‘Iceman’ John Scully is a well known and respected trainer and a guy who knows what it takes to compete at the highest levels of the sport, having fought for a world title as a fighter. I recently had a chance to speak to John to talk about the positive test by Canelo Alvarez ahead of his rematch with Gennady Golovkin. Scully also shares his thoughts on Kovalev vs. Beterbiev. Additionally, Scully gives his prediction for Canelo vs. Golovkin 2. Here is what John Scully had to say.
Robert Brown: John, Sergey Kovalev has re-established himself as a champion at light heavyweight, what were your thoughts on his return to the ring last month?
John Scully: I thought it was more of a tactical fight for the most part. The other guy did pretty good, he boxed pretty good and he hit Kovalev flush several times. I think he kind of surprise Kovalev, I think he surprised the audience. Kovalev showed a few defensive weaknesses there that I really didn’t notice before. I don’t know if he slipped a little bit since the fights with Andre or maybe he wasn’t motivated, but he didn’t look completely up to par like normal.
Robert Brown: With those defensive holes being exposed, does that give you more confidence if Artur Beterbiev comes up against this version of Kovalev?
John Scully: I do believe so because I feel that Artur is coming into his peak right now. He’s advancing rapidly, he’s very strong and I think his motivation to fight Kovalev is going to be sky high. The thing is, if Artur lands the shots that the other guy did, the result is going to be much different. Kovalev is not going to swallow those punches like he did with that other guy.
Robert Brown: Canelo Alvarez has tested positive for clenbuterol. What are your thoughts on the positive test?
John Scully: I like Canelo as a boxer, I really do, and it’s disappointing because I have no sympathy for the drug culture and anyone who uses it to advance themselves. I think it should be punishable even by suspension or even jail time. You’re talking about strengthening yourself in a way that can hurt someone.
He’s saying that it’s from the meat, but it seems to me to be quite a coincidence that the stuff that he tested positive for is stuff that helps with the problems that he’s been having, which is stamina and making weight. I think that’s a little bit too much of a coincidence to really blame it on the animals.
Robert Brown: How serious do you think the problem with PED’s in boxing is?
John Scully: I might be a little naive, but I’ve trained a lot of fighters and to the best of my knowledge, none of them have been on steroids. I haven’t seen it personally, but I’ve heard about it and it will be disappointing if it’s really wide spread.
The thing is, over the last couple of years, we’ve had some big names proven to be users and I’m very disappointed in that. Maybe I’m in a little bit of denial. I want to believe that it’s not a big problem, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a big problem.
Robert Brown: What are your thoughts on the rematch between Canelo and Golovkin?
John Scully: I’ll tell you this much, if Canelo’s using PED’s and now he has to stop using them, that’s going to be a huge physical and mental problem. If you’re used to using PED’s — and I’m not saying he is — it’s like taking Superman’s powers away, he’s just a man after that. That’s a huge mental thing.
If he’s using them and then the can’t, then I don’t pick him to win at all. I felt like Canelo fought a very good fight defensively last time, he seemed to be in a groove mentally. the problem is, it’s hard to reach that plateau more than once in your career when you need to. Golovkin fought his usual fight that he always fights, whereas Canelo fought better than ever defensively. I don’t know that Canelo can match that pitch again. If I was to bet, I’d go with ‘GGG’ jut because I don’t think Canelo can be that elusive the second time.