Scotty Olson | The Scoop with Bola Ray | Talkin Fight
Scotty “The Bulldog” Olson (born 26 February 1968) is a Canadian former flyweight boxer. He won the Light Flyweight Gold Medal in the 1986 Commonwealth Games, and reached the quarterfinals of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
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Hello boxing fans around the world welcome to another episode of the scoop on talking fight, featuring champ, bola ray, and this week we are continuing uh to explore the great canadian fighters who went on to uh enjoy a life on the global stage, quite frankly, as fantastic Champions in their weight divisions and tonight we’ve got a special guest who i’ll allow you to introduce as a good friend of yours, both champ for a good viewership out there.
Who do you have well um today? We’Re i’m going to be talking to a friend of mine, who is, he is nothing shy of a huge personality in a cricket frame.
He is he’s nothing shy of amazing the pride of edmonton um.
He was part of that infamous 88 olympic team that everything seemed to go wrong.
Um with the exceptional atlantic’s loop, winning everything seemed to go wrong so um.
I actually became a world champion good on you.
My name is bola raymond.
This is the scoop.
So today we’re going to be talking to none other than scotty the bulldog olson.
How are you, sir, i’m doing really good really well.
Thank you so much you look ever so comfortable, yeah, i’m just a little guy, so i usually tall people are look higher than their coach.
This is a really short coach too, but i can use i’ll get my head above it so well done well done.
How is how is the retirement treating you from boxing? What does it look like? Do you have anything to do with boxing? Well, retirement was very difficult because when i did retire, i wasn’t really doing it.
On my terms, i did it to kind of pacify my family and to say how stay healthy, because i had two daughters by then and a wife, and you know a mother that doesn’t didn’t want me to end up being too punchy.
And so so, when i i some of the boxing part um i i had wished, i had continued on and being able to kind of close out my career on my terms when i wanted to but uh, but that, but i i did i think i did The the noble and the right thing and retired – and i didn’t come back after that, so since retirement um well, i decided the business of boxing kind of got to me and and really bothered me.
I i’ve been hurt a little bit here and there and and uh, so i decided to do to break away from boxing.
So i i started to sell cars so old cars for 12 years and in in and out i’d go to the gyms once in a while and maybe offer a couple tips to to a few people um.
And so that’s that’s really what uh? What retirement has been is just selling cars and until i had a cardiac arrest of which i have not gone back, you haven’t gone back to work.
No, no, no wow! No! Well! We had some i’m pretty happy to be here.
I wasn’t supposed to and uh.
I they put me into an induced coma, because i did i was i was gone and they were able to put some had to put some stints in my heart and oh, what else did they do? So they put me into an induced coma and they had to tell my family that they didn’t think i was going to wake up and if i did help they didn’t know how i would be uh and uh.
You know, thank god.
I woke up and i was able to come out of that coma and i still had some some some faculties left.
You know my cognitive.
I had some cognitive ability still, but i have some glitches so as a as a result of some of those glitches.
I am not back to work wow, okay, well further for the record.
I’M exceptionally um pleased that you’re still with us completely completely aces aces.
How did you start? How did you embark on this journey called boxing? That’S a pretty cool story.
You know i i’ve tried so many sports basketball.
I i i played it and i liked it i i was um, but no that that so that was so.
Okay, i i participated it, but i didn’t try it that part with basketball, but i did judo and i did swimming and i i did baseball uh all these things and i i was pretty quite an active kid, but i could never do any of these sports.
Well, i had no athletic ability uh like there’s.
No none, no athletic so um.
You know you go to see me play a baseball game and i’m on the bench, and i never got chances to play very often because i wasn’t good and and if i was on a team sport and i made a mistake.
Well, then, the whole team would suffer and i hated that so i figured i wanted to go into uh an individual sport and i tried judo, but i was a little rough for that.
I wanted something a little bit more aggressive, uh or would cater to my aggressive nature and uh, and then i met al ford, who was a former canadian lightweight champion, fought ken buchanan in a non-title fight, uh uh really well, he is anyway, so i meet al Ford at the mall and and we we sat my mom and i sat him down and he had these scars over his eyes right and uh he’ll say they’re, they weren’t from boxing, but they were so.
