John Scully Interview: "Stevenson-Cloud is going to end up a bombs away brawl!"
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John Scully Interview: "Stevenson-Cloud is going to end up a bombs away brawl!"
By Robert Brown, Doghouse Boxing (Sept 26, 2013)

John 'Iceman' Scully
John 'Iceman' Scully
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I was lucky enough to spend time with former 2 time world challenger, renowned boxing trainer, ESPN Analyst and distinguished author Iceman John Scully, in which we discuss major upcoming bouts such as Haye vs wilder and Klitschko vs Povetkin as well as discussing Mayweathers possible future opponent and much more including Scully's plans for the future.

[ROBERT BROWN]: Manny Pacquiao is coming back very soon against Brandon Rios, after such a devastating knockout how much do you think Pacquiao has left, consequently how dangerous of an opponent is Rios at this stage of Manny's career.

You never can tell how a guy will come back after such a devastating KO like that. There's no way to tell until you actually see them in the ring again and they get caught on the button with something. The fact is that some fighters have come back strongly after getting KO'd while others have been ruined from a loss like that and there's no way to definitely tell why it happens or doesn't happen. I think Rios would have obviously been a huge under dog had he fought Pac a year and a half ago but right now, all things considered, I would consider him a very live underdog.

[ROBERT BROWN]: The Haye / Fury fight being cancelled disappointed a lot of people, however this opens the door for Wilder who has been criticized for fighting journeymen and old shot fighters. How do you see Wilder's chances against Fury or is it a case of biting off more than he can chew.

When you have the size and power that Wilder has it's a thing where you are always going to have that punchers chance, more so than most guys. Wilder is in a good place right now because he's undefeated and he's hard to argue with when he claims anything because no one has been able to come close to proving him wrong yet. I think Fury-Wilder is one of the most intriguing heavyweight fights out there right now, maybe the most intriguing and I'd definitely love to see it. I'd have to believe that each guy would be in the fire in that one.

[ROBERT BROWN]: Does the cancellation of Haye-Fury open the door to a possible Vitali Klitschko bout with Haye? Give us the odds of that fight occurring in the foreseeable future.

[JOHN SCULLY]: I suppose theoretically it does because the champions always need someone recognizable to fight but by the same token I think most would rather see Haye-Fury be rescheduled rather than Haye in with a Klitschko again. I personally think Haye is a very good fighter but to pay him the money the fight would command, I'd just like to see him prove himself worthy of another chance and payday because the reality is that fight was more than two years ago and Haye has only fought one time since and that was over a full year ago. I mean, there's a certain plan that's supposed to be followed and enforced by the sanction bodies I'd assume and granting a world heavyweight title fight to a guy who has only fought once in over two years doesn't seem very correct to me. And I'm sure there are ranked guys in there who have been awaiting their own shots and a fight like that wouldn't make too many of them very happy.

[ROBERT BROWN]: Danny Garcia had the performance of the night against Lucas Matthysse, on the Mayweather under card, what if anything surprised you about his win, is Garcia the next logical opponent for Mayweather.

I think the days of doubting Garcia are over for a lot of people because he didn't just beat the favourite again but he did so pretty convincingly from my view and he did so with much more skill and poise than he's gotten credit for in the past. He's a guy who literally seems to be getting better and more complete every time out. And say what you want about his father but he's not only been right each and every time out but he's been almost perfectly accurate in describing how each fight was going to go. You have to give both guys credit.

Now Mayweather, however, that's just another story altogether.

[ROBERT BROWN]: What is your prediction for Adonis Stevenson vs. Tavoris Cloud and is this the end of the line for Cloud if he loses this fight?

I think that Cloud-Stevenson is a very good fight to watch because we all know what a puncher Adonis is but we also know that Tavoris is a very rough and tough individual who would be in deep against a boxing minded person like he was with Bernard. But coming in with a banger like Adonis, it will suit Cloud because, number one, he really likes to bang and has his own strength and power. But also, on the other hand. I think as he showed with Glen Johnson, that Tavoris can use some technical skills with success if he is in with someone who doesn't rely on technique of their own. Tavoris can box a bit better than Adonis and he should utilize that but I'm not so sure that he will. I'm guessing that this is going to end up as a bombs away brawl and I think that whoever gets there first with the money shot is going to win. A win by KO from either guy will not surprise me.

Whoever loses will still have options, though, because you have guys like Shumenov, Pascal and Kovalev in the wings and even Dawson still has enough of a name for one of these guys to come back against after they lose

[ROBERT BROWN]: What do you make of Bernard Hopkins recent claim that he would like to fight Floyd Mayweather at 160 pounds, is this hype or is he serious, in your mind is this fight a possibility?

