Harold Knight is the legendary trainer of Dillian Whyte and Lennox Lewis. The American also trained and nurtured Denotay Wilder’s new head trainer Malik Scott for his first dozen fights.
In an interview with MyBettingSites, Knight casts doubt on Deontay Wilder’s trainer Malik Scott, who he used to train… believes the duo’s close friendship and Scott’s inexperience a problem.
Knight: “Can Scott tell Wilder what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear? They need to keep it business not friendship… eliminate the fanboys. A legacy is on the line… if Wilder loses, he’s done”
“Boxing is a small, small circle. I know Malik Scott very, very well. He is a very good guy, very humble. I knew Malik from when he first went professional. I trained him for his first 12 fights. We went 12-0, I had Malik on his way up. I believe Malik can bring out some assets that Deontay Wilder has because Malik has a boxing mind.
“We will see if Malik is the right guy. Malik is a boxing guy but we will see which approach he takes, whether it’s going to be business or friendship because obviously Deontay and Malik have been friends together for so long, for so many years. Deontay picked up Malik in 2014 and said: ‘Hey, I’m going to help you out, I’m going to give you a shot, I’m going to have you fight me for a payday.’ So when I say ‘we’ll see’ I mean we’ll see if that friendship will come into play or if it will be business.
“I believe he will be good for Wilder, but from experience and being around Malik for a long time, it’s a fine line between friendship and business. So if Malik can keep it business rather than friendship with Wilder, I believe they can do some good things.
“This is business, this is high stakes boxing, this is world championship boxing, legacy is on the line. If you are a friend of the guy you train, you are going to tell him what he wants to hear instead of what he needs to hear. It does not work like that, not in championship boxing, especially coming off a loss and going into a third fight. So you want to be going in training camp and say: ‘I like you and respect you but this is business, I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear, you’re going to be mad at me, you’re probably going to curse me out, but at the end of the day, you’re going to thank me because I’m going to stay on your case.’
“This is what I hope Malik has done. Generally you want to eliminate fanboys, you want to have people around you that are going to take you to another level. When I came aboard with Dillian Whyte for example, I came to tell Dillian what needs to be done, not be a yes man.
“Also, Malik hasn’t been in the corner before as head trainer. But you have to start somewhere. So once again, when you get to this world championship level, legacy on the line, how you react in the corner is important: what you tell your guy when he’s losing or winning, or what you tell him to help get him through. If you lose this you’re done, so you want to be able to pull out all the stops in this fight.”