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January 06, 2017

By Ivan Montiel

Ivan Montiel: Many boxing fans are wondering who Russian Artur Beterbiev [pictured] is all about and since youíve recently worked with him in Montreal, Quebec maybe you can let the world of boxing know more about him?

John Scully: "Artur Beterbiev is a monster. Heís a very powerful guy with unusual strength for a guy his size. As an amateur, he had over 300 fights. Beterbiev actually fought as a heavyweight-- 201 pounds-- as an amateur, winning the European title and handling all the bigger guys. The only reason why Beterbiev did not fight at light heavyweight was because Russia already had someone so Beterbiev moved up. Artur Beterbiev beat [former world chahmpion] Sergey Kovalev as an amateur. Ismayl ďBlack RussianĒ Sillakh [now 25-3 as a pro] also got knocked out by Beterbiev.

When Beterbiev turned pro, in his second pro fight, he fought Rayco Saunders who at the time had like 47 fights. Saunders is an opponent who if youíre not ready, he will beat you. It was kind of crazy to put Beterbiev in with Saunders at that point yet Beterbiev walked right through him. Beterbiev knocked out [former IBF champion Tavoris] Cloud and beat [former WBA titlist Gabriel] Campillo, two former champions, when this guy only had like deven fights. Beterbiev is unusual.

IM: Like I said before many boxing fans are buzzing about Artur. They want to see more of him. What can we expect from Beterbiev in 2017?

JS: As far as I know just by reading a few things and talking with Beterbievís chief trainer Marc Ramsay, they are ready to go! Beterbiev only has 11 fights yet this guy is already ranked top 3 by WBA, IBF, and WBC so this guy is right there! I assume Beterbiev will fight for a title this year. Talking to Beterbiev personally, this guy doesnít want to wait.  He feels like heís ready now. With the kind of power that Beterbiev has, I can certainly see it happening. Beterbiev and Kovalev have history in the amateur therefore thereís somewhat bad blood between the two, so Artur is not afraid of Kovalev in anyway. I am expecting by the end of 2017 all of the boxing world will know who Artur Beterbiev is.

IM: Hopefully that fight will come to be. Have you sparred with Artur?

JS: No Iíve held the pads for him, and worked with him on different techniques trying to maximize his power and to teach him little tricks of the trade. I spar with a lot of guys, but I am 49 years old and they say Beterbiev is a different type of animal. Iíve talked to some of his sparring partners as I drive them back to their hotel rooms and all they talk about how strong Beterbiev is. I love to spar but I am not looking to go in there with Ivan Drago! I was talking to Robert Mittleman who asked me what I am up to these days. I told him I was working with Artur Beterbiev and the first thing he asked was ďYou are not sparring Beterbiev?Ē At this point I will pick and choose who I spar and Beterbiev is not one of them. Beterbievís mentality is he doesnít want to work, he spars like a fight. This guy is looking to do damage! At this point, I do not train like before therefore I am not ready for a guy like Beterbiev.

IM: Exactly you have to be ready for that type of monster.

JS: Yes I would have to be training like when I was fighting, even if itís sparring you cannot come to camp and be out of shape. Boxing fans will love Beterbiev, this guy loves to fight, to get in there, he likes to win, win big! He is not afraid of anybody; heís willing to fight anybody. Artur trains a lot. I talked to an old strength trainer guy in Montreal, Quebec who works with all the boxers there and he told me that Beterbiev is the strongest athlete that he has ever worked with.

IM: By the way what is with all these Russians all of a sudden they seem to be taking over boxing?

JS: Well when I was an amateur the Russians and Cubans were the powerhouses and everybody knew those guys were special. We always asked ourselves, wouldnít it be crazy if they ever turned pro? They were greats in the 70ís and 80ís that never became pro. Now with the world's politics changing and these guys turning pro, we are seeing that kind of power that we have been missing in boxing all of these years.

IM: That explains it. I guess I am so used to seeing Americans and Latinos rule boxing and now we have Russians.

JS: Itís nothing new, just that political change. Back then Cuba had so many great fighters that never got the chance but now we see more Cubans defecting especially now with the good relationship between the US and Cuba. Now we will see more Cubans and Russians get their opportunities.

IM: Thatís very interesting for the sport of boxing. Itís a good change.

JS: Yes this change will mean more that way when competing against the best of different countries something we never got to see before.

IM: Exactly. Also are you going to work Beterbievís corner?

JS: I do not know what will happen, Iíve been brought in to work with Artur in the gym but as of right now this guyís already has his cut man, assistant and trainer Marc Ramsay. I am just helping Beterbiev in the gym for now.

IM: How about training other fighters?

JS: Yes I am training other fighters in Connecticut but whenever I am called to assist Beterbiev in the gym, I go.

IM: Thatís awesome... well, good talking to you and thanks for your time. We are all looking forward to seeing Artur Beterbiev in action sometime soon.

JS: No problem, Ivan, anytime. Thanks for your time.

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