He got some pets here and his nose is kind of like this yeah.
I mean he’s storing punches as he’s talking about uh his career and then i i said to my mom mom.
Let me try this.
I got ta.
Let me try at least try it, and but if you’re a mom – and you have a son who has no athletic ability, chances of her letting you be a boxer are pretty slim.
So so so she said no, but my family kicked in bought me a heavy bag for christmas uh.
I beat it up for about eight months, but i was skipping school to hit the heavy bag uh and then my neighbors told on me, and and after months of this i was finally allowed.
She says scotty.
If you stay in school, i will allow you to try boxing and and, and that was the only sport i i tried that i s people seemed to they said wow.
You know you’re doing really well, like i kind of liked that to be a a semi kind of athlete that was pretty cool.
What positive reinforcement? Yes, it’s quite the motivator, just not being uh, not being yelled.
Well yeah! I was yelling at, but just being you know, i remember my first fight and uh, and so i’m fighting this older, more experienced guy in boom and i i hammered them and i went to go pick them up after i put them down and i was going Down and they they pushed us apart and – and there was quite a few people at the fights for for that fight and for the show that that it was, i can’t remember what the actual show was, but they uh uh.
They brought me to the center of the ring and they announced me as as the winner and my arm goes up and uh and then everybody’s clapping and cheering like me doing the sport and hearing like oh, my god i was just i was.
I was beside myself and it was that roar of the crowd that uh that that i really loved i love people going watching me be able to be able to do a sport.
That’S amazing that could get intoxicating real, quick.
Couldn’T it yeah yeah, and you know it’s uh as you roar the crowd.
You know it got so so uh bad, for i didn’t even care if i won the fight or last.
I just wanted to entertain everybody and have a have a good fight.
Of course i was never going to quit, but to uh to but to to have them enjoy it.
So then i became i thought what they wanted to see were knockouts, so i tried to punch as hard as i can with every shot.
I had uh all the time so that and and and and they did, the fans like to to watch uh me try to go after you know these these fast boxers and and and me with the slower hands and just trying to rock and roll and hit Him with a good shot yeah, you know that that’s the the roar their chairs really turned me on.
Now with that, with that, you have a scenario where everybody everybody on god’s green earth, then knows you as a puncher.
Would that be where your name uh bulldog came from? I think so i yeah i was i i used to want look at old pictures of fighters and there was rocky marciano throwing right, hands and yeah.
You know yeah.
This is what i need to try to do is rock one and make sure i throw my right hand as so i never used my left hand.
I would just like: stick it out there because just to pacify my uncle and then i’ll, try and uh so but the right hand was all i worked on so so man, if, if somebody stood still and cooperated for a second and i hit that it was Game game over there if they understood the script, just stand there, that’s what the script says and ross amber my friend rust.
He was the one that called me bulldog.
In 1985 i was 17 got on the canadian uh senior national team about a year early, but i didn’t go intermediate.
There was junior intermediate and senior fighting and i jumped from junior to senior uh.
So i was a little bit younger than everybody, but russ uh.
He he nicknamed russ amber nicknamed me, the bulldog and uh.
When i go into fights a lot of times like guys like, like lennox lewis and eggerton, marcus and the whole the whole, the whole team, uh howard, grant and acid bar, they would bark and they go into the ring so yeah they.
I always had a lot of support.
That’S awesome, speaking of that team.
Speaking of these guys, they’re all part of that infamous uh 88 olympic squad.
What was it like? What was it that year that games was so riddled with controversy, jamie paganan um? I personally think even even um.
What’S going on, everton marcus’s uh gold medal match was nothing shy of a robbery, not just a robbery in the sense that um he should have won, but to have five a score of five to zero.
When he dominated everything called everything leading up to the gold medal match come on yeah edgarton marcus is just a remarkable person, he’s a remarkable fighter, you know, and but there were so many so many things to that.
We had one of the guys.
So our our friend and our teammate victoria salvatore, who was who had had lots of tons of international experience and and and he was the canadian champion.
But anyway they didn’t allow him to go to the olympics.
And i guess it would have been the bantamweight division.
