“The wait in the dressing room before a boxing match – that last hour – could be enough to strip a man that never boxed before of whatever pride, desire and heart he thought he had.” – John Scully, April 2002
Interview with John “The Iceman” Scully
By: Tommy Dangerously, MMA & Boxing Reporter
This is your boy Tommy Dangerously of RealCombatMedia.com, with the Real Ice-Man (John Scully) with nothing but the Cold Truth!
Boxing legend, John the “Iceman” Scully took the time talk about his boxing career, the state of boxing and him training Chad Dawson for his upcoming rematch with Bernard Hopkins. The former top contender turned trainer, Scully possesses one of the most accurate opinions in the game. Whether, he is giving his expert analysis on laying down the law to an upcoming young pro or commentating on ESPN Classics, you know that he is giving you 100%.
This is the uncut & unadulterated version. The Iceman does not mince words. The one thing I love about him the most, he makes you a believer with his give all, “No guts No glory” type of philosophy. So sit back and listen to The Iceman as he gives you a bit of the cold truth!
TD: Hey did someone leave the door open? I feel a draft!
ICE: Hey how’s it going Tommy?
TD: Really John we are honored by the visit!
ICE: not a problem anytime…
TD: SO 1st of all, where did you get that Cold ass name John? I know you went to high school in the 80’s so TOP GUN the movie maybe?
ICE: I was actually Iceman way before Val Kilmers character in TOP GUN came out with the same name. When I was in Jr. High school it was a trend where you made fun of the shape of someone’s head was a big thing! You know this is old Rock head, and this other kid is watermelon head stuff like that. My friend Albert Graham would always say my head was square like a block and when they would come to my amateur fights, they would yell up to me while I was fighting. It would be like, “Come on BLOCK HEAD!” or Come on Square! Come on IceBlock! The name pretty much evolved from that…
TD: Yes, friends can be mean, but in this case they actually did you justice!
TD: You had a fantastic amateur career winning many notable titles. You were named to the All-Time team for the WM Golden Gloves along with likes of many of your area’s greats such as, Mike Tyson and Marlon Starling. You won four straight WM Golden Gloves titles (1985–1988) and three consecutive New England Golden Gloves titles (1986–1988) and the list goes on. When did you know it was something you wanted to do for the rest of your life?
ICE: Well, I literally knew my first day in the gym back in 1982 that I would be involved in the game on some level for a long, long time as I have been but as far as going professional that wasn’t the goal in the beginning at all. I just wanted to have fun and emulate my favorite boxers and travel and just be involved as a boxer, as a fighter. When I started to advance deep into national tournaments and defeating top ranked guys that it dawned on me that I might have some type of future as a boxer and really, it was probably all the sparring I did with some tough and accomplished pros at the time, like Steve Collins, Donny Lalonde, and Robbie Sims that convinced me more than anything I can hang at that level.
TD: That is the stuff movies are made of, it won’t be long till you grace the big screen one day. If Marky Mark played Mickey Ward who’d they get to play The Iceman?
TD: Now you have been in there with some of the greatest in boxing and you also know what it takes to be a pro you yourself, do you hate when you see hurtful comments from fans not necessarily about you but pro fighters in general?
ICE: I definitely feel that sometimes boxing fans have a certain disassociation with the boxers they watch on TV in that they almost treat them as if they aren’t real people. I mean you can go to any message board on the internet and you’ll find a certain percentage of contributors think absolutely nothing of calling boxers cowards, calling them bums, saying there heartless. It’s almost that they are not real fans at all and this is their chance to talk trash. These are people that would never attempt to do what a boxer does. They forget first of all that, the boxers they speak of are of real flesh and blood, real human beings with real feelings and emotions and when you see people who claim to love this sport showing such hatred and disregard for the men who make this sport possible. It’s kind of mind boggling at times really.
TD: I feel the same way about plenty of fan boys or computer tough guys stuck in there bubble at home assaulting grown men on their computers, cause they’d never say that to their face!
TD: Who is the nicest pro you’ve ever worked with to date, a true genuine person?
ICE: I’d say Jose Antonio Rivera, guys like Lawrence Clay-Bey comes to mind right off hand. Real family men and just all around good guys. I’ll also say I’ve never trained Damitry Salita, but he’s been a friend since the 1990’s and he is without a doubt one of the nicest people I have ever known. Just a nice guy all around.
TD: Ok now you’ve trained men and women with much success, what’s the hardest part about being a pro trainer?
