WAIL! The CyberBoxingZone Journal
October 2000 issue

Rising Star: Marine Fights his way back into ring, earns spot on All-Marine Boxing Team

By Lance Cpl. Damian McGee, Consolidated Public Affairs Office, USMC Okinawa, Japan

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, an
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 parenting.

"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 chose to

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 challenge.

"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 instinct,"
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 strong asset."

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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