119, so so they didn’t let vittorio salvatore go and uh, and all of us on the team were really really disappointed in that because of of uh with, because i thought he he he deserved to be there myself going to the olympics, what i’ve gone to the Commonwealth games, you know a couple years before that, so so i i won.
The como games gold medal.
So i figured well, let’s win the olympics too.
That’S just it’s not rocket science.
It’S because they fight the same kind of guys and do the same thing uh, but i did not win.
I won my first fight and then i fought a future world champion wayne mccullough and i beat him in the second fight and third fight.
I fought michael carbajal, who i had beaten before as an amateur uh, and then he had beat me beat me one more time and once more before the olympics by decision uh.
So he beat me again uh by decision in the olympics, so so that when that happened, my whole world shut down, because i i expected to win and i didn’t i didn’t win and i knew a guy my size.
I would have to have a olympic gold medal around my neck for any chances of myself, having being able to turn professional, and i didn’t have that – i’m just finding out exactly how hard that was like how hard the transition i’ve always assumed that you’re an olympian.
That’S a huge check, a check mark for you to turn pro like any promoter can promote a former olympian.
Apparently not the case.
No, you know well, i had already lost and and uh eggerton marcus was still in the game in the olympics, and you know we i’d had a couple talks with lou duval and i think, probably because of my size as well plus i didn’t meddle.
So i didn’t, i didn’t i lost in the quarterfinals, so i needed to win at that fight to at least have a medal, or at least have a bronze medal, and then i would have won on to the silver medal.
I would have won that and then in the gold medal match i would have lost because i’d i had lost to that guy before who won the olympic gold medal, and i i couldn’t hit him.
He was too fast for me.
If i fought him a hundred times, i would i would be i’d, be oh 100, who was that this guy was uh from bulgaria, evalio, maranov and maranov.
Like i just before the olympics, we go to bulgaria, i fight him uh.
I had won a tournament in bulgaria uh in 85, so i was, i was a champion there already, so i fight this guy and – and so i anyway three rounds go by.
I can’t hit him and he just plays with me after the fight uh maranov is sitting down having a beer and a cigarette after both, and i’m thinking you know where here i am, i i i’ve sacrificed everything to to do to be as good as i Can and this guy’s making it look easy, so i wouldn’t i don’t think i’d ever would have won an olympic gold medal unless he tripped himself.
You should have tripped him.
Yes, i couldn’t even catch his feet like to step on his toes, and just i couldn’t do anything well, you have you may mention of a couple of friends of ours, um in edgarton, marcus and linux, lewis, and well even nasa dart warriors always you know such Such great talent and edgarton was tough, as of with stuff howard grant was tough, there was uh, we had otis on the team, otis grant a couple times, and you know we just had a real super, strong team and um yeah.
We were, we were, we were.
We were killers, at least i was anyway.
Did you find see you always had the style? Did you find the transition difficult to go into the pros when you have my style and you’re, not that fast, and so my footwork wasn’t very fast.
I tried my best to get from like point a to point b.
Get do my point opponent as as effortlessly as i could, without getting hit too much.
You know, and i didn’t really care if i got hit so much so so chances are.
I got hit a lot and um, but just going forward.
So how can i say it uh? I do might have lost my track there, but um you’ll have to help me get back to that.
What was i uh cause? I was thinking about another story.
I was asking about your transition to the pros.
Yes, thank you.
So the just transitioning that there there there was the easiest part of that.
For me, i would only have three rounds.
I had three rounds and – and if i got him, if it went, the distance chances are internationally many times i lost fights.
Just because i went the distance and i’d lose the decision based on points well once they once i turned pro and then i i fought six rounds and i fought.
I think i had a one schedule for eight rounds, the more rounds, the better chances i had were of of getting to my opponent and and instilling some damage to slow him down.
So i just did more rounds, so it was just what uh, what a blessing when you know how frustrating it is to fight internationally in some big tournaments and world champion stuff, and you and you think, you’re a good fighter.
I thought i was a good fighter and but i’m getting beat on points because the guys are pity patting me and running and i really it was really emotionally hard for me.
It really was.
It was really hard so once they turned pro and they gave me some more rounds, it’s like.
Oh, my gosh, exactly you get to you, get to play the chess game.
There’S so many more variables you can wear a person down.
