‘Iceman’ John Scully is a former world title challenger who is most known today for his work as a trainer. He has trained fighters to world titles and most notably took Chad Dawson to a dominating win over boxing legend Bernard Hopkins. Scully works with a lot of young and up and coming fighters but is also working with highly ranked light heavyweight contender, Artur Beterbiev.
I recently spoke with John Scully, to get his thoughts on the current boxing scene and to talk about some of the latest news from the sport. I got Scully’s views on Manny Pacquiao’s recent loss to Jeff Horn and talked to him about the decision. John also talked about Pacquiao’s performance and what he thinks of ‘Pacman’ at age 38. Additionally, Scully gives his thoughts on a possible rematch. Here is what John Scully had to say.
(Listen to full interview here)
Robert Brown: What were your thoughts on Jeff Horn’s win over Manny Pacquiao?
John Scully: It was a good fight, I think it was surprisingly good to a lot of people. Jeff didn’t appear intimidated and he brought the fight to him. He came to fight and I don’t know if he surprised Manny a little bit with the fact that he didn’t wilt and crumble at all under the pressure. I thought he deserved an ‘A’ for effort, he put a great effort forward. I thought he did very well.
Robert Brown: What were your thoughts on the decision?
John Scully: I could see why people had different scores, they saw it different ways. Some of it depends on what type of style you like. I wouldn’t have been upset with a draw, I thought it could have been a draw. I think that Manny probably should have deserved the decision, by maybe one or two rounds, but I think a lot of people are not used to seeing Manny have someone attack him like that.
I saw a couple of times where Manny got hit with shots that were ugly and his head would snap back. Even with Mayweather he wasn’t getting his head twisted around a lot, but this kid landed some pretty good shots. Win, lose or draw, the fight did a tremendous amount for Jeff. If you’re going to lose, that’s how you want to lose. In many ways, it’s almost like having a win.
Robert Brown: You felt that the fight was closer and weren’t too surprised with the decision?
John Scully: It appeared to me that Pacquiao probably edged it by a little bit, but there were times in the fight where I could see why they gave it to Jeff. He made a case for himself because he was fearless and landed a lot of good punches that Manny didn’t seem to expect and it made him look bad. I wouldn’t have been terribly upset with a draw, I thought it was a pretty close fight. People made a lot of the punch stats — and the punch stats are important, they really are — but they don’t always tell the story, they can be very misleading.
Robert Brown: After having difficulties with Jeff Horn, do you think it’s time for Manny Pacquiao to hang the gloves up?
John Scully: My thing is this – and history has shown it to be true – if Pacquiao keeps going, chances are he’s going to get really smashed up by somebody and I’m guessing it might be Terence Crawford or Errol Spence. I think he’s had his era and his run, but his best days were years ago. Just like with any other fighter, from Sugar Ray Leonard to Sugar Ray Robinson, to Muhammad Ali, if you stick around and keep asking for it, sooner or later you’re going to get it. If he keeps pushing it, he’s going to run into something bad.
Robert Brown: What do you think he will do next? Do you think he will take the rematch with Horn?
John Scully: I would think that Horn’s people would really push for it. I think it makes sense. If you can’t beat Jeff at this age, you don’t deserve to get in the bigger fights with other people if you can’t beat Jeff. By right, you should have to rectify this situation and make it right.