GUEST COL­UMN

Ex­plain­ing the re­gret­table mis­un­der­stand­ing be­tween my­self and Roberto Duran

Boxing News - - CONTENTS -

John Scully and Roberto Duran fall out

RING 10 is a very spe­cial non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion run by for­mer New York-based mid­dleweight Matt Farago. They are in the busi­ness of help­ing ex-pro­fes­sional fight­ers who have come into some sort of dif­fi­culty. I know for a fact, for ex­am­ple, that they pay a gro­cery store in Illi­nois a reg­u­lar stipend on be­half of Ger­ald Mcclellan, so that his fam­ily don’t have to worry about his food each month. They have also done a great deal to as­sist Wil­fred Ben­itez in Puerto Rico, along with many other for­mer fight­ers. They stage events through­out the year to raise money, in­clud­ing their yearly fundrais­ing din­ner that I at­tended re­cently in New York City. All pro­ceeds go to the fight­ers in need.

There were six men who won awards from Ring 10 this year – ref­eree Har­vey Dock, leg­endary New York box­ing fig­ure Jimmy Glenn, and for­mer fight­ers Mike Tra­pani, Gerry Cooney, Mark Bre­land and my­self. Also on the dais with us were Larry Holmes and Roberto Duran. Guests in­cluded Lon­nie Bradley, Vito An­tuofermo, Ju­nior Jones, Vinny Pazienza and Iran Barkley.

The sit­u­a­tion with Duran and my­self on the night was a huge and re­gret­table mis­un­der­stand­ing that un­for­tu­nately got a lit­tle bit out of con­trol. What hap­pened was, I had left my award be­hind the dais and gone out to min­gle in the crowd af­ter the cer­e­mony, and when I went back to get it it was gone. I had peo­ple look­ing all over for it, be­fore a guy pulled me aside and told me that Duran had my tro­phy and planned to take it home with him. I was so shocked that I didn’t be­lieve him at first. But sure enough, out came Duran and his en­tourage, with a guy in the group hold­ing the tro­phy in his arms. I went up to him and checked the tro­phy for my name. When I re­alised it was mine we had some words be­fore I snatched it out of his hands and started to­wards my car.

By the time I got into the driver’s seat Roberto and his en­tourage were right out­side my car win­dow, and we had some more words back and forth. It got very tense and it was very sur­real to me. At that point, with the sit­u­a­tion as it was, I had no choice but to be­lieve that my tro­phy was be­ing taken – that was all I knew. Af­ter ex­chang­ing some, let’s say un­pleas­ant words with his group, I pulled out and drove home.

The next day, I was con­tacted by some­one from the or­gan­i­sa­tion and they ex­plained that it was just a huge and very un­for­tu­nate mis­un­der­stand­ing. Ba­si­cally, as Duran was leav­ing he saw my tro­phy and men­tioned how much he liked it. One of the or­gan­is­ers told him that be­cause he was leav­ing the coun­try in just a few hours, they wouldn’t mind if he took my tro­phy home with him, and they would just make me a new one in a week or so. Un­for­tu­nately, they couldn’t find me to ask and, in a nut­shell, I got to Duran be­fore they were able to get to me.

Luck­ily, I was able to con­tact Roberto’s daugh­ter, Irichelle, via Face­book and ex­plain the sit­u­a­tion to her. She stated that her dad was on his way back to Panama and that he felt ter­ri­ble about the mix-up. A mem­ber of Ring 10 called me to say that Roberto was very re­lieved to find out why things hap­pened as they did, and he was very hope­ful that we can put it all be­hind us. At the very least, I look for­ward to see­ing Duran at next year’s din­ner and hope­fully hav­ing a bit of a laugh with him over this.

I’ve al­ways been a fan of Duran. I re­mem­ber way back when I was only 15 years old that I was one of the few peo­ple who picked him to score that big up­set win over Davey Moore in 1983. Hope­fully next year I’ll get the chance to tell him that in per­son. I have great re­spect for him and I think he feels the same as me – that this was sim­ply a case of an un­for­tu­nate mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

‘WHEN I RE­ALISED IT WAS MINE I SNATCHED IT FROM DURAN’

Photo: RING 10 OF NY

PROUD MOMENT: Scully is pre­sented with the tro­phy that will lead to an ar­gu­ment with one of the great­est ghters in history

John Scully Ex-light-heavy con­tender

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