"It'ʼs not just size. I think we have a huge advantage in speed and combination punching. I mean, Andre Ward does a lot of great things and you can't take anything away from him. I think if you compare and take Andre Wards 10 best combinations, I'll find 10 combinations from Chad that are better, prettier, and smoother. I think that's gonna play a big part. When they get in there and start trading punches, I feel there is gonna be a big difference. I also feel that people don't associate Chad with punching power. I have read people on the internet saying Chad can't punch. Thats a mistake," stated Chad Dawson's world-class trainer, John Scully, as he talked about the highly-anticipated September 8th showdown with Andre Ward. Check it out!
JR: How does it feel to get a challenge like Andre Ward?
JS: I put it at the same level as the Hopkins fight. Hopkins was obviously a big hurdle for people over the years. People expected it to be a big hurdle for us. It's an exciting situation going against Bernard. I feel the same way about this situation. Ward is a good fighter. He has good technique; he does what he has to do in order to win. We have to figure out a way to get through that, and I'm sure we will.
JR: You know Chad better than most. I wanted to ask you about the weight. What effect do you think it will have on Chad? Do you think it can benefit him by making him faster and stronger?
JS: I think he will be stronger and quicker. The fact is that Chad is not as big as people think he is. People see chad when he is in the ring on fight night and they think he looks so big, but they assume that Chad is not only a big kid, but that in between fights, he gets up to 200 pounds. Iʼ've been around a lot of light heavyweights in my life and most of them come down from 195 or 200. I used to know a guy who used to come down from 210. Chad rarely gets over 180. It's easy for him to make weight. He is not as big as people think he is.
JR: You got me with that. I remember seeing Chad against Bernard in both fights and I said to myself, "Damn, Chad looks like a monster." He looked huge next to Bernard...
JS: (Cutting in) Listen, when we got to the weigh-in and they stood next to each other, I was amazed. I thought Bernard was going to rival Chad in terms of height and size. I was taken back at how small Hopkins really is next to Chad. I thought about it and I see Chad spar with guys that weigh more than him and he looks bigger than they are. He just has a freaky type of body. As soon as the fight was made, I talked to his strength and conditioning coach and I asked, "Is he gonna make this weight? You good with this?" He told me, "Yeah, dont worry about it. He could have made it before if he wanted to." I actually remember Chad about two years ago telling me that he wanted to fight at super middleweight. He told me that's where he thought he would be really affective. From what I can see, all the way around, I don't think it's going to be a problem.
JR: Looking at Andre Ward, a lot of people consider him to be top 5 pound-for-pound. What has Chad said to you about facing this guy?
JS: To tell you the truth, as long as I trained him, I trained him in 2004, I think he was about 14-0, he wanted to fight Bernard back then. I told him to slow down because we have a long way to go. If you would have said in 2004, "Guess what Chad? You're fighting Bernard Hopkins," He would have told you no problem. He is one of the most talented guys I have ever come across in boxing. When he got the fight with Bernard, I had to tell him to slow down because he was just so confident in himself. I told him it's okay to have some confidence, but we have to have some limitation for every opponent. He just beleives in himself extremely. I have not seen one bit of doubt in him whatsoever.
JR: I see what you mean. I remember you at the press conference for the Bernard and Chad fight; you had a look on your face like you knew it was the perfect time for Chad to shine.
JS: Some fighters, you can tell they're not that confident. As a result, they don't really instill confidence in you. Chad is very confident. I'm a beleiver.
JR: Looking at the first fight with Bernard, Chad looked like he was going to kill Bernard. I could see some of that killer instinct in him coming out of him. The second fight, Chad seemed to take his time and allow Bernard room to breathe. Going into this fight with Andre Ward, I think this is the fight where he is really gonna have to let the dog out. I don't think we seen Chad let that killer instinct show yet. Do you think this is the fight where Chad imposes his size and bosses Ward?
JS: It'ʼs not just size. I think we have a huge advantage in speed and combination punching. I mean, Andre Ward does a lot of great things and you can't take anything away from him. I think if you compare and take Andre Wards 10 best combinations, I'll find 10 combinations from Chad that are better, prettier, and smoother. I think that's gonna play a big part. When they get in there and start trading punches, I feel there is gonna be a big difference. I also feel that people don't associate Chad with punching power. I have read people on the internet saying Chad can't punch. Thats a mistake. Chad hits hard. A lot of people went the distance, but not because he couldn't knock them out; they decided that they weren't gonna risk getting knocked out. I think it would benefit us if this is a tough fight. When people get in Chad's line of fire, he lets his hands go. That non-punching power goes right out the window.
JR: Being that this is a big fight for both Chad and Andre Ward, you as the trainer for Chad, when you see this level of competition, do you try to implement new tactics or new wrinkles, or do you have the same routine without changing much?
JS: For the most part, 95% of the time you have to let the fighter be himself. You have to let him be what makes him good already. If you try to implement new things, you might throw him off. I've done new things with fighters and when the fight came, they couldn't execute it because it wasn't part of their repertoire yet. Iʼ'll let Chad be himself. There are always a couple things that we pick out and add to the game plan. In the last fight, Chad showed a couple different things that he has done in previous fights that helped him get that win.
JR: Alright, man. Thanks for the time. I'm not gonna ask you for a prediction on the outcome. I just wanna wish you luck. I know you will train Chad to the best of your ability.
JS: Anytime, Jon. You got my number. Just call me up. Without you guys, there is no exposure.