You can catch them like set traps to catch them later on in the fight it gets so much more entertaining oh yeah, so it was very much very much my style, so i grinded down you know, put a lot of pressure on people made them a little Tired by knowing that i’m i’m out gunning after them, so they would invest a little bit of energy.
Just trying to escape me yeah, i was able to wear a lot of people down, be a little rough on the inside, make up a little bit for my lack of uh, my lack of athletic ability.
So i i was pretty rough in there and um yeah.
So so i did.
I had my uh nothing new.
I didn’t invent too many things in boxing, but but i did things that i that worked well for me to attain some some success.
That’S amazing did how did your life change or did it change um upon winning the world title uh? That’S something i’d been trying to do for a long time.
I was number two in the world for a long time and i wasn’t the number one contender.
I was number two, and this was for a long time and and i i wasn’t getting – there was uh two or three different belts out there.
So i was trying to get a chance to fight for a title and nobody’s giving me a title shot, and so my my promoters top rank tried to pay the number one contenders.
The number one contenders by the way get an automatic chance to fight for for the title as mandatory challenger so being number two.
I wasn’t mad, i wasn’t the mandatory challenger uh and i and they were ducking and diving me.
The champions were so uh.
They offered to pay the number one contender, the same kind of amount of money that he would get for uh fighting for the title, and then i would fight for the title.
I would get the shot and then i would make my first defense against the number one contender and and both times they they they turn me down and and uh.
You know it’s it’s it’s hard as a pro uh to to stay top on that level.
Without having a blemish, then i finally had blemish on my card and that dropped me from two to about eight in the world and and it was so getting getting a shot at an opportunity to fight for a world title for the ibo, the international boxing organization, That was that was really really a blessing, and they i i was very.
I was a very proud champion.
It’S not the.
I want to say it: it’s not the the belt that makes the fighter the fighter makes the belt.
Generally, generally so um yeah george foreman, said the exact same thing: oh he stole it from me.
Then yeah yeah, i mean the world, get it when i’m winning the world title.
And now, when i got to win in my hometown here in edmonton and and we had just a packed place, we had about 5 000 people in in the facility which was just absolutely packed and and uh.
So i fought a guy a kid from the philippines.
Uh, good guy, you know, i think his record, i don’t know if he was 21-1 or 21-2 anyways, but a good little fighter and – and i was able to to fight him for the title.
I beat him and i proved a lot of people wrong, because i had some some injuries and hand, injuries breaking my hand, all the time and operations setbacks, uh and i was told to retire from boxing from my doctors.
You know – maybe it’s best that fox, because i’m just going to continue to hurt myself, but they they allowed me to fight one more time in my hometown and and and i so and then i won the title, the world battle or a world title.
And then i i never lost the title, but i had it for about four and a half years um and i defended it.
I think five times, but injuries kept me from defending it.
You know two three four times a a year or had a lot of title.
Title fights well, that’s unfortunate, but yeah that that that’s a reality in the sport.
Oh wow, i have candy injuries, but that’s what happens when you’re a puncher right, yeah, yeah yeah! It’S like now, you’re telling me you’d think, and it wasn’t until it wasn’t until i’d been retired for about eight or nine years.
So i i i’m not i’m playing pool i’m at sort of a bar as a pool table.
It’S got one of these things that you pull down a speed bag and then you hit the speed bag and it registers your punching power.
So i i gear up and and i boom i hit the i hit the thing with my right hand and the number scores up and then so i go southpaw and i throw my left hand like a like a just a straight left hand.
The left hand was stronger than the right hand.
If i had known that when i was a fighter, it took me eight years after i’ve known that i would have worked a lot more on it and that did quite a few injuries on the right hand.
So but i guess that’s that’s something we, you know, learn learn as you go and i just didn’t realize i i had that kind of power.
On the left side.
It always felt awkward, but the power was there and it was smaller than it was on the right, and i was a powerhouse with the right hand.
Did you now, as a retired boxer? How would you like to see boxing uh change, improve wow, or is there anything that you you know? You know there’s a lot of a lot of points.
I think that um i i i wish that there were more fighters like myself included that were a little bit more.
There are a lot.
A lot of them are are still helping fighters.
