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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Interview with "Iceman" John Scully

About a month back, we brought you an autographed index card, from former boxer, "Iceman" John Scully.  We talked to him again over the last week, and approached him about the possibility of doijng an interview for the blog.  He was fine doing it, and even seemed eager to do it!  So here it is!

If you don't really know much about him, "Iceman" John Scully was a professional world ranked light-heavyweight boxer from 1988 through 2001.  He posted a career record of 38-11 with 21 knockouts.  You can find him now as a boxing analyst on ESPN, ladies and gentlemen, "Iceman", Mr. John Scully

MAJMB:  How and when did you get into boxing?

ICE:  Basically my father was a big boxing fan and not only did we used to watch fights together on TV every weekend but he had a lot of books on the sport that I would read over and over. I also came up as a kid through the Rocky movie era, the end of Muhammad Ali's career and the birth of Sugar Ray Leonard coming out of the Olympics. So boxing was something that was there for me to see ever since I was a kid and it felt natural to gravitate towards it.

MAJMB:  Who/what was your biggest inspiration(s) growing up?

ICE:  Muhammad Ali was, is and will always be my greatest boxing inspiration in and out of the ring.

MAJMB:  What was it like to be a good friend of boxing great, Archie Moore, before you were anything big?

ICE: Kind of surreal, I guess you could say. What a special person he was. Like you say, he had no idea when I was a kid that I would even continue to box after a few months let alone still be involved in it as I am almost thirty years later. But he took me under his wing so to speak and taught me a lot about life and being a good person, not just boxing things. I think of him often now when I find myself dealing with boxing fans. He helped me understand what it means to be cordial to people who share this earth with us.

MAJMB:  What was the biggest moment in your career?

ICE:  As a boxer, trainer and fan I can honestly and gratefully say that I have had more than my share of very special moments. Winning the Golden Gloves, qualifying for the Olympic trials, turning pro, sparring with Roy Jones, fighting with Michael Nunn and Henry Maske, sparring with James Toney, training Jose Rivera to the WBA world title, meeting Muhammad Ali, befriending the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, being able to say I was in attendance when men like Leonard, Chavez, Whitacker and Holyfield did their thing are things that come to mind for me right off.

MAJMB:  What was the toughest moment in your career, and how did you overcome it?

ICE:  I had several fights where I entered the ring completely depleted from severe weight loss and two fights come to mind as not only the worst of my career but as moments when I literally could have see myself die in the ring. When I fought Ernest Mateen on ESPN in 1997 and Drake Thadzi on ESPN in 1998. Terrible, terrible experiences where my body and mind were so out of line that I literally hated boxing at the time. The last place I wanted or needed to be ws in a boxing ring, but here I was fighting these monsters on TV.

I didn't necessarily overcome that but I did experience it enough to know that I know how to avoid it at all costs with the boxers that I train now.

MAJMB:  What do you miss most about boxing, since your retirement?

ICE:  The only thing to miss about boxing, really, is the actual boxing but I still spar on a very regular basis so that's good enough for me. It would be much, much easier to name the things I do not miss, first and foremost would be struggling the lose weight for fights. Being worried about my fights, my weight, my preparedness. Definitely am glad I don't have to deal with those issues of the game any longer!!

MAJMB:  Being a broadcaster now on ESPN, what would you say is the biggest change in the sport, or even the biggest difference between your generation of boxers and this young generation?

ICE:  I would say for me, the biggest thing is that with the dawn of the internet and websites and blogs, youtube and podcasts, the road to notoriety is much, much shorter and direct for all boxers. When I was coming up you were so excited just if your name was mentioned in one of the monthly magazines each month or every once in a while but now? Any fighter who gets just one writer or reporter who likes him and wants to interview him and his name reaches boxing fans across the world in a matter of just a few minutes.

Once again we thank Mr. Scully for taking HIS time to interview with us.  I know that we really enjoyed hearing what he had to say, and we hope all of you do too!

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