Iceman John Scully: “I think maybe Chad’s style more than the ring rust might create some apprehension for Ward in the beginning”

Dawson vs. Ward, Dawson-Ward, John Scully - Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani - I was recently afforded the chance to talk with boxing trainer ‘Iceman’ John Scully, who is training light heavyweight champion ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) for his upcoming big match this Saturday night against super middleweight champion Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KOs). Scully talked about training and preparation, and also shared his views on the fact this fight will be contested at the 168 pound limit, a weight Dawson last made for a professional fight more than six and a half years ago. Iceman also provided his opinions on Ward as a fighter, the fact the fight will be in Oakland, and the upcoming match-up itself when these two elite talents square off. Here is what Scully had to say.

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – I was recently afforded the chance to talk with boxing trainer ‘Iceman’ John Scully, who is training light heavyweight champion ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) for his upcoming big match this Saturday night against super middleweight champion Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KOs). Scully talked about training and preparation, and also shared his views on the fact this fight will be contested at the 168 pound limit, a weight Dawson last made for a professional fight more than six and a half years ago. Iceman also provided his opinions on Ward as a fighter, the fact the fight will be in Oakland, and the upcoming match-up itself when these two elite talents square off. Here is what Scully had to say.

Audio:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing, and I am joined by boxing trainer ‘Iceman’ John Scully. How’s everything going, John?

JOHN SCULLY: Spectacular! I’m very glad to be here.

CIANI: Good. Good to hear. Now you have the big fight coming up this weekend. Chad Dawson is going down to 168 pounds to face Andre Ward. How do you feel about Chad’s training and preparations for this fight?

SCULLY: I’m pretty excited about, and as I always say, when I’m training a boxer, especially at this level, I really go off the fighter. You know I see their mood, and how they look, and what their conditioning looks like. A lot of guys will say they feel good, but I’m looking at them and I’m saying well I don’t necessarily think you’re looking as good as you say you do. But Chad is so sharp and he just feels good. He’s really upbeat. You know most fighters when they get close to a fight they start to get moody and everything. He hasn’t even reached that stage yet, which is kind of surprising for a fight of this magnitude. I was expecting him to be a little bit more on edge and that type of thing, but he’s been really good and he’s very confident. So that makes me even more confident.

Read more

The History of Boxing with Emanuel Steward Part IV: Amateur Boxing

Emanuel Steward -  “A lot of guys try to emulate him, but there will never be another Pernell Whitaker”—Emanuel Steward

“A lot of guys try to emulate him, but there will never be another Pernell Whitaker”—Emanuel Steward

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – With his vast wealth of knowledge, experience, and an amazing track record of success, Emanuel Steward is undoubtedly one of the greatest trainers the sport of boxing has ever seen. In fact Steward has trained and/or managed 41 World Champions, including the reigning heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko. This is Part Four of an ongoing series with Emanuel that will explore past champions, historical fights, mythical match-ups, great rivalries, memorable fighters, and Steward’s own personal experiences as a world class trainer. This edition focuses on theme of amateur boxing. Steward (*pictured to the right, standing over Eddie Gonzalez during the semi-finals for the National Golden Gloves Championship, in Chicago, on March 6, 1963) spoke about his own experiences as an amateur National Champion. He also provided opinions on the American amateur boxing scene, the Cuban program, and various amateur boxers he has both seen and worked with over the years, including: Sugar Ray Leonard, Mark Breland, Floyd Mayweather Junior, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Pernell Whitaker, Howard Davis, Ronnie Shields, Roy Jones Junior, and more! Here is what the Hall of Fame trainer had to say:

The Stages of an Amateur Boxer:

Well the stages of a person’s amateur career I think are very important, and it’s something that I refer to in life often now. When you first go into the gym as a kid you start learning how to hold your feet and hands properly, or at least you did then. They don’t even do that nowadays, hardly. Everybody wants to just jump right on the pads now and go pop-pop-pop-pop-pop! But at the time when I came up, you learned how to do everything basically and fundamentally sound. Then you get to where you feel very comfortable doing that. It’s like a game where you can hit a bag or do whatever you’re supposed to do, and block a punch, and punch back. Then when you’re comfortable doing that, all of a sudden the actual boxing starts.

Read more

Iceman John Scully: “I think Riddick Bowe potentially could have been one of the best heavyweight champions ever”

John Scully - Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani - I was recently afforded the opportunity to have a very nice discussion with ‘Iceman’ John Scully. As a professional boxer, Scully posted a record of 38-11 with 21 wins coming by way of knockout during a career that spanned from 1988-2001. Scully shared his views on many of his contemporaries, including some of the biggest names in boxing from his era, including: Roy Jones Junior, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, George Foreman, Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Camacho, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, and more! Here is a complete transcript from that interview.

