Issue | Opinion | Premium | Jun 18 2019

‘A loss is rarely the fault of the trainer’

John Scully on why the relationship between trainer and boxer can be a complicated one
Action Images/Matthew Childs

I SPENT much of my life being a boxer and I have now been a trainer for many years. When I was a boxer, I wanted and expected a trainer of mine to understand that as a professional my input could be as valuable as theirs. With a certain amount of experience behind me, especially in the ring as a fighter, I felt I knew enough to have some say into how the training should go on particular days and moments.

There were times I simply didn’t trust the trainer’s judgement. I went with my instincts and things didn’t work out well for me. Similarly, there were times I went against the trainer’s judgement and things worked out okay. As a fighter, you are responsible for your own decisions.

When I’m a trainer, I always want the fighter to know that I’ve got their back 100 per cent. That can be a huge asset when they know that their trainer is trying to do the best job for them. As long as they push themselves and allow me to push them, with my own ideology, I always feel like we can get positive results. I feel like a confident trainer will transmit that to his fighter and vice-versa. I’m a fighters’ trainer, meaning that I always make decisions based on what will benefit them more than anyone else on the team.