“I mean in 1981 as a kid I was reading about Emanuel in a magazine and watching that big fight, and then years later whatever it was, here he was working my corner in the gym”—Iceman John Scully
Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani: – This is Part Two of an ongoing series dedicated to the memory and legacy of one extraordinary individual, Emanuel Steward, whose contributions to the sport he loved are simply immense. In this installment, trainer Iceman John Scully provided his perspective and shared some of his experiences with the legendary Hall of Fame trainer. Here is a complete transcript from my discussion with Iceman Scully:
GEOFFREY CIANI: John, a week and a half ago was a very sad day for the boxing world, and we lost a remarkable individual when Emanuel Steward passed away. As a trainer, a commentator, and an overall ambassador for the sport of boxing, when you think of Emanuel Steward what do you think of his impact on the sport and his legacy?
JOHN SCULLY: I mean I’ll tell you when I first started boxing, when I first started getting involved in boxing as a fan as a kid, he was one of the premiere trainers at the time. It was the late 70s and in the early 80s. So he had Hilmer Kenty and Tommy Hearns at that time, and the Hearns-Leonard fight was a huge part of my youth in boxing. So I’ve obviously been very, very aware of Emanuel since that time, and what’s funny is it just dawned on me the other day. After he passed away and I read one of his obituaries, it dawned on me one of his amazing feats is that when Leonard and Hearns fought the first time, Emanuel was only in like his mid 30s at the time as his trainer. He was training the beast that was Tommy Hearns in that huge fight, the trainer was only I think 37 or whatever he was at the time. I think he was 37. So putting that in perspective, I mean that’s pretty amazing in itself what he was able to accomplish at such a young age.