I had a chance to catch up with former light heavyweight boxer and current trainer, ‘Iceman’ John Scully, recently to discuss some recent events in the sport. In this interview I get Scully’s thoughts on one of his former fighters, Chad Dawson, and the recent loss that he suffered. John also talks about the Mayweather-Maidana fight and speaks about some things he noticed on that particular night about Floyd Mayweather. Lastly, John Scully talks about some of the recent thing he’s been up to and what he plans for the future. Here is what John Scully had to say.
Robert Brown: Chad Dawson had a devastating loss to Tommy Karpency recently. How much damage has this done to his career?
John Scully: To be honest with you, I didn’t see the fight but I heard about it. The thing is, he’s at the point in his career where you’re only as good as your last fight. On the one hand, a lot of people are saying that Chad is done and washed up — and that could be so, I don’t know. By the same token he can comeback, if he ever could find it to rededicate himself. If he comes back a few wins down the line and they put him in with another top ten ranked guy and he wins, he’ll be right back in another good fight.
He’s still got enough of a name that he’s going to get opportunities if he wants them. He may have to go in as an opponent where they expect him to lose, but if he beats someone, then he’ll be right back in.
If you remember, it’s been literally six years since Bernard Hopkins lost to Joe Calzaghe and if you were to ask people the night of the Calzaghe fight after he lost, “What’s up with Bernard?” They would have said, “Oh he’s done, he’s washed up, he doesn’t have the reflexes anymore,” but now look at him, six years later and he’s still champion and he’s almost fifty.
On the one hand it doesn’t look very good for Chad and if he continues going with the apparent way that he’s been going where he doesn’t seem to carry that viciousness where he wants to win at all costs. I think if he can turn that around, he’s still young enough where he can do something. I wouldn’t’ necessarily write him off just yet but it would certainly take a change in approach to get back to where he was.
Some guys wake up one day and they’re sick of being in that position and they rededicate themselves and they come out looking better. Like I said, it’s a tough loss for Chad, he’s in a tough spot, but I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s completely finished. It is possible that he can turn it around. He certainly has the physical attributes to do that.
Robert Brown: How would you assess the rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Maidana?
John Scully: It went like I predicted. I think I was pretty accurate, I knew that Floyd’s always good in rematches — he probably adjusts as well or better than anyone outside of Bernard Hopkins. He did what was expected, I totally expected the fight to go that way but I will say I believe there is subtle signs that Floyd is slipping.
I think it’s been evident in his last two fight, maybe his last three fights, not really glaring or obvious but I do believe that there are some indications that he’s not quite the fighter he was, which is obviously not a good thing but by the same token, Floyd not as good as he used to be is still better than almost every other fighter in the world.
Robert Brown: Do you think his reflexes and speed are slowing a bit also?
John Scully: Yeah, I think he’s not using his legs. I don’t think he can use his legs as much as he would like to or as much as he used to. I just feel like time is wearing on him a bit. He’s had a lot of fights and the fact of the matter is people don’t realize that he’s an older man. As far as a boxer goes, he’s an older man — I believe he’s thirty seven. Not just that, he’s been a professional for eighteen years, which is a tremendously long time.
Eighteen years into Muhammad Ali’s career, he was losing to Leon Spinks, to give you a comparison. Floyd is not a spring chicken by any means and there’s only one Bernard Hopkins right now in history to fight at that level at such an advanced age. Floyd is still a great fighter but I do think there are signs of him not being able to move quite as well for extended periods. I think his defense is still sharp but compared to what it was, I don’t it’s as accurate as it used to be.
Robert Brown: If Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather fought, based on Floyd Mayweather’s last two performances, does it change your opinion on who may win that fight?
John Scully: No, not at all. I do believe that he’s still good enough to beat ‘Pacman’ and I believe he would mentally be on such a high for that fight. I think it if there was a night when he could turn back the clock, it would be on that night.
Based on everything I know right now, I would never pick against Floyd in that fight. I wouldn’t pick against him with anyone t be honest with you. There’s no one out there in his weight class that I would pick against him. On the one hand, he’s not quite the fighter he was but the fighter he is, is still better than just about everybody out there.
Robert Brown: Can you give us an update on what you’re up to at the moment?
John Scully: I just got back from the gym, I was training with the fighters down there. I have a boxer, Francisco Palacios, who actually fought twice for the WBC cruiserweight title. He won his fight last week and we’re working hard with him.
I actually just came back form the Boxing Fan Expo in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and it was an amazing time. There were fans from all over the world. I actually ran into Mike Tyson there, I ran into Sugar Ray Leonard, Roy Jones, Terry Norris. All the champions were there, it was an unbelievable time. Now we’re getting ready to go to the WBC convention in Las Vegas on December. I believe they’re predicting that there’s going to be forty four former WBC world champions in attendance at that event.