I don't doubt that Bernard would do it and I do think he is the disciplined enough type of guy between fights that it may not be nearly as hard as it would be for most other fighters but the fact is that as an intelligent individual it is your responsibility to learn from the mistakes of others who have already unsuccessfully attempted what you're saying you would like to attempt, too. You've seen Ali go back down to 210 or so against Holmes, you had Roy go to light heavyweight after beating Ruiz for the heavyweight title, you had Leonard go down to 154 for Norris after being away from the weight for a solid decade, Chris Byrd went to 175 against Shaun George, Oscar against Pacman, Dawson against Ward, and each concluded with extremely disastrous results. It's a completely unnecessary risk and I personally hope he doesn't even do it. The reward would be great if he were successful, yes, but he's already solidified his place in the all-time greatness realm and the fact is, it is the weight loss at his age after a solid five years or more at 175 as much or more than his opponent that is a legitimate physical threat to himself.

[ROBERT BROWN]: In most people's minds Marquez will have too much technical skill ring IQ and counter punching ability for Bradley. How do you asses this fight, do we have other case of Bradley being underestimated?

I think it may be a combination of both things. I think the technical skill he is about to run into will be different and more advanced than anything he has yet seen but he's young and very well-conditioned so he has a lot going for him that could potentially even things out. If I have to choose then I'll say that I see Marquez winning by finding the holes to punch through and keeping Bradley constantly thinking about what to do and what not to do.

[ROBERT BROWN]: How do you rate Povetkin's chances of causing a highly improbable upset against Klitschko of the Vladimir variety, what are Povetkin's keys to victory?

I haven't seen anything yet to make me think that anyone will overcome Vladimir anytime soon. I realize that sooner or later the end will come but for me, it seems as though both Kiltschko's are highly intelligent and disciplined individuals who more than likely stay in very good shape between fights. The disciplined style he has used to win coupled with his overwhelming size advantages give him such a big edge and I just don't see it being offset this time out.

I think if someone could make Wlad lead and catch him as he punches, it would be the best opportunity to disrupt his rhythm. He usually has it where he is leading and his opponents are defending and waiting for opportunities after he finishes coming back with their own but I feel that if you don't catch him in the middle of his bursts then you aren't going to catch him. It's going to take a daring risk taker to topple him and the fact is that's a lot easier said than done when you're in with someone like one of the brothers...

[ROBERT BROWN]: Is the recent controversial behaviour displayed by Adrian Broner a cry for help or purely a plan to bring in more money for him.

You know what, I don't know Adrian Broner personally, I have never met him, never spoke to him, never interacted with him in any way other than seeing him at the Ohio State Fair years ago when he was around twelve years old and boxing at around 75 pounds. Maybe he's the greatest guy in the world behind the scenes, I don't know, but the fact is that he is obviously young minded and I know it’s hard to tell someone who is rich and in the spotlight in a big way that they should be doing something differently but, come on. There is a way to gain attention and flip it into something great and lucrative like Mayweather has done but it is an often overlooked fact that Floyd Mayweather has always had a classier side to him that has often gone unnoticed until relatively recently. I think that fans and media are just now starting to realize that there is more to the guy that just him flashing money around. And his undeniable skills to back it all up.

But with Broner, these displays are what they are. There is nothing but pure ignorance on display and it's not even funny or shocking anymore. It's played out already and it's not like people are laughing with him at all. It's gotten embarrassing and in my opinion reflects very poorly on whoever taught him to act this way. This is theoretically a grown man we are talking about here, not a junior high kid, and it's time someone he respects in his circle steps up and puts it to him in a way that he can understand. I do honestly believe that every man should be who he is and true to himself to a certain degree but there is also a championship history here and you are, in my opinion, unofficially obligated to uphold it at least a little bit. At least try to present yourself with a little bit of that Sugar Ray Robinson. Rocky Marciano, Archie Moore, Joe Louis type of out of the ring greatness that made them larger than life and fully respected champions. You have belt holders and you have true in and out of the ring champions. More than money and fame and all of that, you have something in your hands right this minute that will be gone very shortly in the grand scheme of things but the mark you make in that role will be left there to see forever. And I'm very sure that if he continues as he has it will be a mark not viewed favourably in the books and I don't care what anyone says, they can say they don't care and all of that, but history is history and it's forever. He may not care right now but he will care one day, I'm sure of it. Hindsight is always 20-20 and the fact is that most of wish we had someone speak up to us so they could stop us from doing and saying all the stupid things we did back when we were his age.

[ROBERT BROWN]: John, tell us some of what you have got going on at the moment plus some of your future plans.

I am currently in Central Florida, near Orlando, checking things out, looking into maybe opening my own boxing gym and fitness centre down here in the relatively near future. For the time being I've been popping in at different gyms in the area, catching up with boxing friends, seeing who is doing what. I've mainly been at Christy Martin's old training grounds at One Punch Boxing.

I'm also working on a few things in regards to a reunion of amateur boxers from the 80's and 90's and also a big boxing event that will benefit Gerald McClellan. I'm looking into some friends of mine who I hope to get commitments from to attend so that their big names can draw attention and sponsorships to the events. My ultimate goal is to combine both events into one spectacular weekend in Central Florida next year and if things go as hoped and planned you will be hearing some very exciting details from me about it very soon.

I’d like to thank John Scully for his time and effort he put into this interview for me, it is always a pleasure talking to him, and I would like to wish him well for the future.

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