I am always amazed when boxers retire, and stay retired. There is something about the pull of the ring which acts as a magnet for people who have the best of intentions to hang up the gloves, and not reach for them again. The challenge, the clapping, the money...the temptation to spit in the face of the aging process in a manner far more honorable than via Botox injections.
Periodically over the years, I've corresponded with the former super middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger, John Scully. The 44-year-old Connecticut resident fought his last professional fight on June 22, 2001, winning a split decision against Cleveland Nelson in Canada. He gave a good go of it in title cracks against Michael Nunn, in 1995, and Henry Maske in 1996, but dropped a decision each time.
He hasn't seen fit to get the game out of his system, as he spars hundreds of rounds each year, and also trains boxers. Casual fans got introduced to Scully when Chad Dawson hired him to work his camp and corner against Bernard Hopkins on Oct. 15. You'll recall that fight ended before it started, when Hopkins and Dawson got into a tangle, and Hopkins, who turns 47 on January 15, fell to the mat in round two. He hurt his left shoulder, cried out in pain, indicated that the injury was severe, and thus, referee Pat Russell ended the bout. He gave the win to Dawson, via TKO, and much debate ensued if Russell made the right call. Dawson was handed Hopkins' WBC title off that bizarre situation, though the WBC quickly ruled that the bout was a technical draw, and handed Hopkins back his crown. That determination isn't official, as the California commission has to issue a ruling on the affair.
After the bout, Scully was quite vocal; he slammed Hopkins for being so demonstrative, and accused him of playing up a negligible ache. He hasn't let up. I got this email from Scully today.
Hopkins said in an interview yesterday he'd be sparring by January!!!!!! When I injured my shoulder in June of 1999 fight (supposedly not as bad as Hops did his) I wasn't able to spar for well over six months!! Four months after my injury (strained rotator cuff) I jumped in the water in Kissimmee, Florida and my shoulder felt like it was being torn out of the socket!! He's gonna' spar 3 months after an injury like that????!!???? BULLLLL SPIT!!!!!!!!!
If this man spars anyone in January then, for me, it is PROOF POSITIVE that his injury is a complete fake job!! ASK ANY DOCTOR IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME!!
Hopkins received an MRI in late October and said that the doctor found he had separated a joint. He said he would need six weeks of rehab. That six weeks is just about up.
But Scully ain't buying it. And I don't see Scully buying it even if Hopkins has 100 notes from 100 doctors.
So I have a solution.
Hopkins (52-6-2) vs. Scully (38-11).
The age parameters match. Hopkins will be 47, while Scully turned 44 on July 28. Scully fought his last bout at 184 1/2 pounds, but I'm pretty sure he could get back to the 175 he fought at from 1994-1999. Hopkins has fought in and around 175 since 2006. Scully would admit he wasn't of the same caliber as Hopkins at his peak, but he is a couple years younger, so that could even things out.
The blood is bad between these two, and wouldn't have to be played up or manufactured. The drama going in to the scrap would considerable. TSS Universe, what say you? You like this hypothetical, if Scully is a go, and Hopkins is game?
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV