John "ICEMAN" Scully: "Andre Ward stayed very composed and went about things like the surgeon that he is."
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Sept 18, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
John Scully
After the first round of the Andre Ward - Chad Dawson championship fight, held last weekend in Oakland, California, Dawson's trainer John "ICEMAN" Scully was feeling good. His fighter had held his own with Ward and won the round on all the judges’ scorecards.

"I definitely thought Chad had a good first round," said Scully a few days ago. "I felt good after the round ended. It was pretty simple after that, though, in that he just got caught and never seemed to fully recover from it."

The 'getting caught' reference happened in round three when Ward clipped Dawson on the chin with a sharp left hook. Was Scully shocked when he saw his fighter hit the deck?

"Yes, I guess you never expect your boxer to go down,” said the always honest Scully. "It happened so suddenly, too. One minute he's boxing okay, they are both loosening up, getting into their rhythm and, boom, he's down.

"In moments like that its often such a shock and a surprise you find yourself briefly asking yourself, 'Did he slip? Did he trip? What happened?" To be honest, though, after the first knockdown I thought he had a hard time recovering for the rest of the fight."

Dawson was asked many times, in the months leading up to the fight, if shredding seven pounds would affect his performance. What did his trainer see that night?

"Listen, Chad is a very classy individual, he gives Andre all praise, and props on the win, he says the best man won and on that night, Scully said.”I give Andre all the credit in the world for what he did in there, too, because the man is a real professional fighter through and through and I told him as much after the fight right there in the ring. Chad Dawson wishes to take no credit away from Andre and I certainly do not, either.

"But it is simply a fact that the weight loss was an issue, of course. I don't have to say it, either, because people who really know boxing, especially all the fighters of this world, could clearly see the distress in Chad and it doesn't take a genius to figure out where it came from. Now, I'm not saying Chad would have won anyway, I'm not saying it’s the only reason Andre won the fight, nothing like that. It's not like Andre Ward has ever needed extra help winning fights before and, hey, things happen. For all I know Andre Ward came into the fight with some terrible ailment and fought through it like a champion.

"I am only saying that making weight was tough on Chad and it certainly had an effect on him. Chad Dawson is a class act through and through but he as a world champion himself deserves to have it known that there were issues other than just two hands and two feet to go against. It's just the reality of the situation and is in no way whatsoever anything negative towards the fight. Things happen to fighters all the time in preparation for fights and, at the end of the day, the best man on the night still has to go out and win it and that's what happened here. The best man won the fight."

Scully watched hours of tape on Ward. Did the 28-year-old Bay Area fighter do anything that surprised him?  

"I can't say I was surprised, but I was impressed with his ability to remain calm, to keep focused at all times, to keep his composure," Scully said. “I know a great many fighters who would have turned on the heat early in the fight when Chad first went down and they would have went all out for the knockout, but Andre Ward stayed very composed and went about things like the surgeon that he is. That was one mark of a true professional fighter that he showed me that night."

The former professional fighter saw many things in Ward’s performance he liked.

"I was impressed by his quickness even more than his speed," Scully said. "His boxing IQ, that, too as well. But like I say, his ability to stay calm and pick his shots and not rush things is probably what impressed me the most. He made many things happen by design in there. He took his time and struck at the right times, he pushed it when he had to and he laid back when he had to."

Is Ward the best fighter Dawson has faced?

"Well, it's a tough thing to say at that level," said Scully. "Chad has fought so many good fighters and guys who were very good in different ways and brought so many great things to the table. Tarver, Johnson, Adamek and especially Bernard Hopkins all brought some special things to the table, too, and Chad solved them all.

"He didn't solve Andre so I suppose that would indicate Ward is the best he's ever fought but I definitely don't want to discount the experience, skills, and abilities of the other guys, especially Bernard. I suppose Chad is the only one who can answer that question with something close to 100 percent certainty."

Was there one thing Ward did during the fight that really stood out?

"Personally, I really appreciated the professionalism that Andre exhibited in there for the entire fight," Scully said. "Even when the end was obviously near there in the 10th round he never lost his composure. He didn't lose his composure when he put Chad down early in the fight and he didn't lose it late in the fight when it was clear that Chad was softened up sufficiently.

"I remember reading a quote by Eddie Futch where he said the key when you have someone hurt is to stay calm, keep composed and alert and keep your eyes wide open so you can see every possible opening available for you to take full advantage of the moment. That's what it appeared Andre Ward did the other night with expertise and precision that Mister Futch would have been proud of."

Scully has not spoken to Dawson about his future. He's confident though, that his charge will come back strong.

"I have absolutely no information whatsoever on that," said Scully. "On my end, I am very certain he should take the proper amount of time to rest and recover properly from what his mind and body just went through. I'll assume the WBC will allow that and when the time is right he will come back refreshed and renewed and ready to defend his world title at 175 pounds."

After the fight, many in the media were speculating about Dawson fighting Ward at 175 pounds. Does the Iceman think a rematch could happen?

"Well, certainly not right away, no," Scully said. "But after a couple fights at least where Chad gets back in the groove, gets his confidence and his footing back, if Andre Ward moves up to light heavyweight I'm sure that would be something Chad would like, yes.

"Chad Dawson has never once in his career shown any apprehension whatsoever about fighting anyone and I really do not believe this loss will change that aspect of his mentality. If anything, I would think after spending some real time thinking about the fight and how it went down, his competitive nature and fighting spirit will almost demand it if in fact Andre ever comes up to the light heavyweight division."

Follow and visit John on Twitter:!/johnboxing1

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