EXCLUSIVE TEAM LEFTJAB INTERVIEW: JOHN SCULLY TALKS LOMACHENKO,ALI/MUNGUIA & JACK/STEVENSON

 

1. What were your thoughts on Lomachenko’s win over Jorge Linares and did you see anything in his game that makes you think he’s more vulnerable to guys like Gervonta Davis & Mikey Garcia than before this fight?

ICE: I was at the fight in a ringside seat and I have to say it was impressive in more ways than one. First of all, Linares was so much bigger from where I sat. He almost looked like a welterweight next to Loma and he used that to his advantage all night long. Linares was doing some very subtle but visual counter right hands to the body up the middle that were thrown with full force and precision. I know Loma felt those in a big way. What was most impressive for me is that even in the face of all that size and gameness from Linares, Loma stayed composed and relaxed and kept working until he found his groove. When he got dropped, based on how things had gone up until that moment, the upset was definitely in the air but we have to give Loma incredibly high marks because he answered the tough question as well or better than any fan or trainer could ever hope or expect him to. In many ways, this may have been his most impressive victory to date.

In terms of showing any type of weaknesses, I might be going against the grain here but I think this fight only magnified his strengths. So many intangibles that make boxers great or just good were on display that night. I’d like to see him have another fight at 135 before he faces Garcia and assuming he is successful then I’d be very interested to see them square off.

Tank on th eother hand is a very bright prospect but regardless of who says what I don’t think they will actually put him in with Loma any time soon and I wouldnt blame them at all for it.

2. Where do you currently rank Lomachenko on your Pound for Pound list?

ICE: Loma is certainly in the top 5 in the world, no question whatsoever. I know a lot of people are questioning such a lofty ranking even though he’s only had a relative handful of gifts under his belt but my thing is that I dont need to see him do this thirty times to know who he is. He’s no tjust winning, he’s not just beating very solid opposition, but he’s doing it with exceptional skills, confidence and flair. Anywhere between numbers 1 and 3 is more than fine with me.

3. With Jamie Munguia’s overwhelming win over Sadam Ali, do you think he’s ready to be thrown in the mix of the top middleweights now?

ICE: I’d say it was a great win but size wise there is an asterisk next to it so I wouldnt exactly rush into fighting the strongest and toughest top dogs just yet based on it. Let him have another fight in the meantime, let people see him again and set something up after that.

4. If you were advising Sadam Ali, would you have told him to wait for a later date and new opponent instead of facing Munguia who was so much bigger and stronger?

ICE: I think many people have jumped the gun a bit in being critical of his team. Hindsight is always 20/20 and obviously it looks like a huge mistake was made and it would be easy for me to say they should have waited or fought someone else or cancelled altogether but what’s done is done. I’m sure going in they were confident for different reasons and expected to win. At the very least I can appreciate that he was willing to jump in and fight the guy under the circumstances. He was more of a fighter and less of a businessman and the truth is sometimes that not a bad thing to see in this day and age.

5. Tony Bellew is calling for a bout with Andre Ward and Ward might accept in time.What are your thoughts on that possible match-up?

ICE: Kind of an odd match up if you ask me. A now retired light heavyweight offered a fight with a guy who just scored two great wins at heavyweight. Its the kind of event that would be interesting just to see what would happen but in boxing history terms I have no interest in it. The fight has absolutely zero impact on the heavyweight division in my opinion. Not with huge men like Joshua, Fury and Wilder out there, among many others.

6. Where do you stand on Canelo’s positive PED results and that he is now joining VADA’s year round testing?

ICE: I am very, very anti-drug. I would love to see harsh penalties for any and all users but, with that said, his enrollment speaks to someone trying to remove the dark clouds from over him. It is what it is now. If he stays clean from here on out then i have no problems with him. But i am definitely interested in seeing how his body looks and his his stamina is in his next fight.

7. What does Badou Jack have to do to beat Adonis Stevenson in Canada this weekend?

ICE: Not get caught with the atomic left hand, simple as that. Adonis is about as pure of a power puncher as we have in the game today, his history speaks for itself. Badou has to keep Adonis turning and hesitating with quick feints all night. Anyone can get hurt in this game but I cant see Badou utilizing an all out attack to try and get Adonis out of there because chances are that would be predictably fatal. Conditioning at this stage of the game is crucial. Youve got to be careful with Adonis early on and have enough left for the second half to take advantage of his fatigue. As dangerous as he is, guys like Adonis have trouble maintaining that power deep in the fight because they throw such big shots and expend so much energy that they are usually, genreally, not the puncher they were over the first six that they are over the last.

Badou likely will find himself in a position where he will need to try and take advantage of that.

8. With Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn right around the corner, what type of fight do you anticipate?

ICE: I think it’s a very good fight, really. Jeff will bring it hard, he knows he’s got to capitalize on the Pacman victory. Crawford is apparently a special one, though, and will be tough to beat for anyone in the world right now. Terrance is much fresher than Pacman was and will be on his game. I think this could turn out to be a very good fight and while I think TC is going to ultimately win I can see Jeff having his moments, definitely. He’s goin gto make Crawford work every step of the way.

9. What does Abner Mares have to do in his rematch with Leo Santa Cruz to stop Santa Cruz’s nonstop attack and win rounds against him?

ICE: Abner is a very good fighter and I’m sure he and his team have made the right adjustments. He’s got use his legs and his angles and not stand right in front of Leo. You want to be impressive and land big shots, especially on TV, but at the end of th day winning is what matters the most and to do that Abner is going to have to strategy and technique to win this one. He’s got to use a steady and sharp jab and use the ring to his advantage.

10. How do you rate Ryan Garcia so far as a young, rising star?

ICE: I would say its too early to really rate him just yet. I mean, he’s gotten publicity. He’d done very well with his own push on Instagram and people are talking about him so that’s a great thing in this era. But in terms of actually professional boxing, we really need to step back and separate the publicity from everything else. He’s a good young fighter, he got tested in his last fight, and he’s got a future. But I would say some people’s comparisons to Oscar De La Hoya are very, very premature.

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