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – I was recently afforded the opportunity to have a very nice discussion with ‘Iceman’ John Scully. As a professional boxer, Scully posted a record of 38-11 with 21 wins coming by way of knockout during a career that spanned from 1988-2001. Scully shared his views on many of his contemporaries, including some of the biggest names in boxing from his era, including: Roy Jones Junior, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, George Foreman, Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Camacho, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, and more! Here is a complete transcript from that interview.

Audio:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing and I am joined by trainer Iceman John Scully. How’s everything going today, John?

JOHN SCULLY: Everything is spectacular. I’m very happy to be here with you.

Read more

The Klitschko Dream & The Klitschko Legacy

Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko - by Geoffrey Ciani - The term Klitschko Dream typically refers to the goal of brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko to simultaneously hold all of the major world titles in heavyweight boxing. Mission accomplished! Wladimir now holds belts from three of the four main sanctioning bodies, while Vitali carries the fourth. This is an amazing feat. In fact, for the better part of the last eight years either one or both of the brothers has reigned supreme.  Despite this impressive display of dominance, however, the Klitschko brothers remain largely unappreciated as heavyweight commodities, particularly in the US. Why is this?

by Geoffrey Ciani – The term Klitschko Dream typically refers to the goal of brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko to simultaneously hold all of the major world titles in heavyweight boxing. Mission accomplished! Wladimir now holds belts from three of the four main sanctioning bodies, while Vitali carries the fourth. This is an amazing feat. In fact, for the better part of the last eight years either one or both of the brothers has reigned supreme. Despite this impressive display of dominance, however, the Klitschko brothers remain largely unappreciated as heavyweight commodities, particularly in the US. Why is this?

Many observers viewed the Klitschko Dream as nothing more than a pipe dream back at the time when the two brothers both turned professional in November 1996. After all, the heavyweight landscape during this period had a great deal of depth and talent. Initially Wladimir was viewed as the more promising of the two brothers, largely because he captured the Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The overall early perception of the Klitschkos was a mixed bag. They were obviously big and strong, but often described as being robotic and uncoordinated. Plenty of question marks surrounded the two of them as they slowly worked their way up through the professional ranks.

Vitali would soon be seen as the better of the brothers following Wladimir’s shocking loss at the hands of Ross Purity in December 1998, which was just over two short years after the Klitschkos debuted. Wladimir’s loss to Purity had more to do with inexperience and poor pacing than anything else. Eager to put on an impressive performance while fighting for the first time in front of his hometown audience in Kiev, Wladimir simply punched himself out against a durable opponent, which allowed Purity to capitalize on Wlad’s physically and mentally exhausted state.

Read more

Chauncy Welliver: “I know that I have to make a statement, and that’s how I’m going to do it—by knocking this guy cold”

- Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani - Earlier this evening I was afforded the opportunity to have a nice chat with heavyweight contender Chauncy Welliver (53-6-5, 20 KOs), who will be squaring off against Kyotaro Fujimoto (4-0, 3 KOs) on September 19 in Tokyo, Japan. Fujimoto is new to professional boxing, but is making the transition from K-1 where he was a former heavyweight world champion. Welliver spoke about his upcoming match-up, and also discussed his majority decision loss his last time out against Sherman Williams, which was the first time Welliver had lost a bout in nearly three years ending his 18 fight winning streak. Here is a complete transcript from that interview.

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – Earlier this evening I was afforded the opportunity to have a nice chat with heavyweight contender Chauncy Welliver (53-6-5, 20 KOs), who will be squaring off against Kyotaro Fujimoto (4-0, 3 KOs) on September 19 in Tokyo, Japan. Fujimoto is new to professional boxing, but is making the transition from K-1 where he was a former heavyweight world champion. Welliver spoke about his upcoming match-up, and also discussed his majority decision loss his last time out against Sherman Williams, which was the first time Welliver had lost a bout in nearly three years ending his 18 fight winning streak. Here is a complete transcript from that interview.

Audio:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing and I am joined here today by heavyweight contender Chauncy Welliver. How’s everything going today, Chauncy?

CHAUNCY WELLIVER: Everything is going good. I’m still in the hunt. I’m still on my way to a world title and getting ready to fight in Tokyo, Japan.

CIANI: Speaking of Tokyo, Japan, Chauncy, you’re going over there. You’re fighting a guy named Kyotaro Fujimoto. He is 4-0 with 3 knockouts. How have your preparations been going for this fight, and what are you expecting going into this one?

Read more

Exclusive Interview with Boxing Photographer Tom Casino (Rare Photos Inside!)

