‘Horrible Harry’ Scarff’s Treading The Road To ‘Boots’

For the second time in three months, Harry Scarff faced an agonising wait.

Back in November, the 30-year-old welterweight stood in the centre of the ring waiting to hear how the judges had scored his British and Commonwealth title fight against Ekow Essuman. The news was good, and Scarff was awarded a deserved unanimous decision over the previously undefeated champion.

On Thursday afternoon Scarff sat waiting for his phone to ring to let him know who had won the purse bid for his final eliminator against Ukraine’s Karen Chukhadzhian for a shot at the IBF title. Again, the news was good.

Wasserman’s winning bid of $141,305 means that Scarff will likely have home advantage for the biggest night of his career. A date and venue for Scarff-Chukhadzhian is to be confirmed.

“Oh, definitely the wait for the result in the Ekow fight was worse,” the laughing Scarff told “With having close decisions not go my way it’s always in the back of your mind.

“I’m buzzing at the moment though. Things couldn’t be any better. I like to know what’s happening so I knew that Wasserman were gonna bid and I knew that the Germans [P2M Box-Promotion] were going to bid for him. I knew there was gonna be a decent bid from them and I didn’t know which way it was gonna go.

"It’s all systems go now.”

In January 2023 Chukhadzian boxed Jaron “Boots” Ennis. Although he produced a resilient display, he found it near-impossible to launch anything significant offensively, and he lost a wide unanimous decision. Last October he beat Italy’s Pietro Rossetti and, despite the comprehensive nature of his defeat by Ennis, finds himself back in contention for a shot at the IBF title. 

Scarff’s nickname of “Horrible Harry” gives an accurate indication about why he has been forced to be patient and accept difficult tasks during his six-year career. He has proven to be a hard night’s work for anybody at domestic level, and all but impossible to look good against. 

He began his career as a super welterweight and in 2019 won the English title by beating Jack Flatley. He then lost consecutive decisions to Anthony Fowler and Troy Williamson, but since moving down to welterweight in 2022 has looked extremely difficult to beat. He easily outboxed the tough Louis Greene to win the English title in 2022, and he then cleverly outfought and nullified the all-action Essuman to claim the British and Commonwealth titles and earn his latest opportunity.

After watching footage of Chukhadzhian, Scarff sees little to fear. He is confident that he possess the versatility to win in a number of ways, and that the Ukrainian is going to struggle to formulate an effective game plan.

“Well, ‘Horrible Harry’ is the name,” he said. “I can be horrible like I was against Jack Flatley but when I boxed Louis Greene for the English title, that was a clean, polished performance,” he said. “Nobody has done that to him. I’m a fighter who’ll fight anyone. I’ve always been like that and hopefully people can get behind me now and push me on.

“It’s a fight I’m fully confident of winning. I’ve had a look at him. People don’t know what they’re getting with me. My style is hard work for people. I’m a big, strong welterweight and my confidence is sky high. I’d back myself against anyone. I’ve come back into the gym after my last fight and I’m firing on all cylinders straight away. I feel like I’m only gonna improve.

“I feel like I can switch it up and change my style to suit the fight. I think it’s gonna be hard for him to prepare. I’ve seen a few things he does and I think there are ways I can go about it and make sure I dominate him.”