Issue | Opinion | Premium | Sep 24 2019

A message to Nigel Benn: Don’t do it!

Former contender John Scully continues to spar into his 50s yet he knows moving back into competing would be a bad move. We asked for his view on Nigel Benn's mooted comeback
Nigel Benn
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

JOHN “ICE” SCULLY last fought professionally in 2001. Today he is part of IBF light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev’s training team and boxing remains the biggest passion in his life. The 52-year-old continues to train and spar, because he still can and he enjoys it, but he’s aware of the tricks that such activity can play on an ageing mind. Scully seeks out regular medical examinations to monitor the health of his brain and body and, importantly, he is well aware of his limits. Here he reveals his thoughts to Boxing News about the problems that could face Nigel Benn as the British legend prepares to return to boxing at the age of 55 and after a 23-year layoff.

Nigel Benn this week announces his comeback at the age of 55. What is your view on boxers fighting at that age?

This may come as a surprise to some who know or follow me, but I am not a fan of it. Not at that age. Especially after such a long layoff. I believe it is impossible to improve your physical abilities to a point where you can do the things you were able to do so many years ago. If you can’t be at least what and who you were at your best then what are you really doing? I, for the life of me, cannot imagine trying to fight a professional fight knowing full well that it is not possible to be anything close to who you once were.


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