Andrew Golota, Arturo Gatti, Carl Froch, George Foreman, James Toney, Micky Ward, Mike Tyson, Mikkel Kessler, Sugar Ray Leonard - “In every Tyson fight you could feel the electricity in the air” – Tom Casino

“In every Tyson fight you could feel the electricity in the air” – Tom Casino

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – I recently had the opportunity to have a very nice discussion with one of the best boxing photographers in the business, Tom Casino (pictured alongside Mike Tyson circa 1985). A master of his craft, Casino has captured the imagination of boxing fans for almost thirty years, bringing the action up close and personal while freezing single moments that shall forever live on in the annals of boxing history. Casino spoke about his experiences as a photographer and also shared some of his views as a fan. At the conclusion of the transcript, Tom has provided readers with an inside look of some of his work over the years, including images of Mike Tyson, Arturo Gatti, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Carl Froch, James Toney, and more! Here is a complete transcript from the interview.

Audio:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing, and I am joined here today by one of the elite photographers in all of professional boxing, Tom Casino. How’s everything going today, Tom?

TOM CASINO: Very nice Geoff, thank you, and I appreciate that introduction. It was very nice of you.

Read more

All Time Historical Survey Series Recap – The Original 8 Weight Classes & P4P

Bernard Hopkins, Erik Morales, Evander Holyfield, Floyd Mayweather Jr, George Foreman, Jack Johnson, James Toney, Joe Frazier, Joe Louis, Larry Holmes, Lennox Lewis, Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera, Marvin Hagler, Michael Spinks, Miguel Cotto, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Pernell Whitaker, Roberto Duran, Rocky Marciano, Roy Jones Jr., Shane Mosley, Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Ray Robinson, Wladimir Klitschko - by Geoffrey Ciani - Over the course of a sixteen month period beginning in June 2009, I conducted a series of surveys that all began with a very simple question: Who are the ten best heavyweights of all time? While contemplating my own list of top heavyweight pugilists, I decided gathering the input of others might help display a more accurate portrayal of what a 'true' top 10 list should look like. Now of course this is not an exact science by any means. In fact, quite the opposite, it is an extremely subjective topic that is often skewed by personal bias, differences of opinion, individual tastes and preferences, and most importantly the absence of a universally agreed upon criteria with which to judge past fighters. Even with these inherent obstacles playing their natural role, however, we can still establish some degree of consensus.

by Geoffrey Ciani – Over the course of a sixteen month period beginning in June 2009, I conducted a series of surveys that all began with a very simple question: Who are the ten best heavyweights of all time? While contemplating my own list of top heavyweight pugilists, I decided gathering the input of others might help display a more accurate portrayal of what a ‘true’ top 10 list should look like. Now of course this is not an exact science by any means. In fact, quite the opposite, it is an extremely subjective topic that is often skewed by personal bias, differences of opinion, individual tastes and preferences, and most importantly the absence of a universally agreed upon criteria with which to judge past fighters. Even with these inherent obstacles playing their natural role, however, we can still establish some degree of consensus.

The guidelines were simple. I had every person who voluntarily participated in each survey provide me with a chronological list of who they considered to be the ten best (heavyweights, middleweights, etc) in boxing history. Ties were not permitted, just a straight-forward list from one to ten. I then used a weighted-points system to assign values to fighters based on where they appeared on each individual’s list. First place votes received 25 points. Second place votes were worth 15 points, third place votes were 12, and fourth and fifth place votes were worth 10 and 8 points respectively. After that, the point differential was constant, with sixth place votes getting 5 points, seventh place votes getting 4, eighth getting 3, ninth place 2, and tenth place 1.

Read more

Andre Ward now finds himself in a lose-lose situation

Andre Ward, Chad Dawson, Dawson vs. Ward, Dawson-Ward - by Geoffrey Ciani - After being awarded a majority decision victory against the ageless warrior Bernard Hopkins, in a fight that appeared more decisive than the rendered verdict might suggest, ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson issued a direct challenge to super middleweight champion Andre Ward. Dawson made his intentions abundantly clear that this was the fight he wanted, even insisting that he would venture south to 168 in order to make it happen. Ward ultimately accepted this challenge, and now the two are slated to square off in a highly anticipated showdown on September 8.

by Geoffrey Ciani – After being awarded a majority decision victory against the ageless warrior Bernard Hopkins, in a fight that appeared more decisive than the rendered verdict might suggest, ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson issued a direct challenge to super middleweight champion Andre Ward. Dawson made his intentions abundantly clear that this was the fight he wanted, even insisting that he would venture south to 168 in order to make it happen. Ward ultimately accepted this challenge, and now the two are slated to square off in a highly anticipated showdown on September 8.

Even though Dawson claims he can comfortably make weight and perform effectively as a super middleweight, many observers simply do not believe him. As a result, while the reality may be that this is nothing more than a tremendous clash of talent, the perception is that Dawson is being compromised. Not only does Chad, a naturally big light heavyweight, need to shed an extra seven pounds to make the 168 pound limit he last made over six years ago, but he will also need to travel to Ward’s backyard in Oakland. In the eyes of many, even if Ward wins in the most impressive fashion imaginable, the victory will already be tainted because of the concessions “forced on” Dawson.

Read more