Boxing trainer and analyst “Iceman” John Scully is currently working with Arthur Beterbeiv, an undefeated light heavyweight contender. I had a chance to speak with John ahead of Beterbeiv’s upcoming bout against Isidro Ranoni Prieto to get his views on how training has gone for the fight. Scully also talked about Ward vs. Kovalev, what he thought about the decision and if he would like to see a rematch. Additionally “Iceman” gave his thoughts on a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch and who he would take to win a second fight. Here is what John Scully had to say.
Robert Brown: You’re training Artur Beterbiev for his upcoming fight, can you tell us how fight camp is going?
John Scully: He’s looking very good so far, he’s actually about to do some sparring tomorrow with Sean Monagham, a good up and coming light heavyweight, so I’m very interested to see how he looks. Artur is right there, he’s number two in the world by all the sanctioning bodies right now so he’s going to be fighting an eliminator pretty soon for the number one spot to fight Andre Ward. 2017 is going to be a very big year for Artur.
(Click to listen to the full interview, which includes thoughts on Vasyl Lomachenko vs Nicholas Walters.)
Robert Brown: Assuming he gets past this next fight and gets to fight Andre Ward, how do you think Artur would do against Ward?
John Scully: The thing that sets Artur apart from what I see is his strength and his punching power, he’s talented. When people see a guy who hits that hard and is that strong, they see him as just having those attributes but Artur is very smart in there and he’s very scientific and he’s getting better.
I like his strength and his power at that weight, I think he hits harder than Kovalev and I think he’s physically much stronger than Kovalev, so I think he’s going to feel a big difference going against Artur. But obviously Andre is a top of the line fighter, one of the best pound-for-pound in the world, so Artur is going to have to be on his A game to beat him, but his punching power and strength gives him a chance against anyone in the world right now.
Robert Brown: What were your thoughts on the fight between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev?
John Scully: I was at the fight, I wasn’t really close to the ring, so I didn’t have great vision. But to be honest, when the fight was over and the bell rang, my friend asked me who I thought had won and I thought they were going to make it a draw. From where I was sitting the fight seemed even.
Granted I didn’t have a close up view to see which punches were actually landing and being blocked, but with that being said, people who I respect who saw the fight up close and then on TV, they all seemed to think that Kovalev won the fight. From where I sat, I thought it was even or one point difference either way, but most of the people I talked to seemed to think that Kovalev won it.
Robert Brown: Would you like to see a rematch take place?
John Scully: To me, it wasn’t a great fight visually but because of the situation, I think you have to do it again. I don’t think as a fighter, I don’t think Andre Ward is going to want to settle it like this. I think he’d want to make a clear victory and I know if there’s enough controversy over it, people are going to demand that there be a rematch.
Robert Brown: Bob Arum said that a rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao has about a 65% chance of happening again. Do you think it will happen again? Could the second fight do irreprable damage to the sport if it goes the same way?
John Scully: Only to the people foolish enough to buy it. I’m going to warn all the people right now that they should have listened to me before the first fight. That fight went exactly like I said it was going to go. I knew it, I told everybody and people are disappointed, and I’m like, “Why? I told you it was going to happen.” There was no secret and if they fight again, it’s going to happen again, Floyd is just a cut above and that’s just the way it is. It’s never going to be exciting, if the first fight wasn’t exciting, it’s never going to be exciting. Me personally, I hope they never fight again, I hope they never fight each other.
Robert Brown: If they do fight again, do you expect to see the same outcome?
John Scully: Yeah because I’m sure since Mayweather’s so called retirement, I’m sure he’s been training, I’m sure he’s been keeping his weight under control. I bet if you see him right now he’s not way over his fighting weight, if at all. I just feel that he’s not a stupid guy. If he comes back, he will have known that he was going to come back for a really long time. I’m sure he’s sharp and I’m sure if he fights again, he’ll look just as good as he always has.