ICE: Being any type of boxing trainer brings about the same frustrations and problems. I suppose the biggest one that comes to mind right off top is when a boxer isn’t willing to put time and effort into his game as he should. You see so many boxers with all the talent, power and skills in the world and they take it for granted. They live off their natural abilities too much and when they finally run into a stiff test they aren’t prepared for it. Their talent isn’t enough at that point and they realize it then but it’s too late to go back to the gym and put in that work. Boxers need to be told from day one that they are involved in the toughest game on earth, even when at times it comes so easy to them.
TD: People are going to learn from this Ice! Mark my word…
TD: I was looking at your book very nice some good stuff I was surprised on how candid you were. Is it true you kept a Diary all those years from the time you were a boy?
ICE: I started boxing in my neighborhood with other kids at about twelve years old and then at a real gym when I was about fourteen. I’ve kept notes since way back then and in 1991 I started to literally keeping a daily log of all training, fights, gym action, everything. My book is called “The Iceman Diary’s” because much of my book is based on entries from those diaries.
TD: Maybe I should start keeping a diary, It’d be like March 8th I woke up hungry and decided to try the new Pot-pie at KFC! Naw, I’ll just stick with this man.
TD: Moving right along….Right now there are many star studded divisions in Boxing, but so few of the fight that need to be made are being made, Do you feel the same way and what needs to be done to make a change for the better?
ICE: Yes, I definitely feel that boxing has taken a change for the worse and that the biggest fights aren’t being made as frequently as they should. All the stars from yesterday are being kept around brought back for big fights when the fact there is a lot of new blood out there waiting for their opportunity. I suppose boxing itself doesn’t have much of say in the matter but if it were possible to get boxing back on network TV on a regular basis it would spark things, definitely. No idea why CBS, NBC and ABC stopped showing weekend fights like they did in the 70’s and 80’s but it ended up being a pretty big blow to the game.
TD: I know right, every Saturday’s championship fights CBS! I remember that.
TD: Ok you are training “Bad” Chad Dawson for his upcoming bout/rematch with Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins this coming April, how do you see that playing out thus far?
ICE: Well, I’ll say this much, We have been training right now and at this point compared to how he was at this same point before the last fight it’s no comparison! He’s in much, much better shape now and very motivated and ready to go. I foresee a spectacular training camp and as ready as he was for the last one I think he will be even more ready for this one. I’ve always felt that Chad’s skills range and combination power are too much of a hurdle for Bernard to overcome when Chad is at his best.
TD: B-Hop is damn near 50, but he takes kids to school like Nick at Nite! For that reason and the fact that he may be knocked out makes for a great match I’m sold!
TD: Ok before you go a few quick predictions, Mosley vs Canelo and Mayweather vs Cotto give us your take on those two bouts?
ICE: I’ll have to go with the common prediction that is Canelo’s time more than it is Mosley’s time. And I just cannot see Floyd Mayweather losing. Many dislike his arrogance and attitude and I see their points to a certain degree but he’s still a modern genius in the ring period.
TD: Yeah I won’t deny Floyd, Cotto looked like he was on fumes in the last few rounds in his 2nd fight with Margarito.
TD: Wow thanks Iceman, it was a pleasure from me and all my colleagues’ at Realcombatmedia.com this is what we live for to be in the moment with guys like you. Congratz to a beautiful career and life doing what you love to pay the bills, and also good luck to you an Chad on April 24th.
ICE: Thanks it was good talking to you to Tommy, I also want to give a big shout out to all the guys at my gym Lions Den in Middleton, Connecticut, my home base. The boxing team is one big family and we’re there every day working out, laughing, sweating, and having fun. The gym is the greatest place in the world for a boxer to be every day, a home away from home…
Well that was a Cold interview if you ask me yup, Colder than a blizzard! I respect it better coming from a very accomplished man such as John “The Iceman” Scully. He is a legend stemming from the amateurs, pro ranks, an astute trainer, & expert ESPN analyst. He is now taking a shot in the book business with his 1st best seller. His book, “The Iceman Diaries” provides a wealth of boxing info and if you haven’t read it then pick it up today!
John Scully is one of the more candid and masterful minds of the sport we love called the “Sweet Science.” This interview was truly a blessing in disguise. What you heard today will stick with you for life so give the proper due respect to John when you hear his name or see him. Give him his two cents cause he’s a legend to us over here at realcombatmedia.com. I’m Tommy Dangerously boxing fanatics’ until next time I’m signing off!
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