25.02.07 – Statement by “Iceman” John Scully: A lot has been made of the fact that I told my fighter Mike Oliver to “go for the knockout” before the 12th round of his recent win on SHOBOX over Gary Stark in defense of his USBA 122 pound boxing title. Many have pointed to that as “proof’ that I somehow thought Mike lost the fight because he didn’t get the KO. What people have to realize is that if I thought Mike was winning by four rounds or losing by four rounds in a fight like that, I would still tell him to go out and look for the knockout in the final round because there is just no way to know how the judges could be scoring it. The reason for that is that there were so many rounds in the middle of the fight where neither guy landed anything significant and all the holding made it almost impossible to score for one guy or the other..
Despite what many say to the contrary I didn’t really think it was a great boxing fight because there was so much holding and pushing from both guys going on. They both fought hard but Mike held a lot and Gary also had Mike’s right arm locked in a vice grip the entire night, and it took away a lot of any momentum that either guy might have picked up.
As far as my reaction after the decision was announced, people that know me know the truth and that is that I am just not the type of guy to show emotions just for the sake of showing them. I don’t whoop and holler at the scale when my guy makes a weight that he is supposed to make, I don’t go crazy hyping my guy up on the walk to the ring and I don’t make a scene when we win or lose the decision in an extremely close fight like that. It’s just not my way.
I expected and wanted a more defining performance from Mike and even though three of the IBF’s most qualified judges say we won the fight, I feel like it was close enough and competitive enough to warrant a rematch and that’s why, if it is up to me, there will be a rematch because neither guy can say they won clearly with no doubts. This is what rematches are all about right here.
Gary says now that he won it big but you can clearly hear him on the tape in the ring after the fight and his words told the world he was far from confident in his performance or in his belief that he had won. The only way to settle this is to have them fight again and I for one am all for it.