Coach John Scully confirms that Artur Beterbiev is a good fit as one of the best lightweights of all time

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 3: Artur Petriev speaks during the press conference ahead of his Unified Heavyweight Championship fight on January 28 with Anthony Yarde, at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 3, 2022 in London, England.  (Photo by Micky Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

The unified heavyweight champion, Artur Peterbiev, is one of the best lightweights in a long time, said his assistant coach John Scully. (Photo by Micky Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Ex-fighter, current trainer and powerhouse boxer John Scully answers a question about Artur Peterbiev, the undefeated unified heavyweight champion who won all 18 of his bouts by knockout, by asking a question about heavyweights.

Scully was asked, how would Peterbiev compare to some of the great lightweights in boxing history? The light heavyweight division has had some of the best fighters in the history of the sport, so it is commendable that he is considered among the best 175lbs of all time.

“Go to someone who watched boxing, and talk about the greatest heavyweight of the ’70s – [Muhammad] On , [Joe] Fraser [Ron] Lyle, George Foreman, [Ken] Norton — and ask them to compare today’s heavyweights to these guys, you’ll get a predictable answer,” Scully told Yahoo Sports. They’ll say, “Oh, no, no, no. There’s no comparison. They’ll look at you like you’re crazy.”

But let’s be honest here: are you telling me that [reigning lineal champion] Could Tyson Fury beat Ken Norton? right? So when people think of the ’70s, it sounds like a taboo. It’s as if they wouldn’t even let you compare someone from today to them. But as tough as Matthew Saad Mohamed is, are you telling me he can take five, six, or seven Artur’s punches in a row? [like he did from many of the stars of the ’70s]? “

The late 1970s and early 1980s were a great era for light heavyweight boxing, with fighters like Saad Mohamed, Michael Spinks, Marvin Johnson, Dwight Mohamed Qawi, Mike Rossman, Victor Galendez, and Eddie Mustafa Mohamed, among others, at or near the top. from partition.

Scully, who will serve in Peterbiev’s corner as an assistant coach under Mark Ramsey when Peterbiev defends his belts against Anthony Yarde on ESPN+ on Saturday in London, thinks Peterbiev isn’t getting the respect he deserves.

Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk, left, fights Russia's Artur Petriev, during the men's 91kg heavyweight boxing competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in London.  (AP Photo/Ivan Secretarev)

(LR) Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk fights Russia’s Artur Petriev during the men’s 91kg heavyweight boxing competition in the quarter-finals of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Secretarev)

“Artur is up there with any of those guys,” Scully said. “In terms of size, certainly in terms of strength and technically wise, I would say he’s right at the top level in terms of boxing skill and all that sort of thing. I think he’s fighting up there with any of those guys.”

The problem most modern fighters have when compared to fighters of the past is urban legend. Boxing was bigger 40 years ago than it is now, and most divisions are deeper. But athletes and their training methods have improved a lot over the years, and it’s unfair to ignore that.

Peterbiev, whose last loss at the 2012 Olympics came at heavyweight (201 pounds) to current unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, doesn’t care much about attention or ratings. He doesn’t watch boxing in his spare time and doesn’t care much about what people say about him

He would never answer a question with five words if he thought two would suffice.

It does not inspire passion or excitement when interviewing. When asked about Yarde, he said, “He’s strong and has experience against many of the top pros. I prepare 100 percent for every fight, and that’s what I did for Anthony Yarde.”

okay then. In order to watch it, you have to actually know about it, and that’s the prerogative of the die-hard fan, of which there are far fewer than there were in the ’70s or ’80s.

But boxing still has a good share of elite athletes, and Peterbiev is one of them. Yared, of course, knows what he’s up against.

“If you look at what I’ve accomplished so far, it’s amazing, and that’s what motivates me,” Yared said.

Beterbiev doesn’t get much until the bell rings. Scully said Peterbiev doesn’t care what fans or the media think of him, but he does have one goal that drives him: He wants to be the undisputed champ. He holds three of the four major belts, and if he can take on WBA belt holder Dmitry Bivol sometime this year, he’ll have the chance to win the undisputed championship.

Bivol is getting a lot of attention in boxing circles because he beat Canelo Alvarez last year, and Alvarez is one of the big names in the sport. But Scully said it would be wrong to underestimate Peterbiev. Scully believes that it takes a special opponent to beat Peterbiev.

“It’s hard to find a weak point in him,” Scully said. “He has defeated aggressive big men like Joe Smith, fine and fast boxers like Marcus Braun and technical boxers like [Oleksandr] Gvozdyk. It handled pretty much every style we’ve seen. I think, just in general terms, you won’t outgrow it. If there is any chance of hitting him, you must be a man who can’t beat him. You have to be defensively superior to Artur because you can’t take punches with him and aren’t affected by them.

Andre Ward, I think stylistically, would be tough for him. Really, Andre might be a little younger than Artur because Artur is really a big heavyweight. He fought 201 as an amateur. His strength is like a heavyweight. His strength is off the charts. But Andre was smart and knew how to negate certain things, so stylistically I think Andre would be a good match for Artur.”

Artur Petriev punches Joe Smith Jr. during their light heavyweight bout on June 18, 2022 in New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Artur Petriev punches Joe Smith Jr. during their light heavyweight bout on June 18, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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