After serving 13 years in the pay-for-punch ranks and logging a respectable record of 38-11 (21), it's fair to say that former world title challenger John 'Iceman' Scully has seen his fair share people, places and fights. With such a wealth of knowledge in the sweet science, it's no wonder 'The Iceman' has decided to write a book detailing his experiences in the boxing world. And with all that 'The Iceman' has seen and done throughout his storied career, it is guaranteed to be a great read for any boxing fan. Scully, who makes a habit of taking time out for fans, spoke to Doghouse Boxing's Benny Henderson Jr. about his forthcoming book, his career and all things boxing.
John "Iceman" Scully
BH: What was the reason you got into boxing, and what age did you start?
JS: I was 12 years old and I used to box in my neighborhood with other kids. My father was a big boxing fan and when I was 12 he bought me a pair of Everlast gloves. I started then and never stopped.
BH: Who was your biggest influence throughout your boxing career?
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JS: Muhammad Ali was definitely the biggest influence. Not just in style, but the way he carried himself. He made any fight seem like a big deal. He was great for the game. I also have been influenced by him out of the ring. His conviction was so strong, his refusing the draft. I recognized that it took great character to do and say what he said.
BH: Top 3 greatest boxers ever, in any class, past or present, in terms of skill, power, chin and heart?
JS: For a heavyweight, nobody ever had more skill, chin and heart than Muhammad Ali. It overcame the fact that he didn't have one punch power. Sugar Ray Robinson had all four aspects in abundance. There are so many others that could take the third spot. Alex Arguello, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Salvador Sanchez come to mind.
BH: What was the hardest fight you ever faced in the ring?
JS: I would say Henry Maske was the most difficult style to deal with. He was a 6ft 4 southpaw with a great boxing style. Very controlled and technical. Hard to deal with that, especially in his home country.
BH: What would you say your greatest moment would be as a boxer?
JS: I have a couple I like to remember. One was winning the Eastern US Olympic Trials in 1988 over the World Amateur Champion Darin Allen. Another was winning the PAL Nationals with a great KO over a guy that had beaten me the year before named Kertis Mingo. Finally, my 12 round fight with Michael Nunn. He was a great fighter and many thought I won the fight. I am one of the few guys that has out-landed him in his career but I didn't get the decision.
BH: You are writing a book about boxing. Can you give us a little insight on the book and when do you believe it will ready for the public?
JS: I think it will be ready in four weeks. It will cover my own career and will intertwine with all that I have seen in 22 years in the game. I talk about the influence Muhammad Ali had on me. I talk about what it was like trying to make the 1988 Olympic boxing team, sparring with guys like James Toney and Roy Jones, I talk about fighting for the IBF world title. I cover many, many areas.
BH: What was the first fight you remember ever seeing?
JS: I saw Ali and Leon Spinks on TV and I could tell by the reaction from everyone in the room that this was a big event. I also saw Ray Leonard against Andy Price a few months later and I was hooked on the game.
BH: What did it feel like to step into the ring for your first pro bout? Who was it against, and what was the outcome?
JS: I fought a guy with a lot of fights named Paulino Falcone. He was a cagey guy but I was coming off fighting the best amateurs in the world and I was more than ready. I broke one of his ribs in the first round and stopped him.
BH: Are you fully retired from the sport in terms of ever boxing again, and what do you do now to pass the time?
JS: I have had several fights fall out on me in the last couple of years and it has been very frustrating. I still train and spar all the time with good fighters like Peter Manfredo and Scott Pemberton. I have a baby on the way, my first child, and that is my main focus right now more than my own boxing career. I also train (Lawrence) Clay Bey and that is enough for me at this point.
BH: What advice would you give to somebody who was wanting to take up the sport of boxing?
JS: My advice is always the same. If you want to be a boxer you have to make up your mind that you will be the hardest working guy in your gym and you will practice, practice, practice the basics over and over, even after you have perfected them. There is no substitute for hard work and dedication.
BH: What did you think of Tommy Morrison as a boxer?
JS: I think Tommy Morrison is underrated as a boxer. He had great power and great technique, especially compared to other heavyweights. I think, crazy as it sounds, one of his best fights was the loss to Mercer. I remember the way he put punches together in combination and let his hands go to the body and head was impressive.
I would like to personally thank John for taking the time out and answering these questions. For more information on 'Iceman' Scully, visit his website
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