Iceman John Scully: ‘Artur Beterbiev is more than ready for anyone’
Russian light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev won the IBF world title, vacated by Andre Ward, when he halted Germany’s Enrico Koelling in the 12th round last Saturday at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California.
The fight was the chief support to the main event that featured WBC Continental Americas super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez taking on undefeated contender Waldorf, Maryland’s Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed. The popular Ramirez, who drew about 14,000 fans on this night, stopped an out-gunned Reed in two rounds.
With only 11 professional fights under his belt, one might think Beterbiev was certainly fast-tracked to a world title shot. However, anyone who has seen the incredibly strong Russian knew his punching power was world championship caliber from the get-go and it would be the equalizer that would allow him to compete against the division’s best before long.
UCNLive caught up with former light heavyweight world title challenger John “The Iceman” Scully, who was working with the undefeated light heavyweight contender Beterbiev, in preparation for the title bout.
Scully, who assists chief trainer Marc Ramsay, said it was evident early that Beterbiev let his opponent know he was in for a rough night.
“Oh yeah, I can read body language very well and I could tell that, after Artur hit Koelling a few times, that (Koelling) went into a bit of a survival mode because he realized just how strong Artur was,” said Scully.
And while Beterbiev only had less than a dozen fights going in, Scully felt their charge was more than ready.
“Artur performed very well,” said Scully. “He threw over 1,100 punches, according to punch-stat, and he was in his first 12-round fight. The guy had 300 amateur fights, European championships and world championships. All that stuff really matters. I mean look at (WBO junior lightweight titlist Vasyl) Lomachenko. He is a guy who is a good example of how these guys who come in with all their amateur background can compete at the highest level in the pros very quickly.”
While the 175-pound class boasts fellow champions Adonis Stevenson (WBC) and Dmitry Bivol (WBA), when asked what is next for the Khasavyurt, Russia-born Beterbiev, Scully added that he wasn’t sure but he knows what he would like to see.
“The best fight for Artur would be a match-up with Sergey Kovalev,” said the Hartford, Connecticut-based Scully. “If I was to put on my promoter’s hat, that is the fight I would make. They have a little bit of history and the fight would be somewhat personal. I think, with his experience, Beterbiev is more than ready for anyone.”
After the fight, the quiet and serious looking Beterbiev said he wasn’t sure what was next but, for right now, he just wanted to enjoy his moment.
“This is what I have dreamed of my whole life. I am so happy,” said Beterbiev.”