olympics one day and turning professional, but the road to achieving this
lifelong ambition is a challenging one.
Scott began his boxing career at age 11 because of his mother's style of
"In my house you, of course, had to go to school, but you also had to do
something constructive with your free time," Scott said. "I
For Scott, his choice would prove to be rewarding.
When Scott began boxing in 1991, it was his uncle, Frank James, who took on
the task of being his coach. Under James, Scott said he found a love
matched only by that for his mother.
"When I'm in the ring I'm in control," Scott said. "With
the exception of
my mother, I love boxing more than anything else."
The ring, according to Scott, provides the same security a child would
associate with being wrapped in his mother's arms. Scott has only lost
19 out of 170 fights during his seven-year boxing career.
"I know how to get in the ring and work all areas of my opponent,"
Scott said. "In many ways, I'd consider myself a technician, but
someone already owns that name."
After taking a two-year break, Scott's desire for boxing resurfaced, leading
him to train on his own. It was during one of these training sessions
that Scott was spotted by Donald K. Hansen, his current coach and trainer.
"I've been involved with boxing for nearly 25 years," Hansen said.
"And when I saw how Scott handled himself, I knew he had some
experience," Having seen boxers come and go, Hansen said he was still not
sure whether this was the type of fighter he normally looked for. "I put
him in the ring with some of my more experienced fighters," Hansen said.
"And not one of them could lay a glove on him."
It was then Hansen said he knew Scott had exactly what he was looking for.
Scott was eager to accept the offer, but refused to ignore his existing ties.
"I believe in loyalty and family first," Scott said. "So
I had to call my
uncle and ask him if he minded me fighting under someone else."
Receiving his uncle's blessings, Scott set out on a mission to finish what he
had started in 1991. "I owe it to my uncle, my mother and everyone else
who has helped me to become successful at this," Scott said.
Despite having been nominated Best Boxer of the Year in 1995 and 1996 and
being ranked as one of the top 10 amateurs throughout his entire career, Scott
is still managing to encounter aspects of boxing that are steadily posing a
"Coach Hansen trains very similar to my uncle, only harder," Scott
said. "He's really challenging me."
And with the true heart of a Marine, Scott is meeting this challenge head on.
"I don't think I was ever in shape before, I just fought off of
Scott said. "Coach Hansen is giving me the opportunity to see how
good I could really be if I was in shape."
Scott believes training with Hansen is what he needed to take him to the top
of his game.
"Boxing is my job, and I take my job seriously," Scott said.
"Where as most people go to work five days a week I go that extra day
because I know my opponent won't."
This extra initiative has made him better, Scott admits, but has caused him to
make certain sacrifices. Drinking, smoking and late nights out are all things
Scott is willing to give up.
"When you box, you have to sacrifice," Scott said. "I'd rather
sacrifice my fun now and enjoy myself later."
In spite of his proven success, Scott manages to stay very humble in his views
of himself and boxing. "Anyone can be beaten on any night," he said.
"When it's your turn to lose, it's your turn."
But, wearing his pride like a medal, Scott said he also believes he is one of
the best contenders in the nation on the amateur level. "I've proven to
myself and others that I can perform," Scott said. "I'm not
cocky, but I hold myself to a high standard. If I tell someone I'm the
best, then I have to be the best."
Being the best is something Scott said he believes he can obtain from his
forthcoming involvement with the All-Marine Boxing team. "I hope to add a
lot of wins to the team's record," he said. "I know I'll be a
In addition to wins, Hansen feels that Scott will assist his team in
experience and dedication. "He's not only a great fighter, but a teacher
as well," Hansen said. Scott is eager to teach others how he has reached
his current level, but says he is also eager to learn from others. "Even
though boxing is a one man sport, the members of the team are able to help one
another when we train," he said.
With his sights set on the Olympics and turning professional in the future,
Scott said he is simply prepared to lay his all on the line and let the
opponents fall where they may. "I think of myself as a storyteller,"
Scott said. "People know as much about me as they do an unopened
book. However, when the book is cracked open, it's time to sit back and
let the story unfold."
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