After we got discussing the merits of the denim shorts he wore into the ring at Staples Center on Saturday, alongside his fighter Chad Dawson, trainer John Scully touched on the bizarre ending to the Hopkins-Dawson fight, what he was thinking when Hopkins hit the canvas, and how he saw the fight playing out.
Scully told TSS he knew the second that Hopkins hit the mat that the fight was over. He turned to the cutman and told him as much, in fact. “If anyone else went down, I would be thinking, 'Let's see what happens,''' Scully said. “He has a history of this stuff. Against Calzaghe, the second Jones fight, against Arthur Allen, Antwun Echols. I had 49 pro fights, and nothing like that happened to me.”
Scully defended Dawson's move to get Hopkins off of him. He explained that the move Chad employed to shed Hopkins is taught in gyms and is called a “bumpoff.”
“He didn't throw Hopkins down. Archie Moore did the bumpoff. Hopkins fell like he was shot by a cannon. And he started making faces as he was going down. Then he was leaning on his “hurt” shoulder. I would think that would magnify the pain by a thousand.”
Scully, age 44, agreed with our Frank Lotierzo that it wasn't written in stone what would happen the rest of the way; many experts say they knew what was going to happen the next ten rounds. “Chad's jab was streamlining into Hopkins, and Hopkins was backing up, but yeah, you got to let it unfold. I wanted to see rounds six, seven, when both guys started opening up more. I certainly was very excited how it was unfolding.”
Scully, who retired in 2001 with a 38-11 record, said he has no regrets about Dawson's conduct. He says he's pleased someone stood up to Hopkins, who he termed a bully. “It's about time someone didn't roll over,” he said. “People are sick of Hopkins and his dirty fighting. He calls it old school, it's not old school. He's an actor. Maybe this is a wakeup call to refs that Hopkins isn't above the law.”
Scully said he knew Hopkins was trying to lay the groundwork for a bullying performance at the last press conference. “He told Chad, 'There are no gangsters in Connecticut.' Meaning, Chad's soft. He found out he was not the only gangster in the ring that night. But a real gangster would've gotten up.”
James Toney, Scully said, got hit in the back of the head several times by Sam Peter and didn't grimace or whine, he just came back and fired, content to play dirty in return if that's what Peter was gunning for.
The trainer said his guy had adrenaline shooting through him, and didn't lose his composure when he bumped/tossed Hopkins off of him. “Chad was just like, 'Enough is enough. Let's fight. Let's have a fight, see who wins.'''
The trainer said he told Dawson in the dressing room that he needed to elevate himself on this night, as Roy Jones did against James Toney, as Floyd Mayweather did against Diego Corrales. “It's your coming out party,” he told the boxer, who has of late become known for his passivity.
Lastly, what about those denim shorts? Scully said maybe he will start a trend but if not, he's cool. “You want to be comfortable,” he said. “You got to be you.”