Iceman John Scully was a former world title challenge and is one of the most respected trainers in boxing. Scully has taken fighters like Chad Dawson to a world title and currently works with highly ranked contender Artur Beterbiev. In part 1 of my interview with John Scully, I get his thoughts on Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2, getting his prediction for the rematch. Additionally, Scully spoke in great detail about Manny Pacquiao’s next fight against Jeff Horn and talked about what direction he thinks Pacquiao is going in. Here is what John Scully had to say.
Robert Brown: It was recently announced that Andre Ward will be having a rematch with Sergey Kovalev. What are your thoughts on that fight?
John Scully: I was at the first fight, it was a good fight. I really like Kovalev, I’m always very impressed with him but I just feel like Andre Ward seemed to have Kovalev figured out at the end of the fight. Andre’s very smart and I just feel like he’s going to continue. I think the fight will be a continuation of the first fight. I think this is going to show a lot about Kovalev and what kind of man he is because if he’s a regular man, Andre is just going to pick up where he left off and he’s going to completely figure him out and dominate and win in much clearer fashion this time.
Robert Brown: You think Ward will win in more dominant fashion?
John Scully: That’s what I feel, yes.
Robert Brown: Manny Pacquiao has chosen to fight Australia’s Jeff Horn. What do you think of this choice of a fight? Do you think he’s just trying to get a KO to gear himself up for a Terence Crawford fight?
John Scully: I’m kind of confused about it because I had never heard of Jeff Horn before they made this fight. I had no idea of his credentials or anything like that. It’s almost like a Rocky scenario where they are giving this unknown guy a shot at the big brass ring. I would assume that they scouted him and they feel that he’s a good opponent for Pacquiao. I don’t think they want to go and lose to a person that is relatively unknown, so I don’t think they’re taking a huge risk.
If a guy like Pacquiao was going over to another country and fighting a relatively unknown guy, I’m sure he’s not unknown to Pacquiao’s team. They’re not going to go and take a huge risk, so I would imagine that this is a calculated decision and they know what they are doing. They are picking the right guy and going that route.
Robert Brown: Do you think they are trying to match him with anyone who is isn’t an ‘A’ class fighter until they do that final cash out fight against a big name?
John Scully: Right, I think that’s what appears to be happening here. They certainly don’t want to let him lose to someone that he’s not supposed to. They don’t want to go out like that. It would be hard to recover from that. I think they are just keeping him busy before they get that one final fight that he could go out on a high note on. The thing for me is, generally what this results in, and history has shown us that these almost always result in a loss, sooner or later he’s going to lose to someone like Crawford and he’s going to go out on that note.
It seems almost inevitable that they’re just going to keep going until they lose again. I wish somebody would come along sort of like Mayweather has done, just retire on top. I don’t know why these guys have to milk themselves dry so that nothing is left. I think it does a disservice to their legacies and to the game. It’s gotten to be almost predictable that that’s going to be the pattern for most of these guys.
Robert Brown: Is there a danger that Pacquiao could take Jeff Horn extremely lightly and the fight could end up being closer than we think?
John Scully: That has happened many times, but my guy feeling is that Freddie Roach wouldn’t let that happen and would keep his eyes open and push Pacquiao and keep reminding him. Freddie is a very smart guy and he’s certainly aware that it’s a possibility, just as it is with anyone. I don’t think that Freddie would want to go out on a note like that. If Manny is slipping at all, I think Freddie would point it out and keep him on the right track.