‘Iceman’ John Scully is a highly respected trainer and boxing analyst who have worked with many of the young upcoming fighters from the sport. He has also he helped guide Chad Dawson to a world title with a win over living legend Bernard Hopkins. In part 1 of my interview with John Scully, I discuss with him his work with Artur Beterbiev and where he seems him in the light heavyweight division. Scully also gives his views on Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs and who he would be favoring in that fight. Additionally Scully shares his thoughts on Canelo Alvarez’s position as Ring Middleweight champion. Here is what John Scully had to say.
Robert Brown: Can you give the fans an update on what you have been up to recently?
John Scully: I was just up in Montreal, I just came home a few days ago. I was working with Artur Beterbiev. He was supposed to be fighting in a couple of weeks but the fight got canceled until December, so I came back home. I’ll be going back up next month. He’s ranked right now in the top two by all four sanctioning bodies, so he’s getting ready to have something big come up. He’s a very big prospect and I think after the Andre Ward and Kovalev fight, Artur is going to be the next guy at 175.
Robert Brown: Do you think Artur is ready for the upper echelon of the light heavyweight division right now?
John Scully: I think he is. I’d like to see him have one or two fights against the top level contenders — I’d love to see him go twelve rounds. I don’t know if anyone could go twelve rounds with Artur at this point but I’d like to see it, just so he gets the proper seasoning and preparations for those ultimate biggest names.
In terms of power and discipline, he’s right there. He’s been in boxing his whole life, he had three hundred amateur fights, he beat Kovalev as an amateur, he beat Ismayl Sillah as an amateur. He’s very good, he’s sparring with good guys and they have his utmost respect from the gym sessions. From what I can see, he’s similar to Kostya Tzyu and those guys where they don’t necessarily need a lot of seasoning as a pro like other guys because they are so far advanced and they had so many amateur fights.
Robert Brown: There’s talk of Gennady Golovkin fighting Danny Jacobs next. How do you see that fight playing out?
John Scully: It’s hard for me to pick against ‘GGG’, this guy is a monster, but Danny is young, he’s got the height, the jab, the power. He would be no worse than the top three guys that ‘GGG’ would have faced so far. I think he’s a little more well rounded in all areas, so he may be the toughest fight of Golovkin’s career.
Robert Brown: You would still expect for Golovkin to win that one?
John Scully: If I had to bet at this point, it’s hard for me to go against ‘GGG’. I like Danny and I think he’s a very good fighter, and I’d like to see him win. But it’s going to be a tough task, that’s for sure.
Robert Brown: Canelo stated that his camp offered Gennady Golovkin a fight three times and they refused to take it. Do you believe that?
John Scully: I’ve heard these types of things in boxing before. I’ll give you and example, suppose that I was in my prime when Roy Jones was in his prime and my promoter offered Roy Jones one hundred dollars to fight me in my hometown. Of course Roy Jones is going to say no, that’s a ridiculous offer. But then I could always go and tell people, “Hey, I offered Roy Jones the fight and he said no,” and people will run with that and it’s ridiculous. Technically, maybe they did or maybe they didn’t, but I certainly don’t think fear has anything to do with the reason it didn’t happen.
Robert Brown: Canelo got to keep the Ring Magazine belt even though he vacated the middleweight belt, is this boxing politics at its most ridiculous?
John Scully: It is beyond ridiculous. I grew up in boxing always following the Ring Magazine. Ring always had the place in boxing as above the sanctioning bodies, you listened to what Ring Magazine said and that’s the way it was. That’s not true anymore, they lost that.
For me, I think the lineal championship has long ago been taken away, even as far back as when Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler fought and then the titles were stripped and they broke off after Leonard retired, the chain ended there. So there is no real true lineal champion as far as I can see. I think Ring Magazine has become much more political now that it ever was in previous years.
Robert Brown: Do you think Nat Fleisher is turning in his grave?
John Scully: Yes because they’ve lost that spot. You could always count on them, and when Oscar De La Hoya bought them, he was a promoter at the time and the writing was on the wall and it’s turned out exactly how everyone knew it would. It’s just another case of people who are in charge of boxing or who are in positions of power, don’t seem to love the sport and they don’t love the history of it. It’s just another indication that history is being destroyed by the present day politics.