Howard grant otis grant dwight frazier you have uh uh mike strange, has helped out a ton.
Graeme mcintosh has helped all the time, so there’s a lot of fighters that have given back, but if moore gave back, i think that the level of of competition and the level of fighters in canada would would would increase uh, and i think we were and increased To the point where you know, we were winning more more gold stage, bricks and gold medals and other medals in the big tournaments wouldn’t be so so few and far between you know, and i i really like the women fighting.
I love watching that they do get out, they love men, fight um, but but really changing stuff.
I would just rather, i would like to see um them not have a training camp based out of out of montreal, so i’m from from alberta.
If i was canadian champion and i wanted to be on the canadian national team, i’d have to go and – and i was doing it now – i’d have to go from edmonton all the way to montreal or somewhere in quebec.
There, and and and i would have to pay my own way basically and i i’d have to maybe find a job over there.
Well, you know – and i have to maybe pay for for some of my flights to the international competitions.
I i didn’t grow up with with a silver spoon in my mouth, and you know in my throat and and my family couldn’t be wouldn’t be able to to uh afford to do those things for me, and then i so i would have been.
I would have been lost, i lost in the process, so i think that if you’re a trainer is, is your trainer and he’s got it to the point? Where you’re a canadian champion? I think you should be able to allowed to be able to stay with that trainer he’s gone so far.
Why? Why then leave him and and go join some other people you’ve never even met before it does doesn’t make sense to me? No, you know what i’ve asked that question a few times, and yet i have yet to hear anybody actually speak in favor of that scenario.
It doesn’t make a lick of sense to me um you’re, talking from moving from edmonton i’m when, if i was on uh, if i was still amateur going and having to move to montreal from toronto, why yeah? Why everything that made me a champion is here and then i’m going to uproot it.
I think that you, it would actually do me a disservice.
I love that, but truthfully like at the end of the day, everything that made you what you made you a champion.
You’Re then gon na push it away and go to a totally different environment.
It doesn’t make any sense to me: what’s your involvement, yeah different different stuff, i didn’t even like training camps.
Very often, you know we had good trainers.
We had taylor, gordon and and adrian to the rescue, and we had a sambar with us and but i i wasn’t really a huge fan of of training camps because for the big fights i’d have to leave out edmonton uh, but it was paid for like they Flew to ottawa or toronto or to where to uh to nice places like colorado, springs to train for competitions, uh, we a lot of places uh and but i i kind of like being around my coach and i enjoyed that and i think i would have done.
Similarly, as well had, i just stayed with my coach and then come fight time, i’m in toronto to hook up with everybody else and fly to where we’re fighting but watery camaraderie and some some uh uh memories and and things we had together like with lennox.
And i and we we just lennox and i had a blast everton and he’s like my best friend and a stevie beaupre, and we have so many of them uh and pagan dab, all these guys so um, i don’t know, there’s so much camaraderie that that so I guess maybe i take that back a little bit, maybe maybe i would i did enjoy training camp a little more than what i’m saying, because it did provide me with so many neat memories that i wouldn’t have had.
I just trained with my with mojo yeah.
So i maybe i’ll change that up a little bit, but for for but to live like i can see a training camp for two weeks or something or even if it’s for a month go off to a training camp for for two weeks with the team get.
That’S what we used to do.
I didn’t have to move to quebec to to be a a canadian champion, yeah exactly the international fighter.
I think that’s too ridiculous.
Well, i thank you.
I think i thank you for your contribution to boxing history for canadian boxing history.
I thank you on behalf of the scoop and scoop nation.
I like that scoop nation um, don’t know it’s uh, yeah yeah.
Sometimes you you know, there’s there’s different things.
You there’s so many different ways to look at things as i’ve gotten older.
When i was young.
It was just one way or the other yeah that and now i now that i’m older, i can take a little bit of time and think about things.
So sometimes i i can jump ahead a little bit and and and have a comment on something, but there’s always there’s usually different sides and uh.
Now, with i’m, i’m a little more patient being older and i i can i’m able to to decipher uh a a a better opinion for myself most of the time, but i don’t know sure that comes with age like that comes with experience.
Well, i got a lot of it.
Then a lot of water awesome awesome scotty.
I want to thank you for coming out today, um this is.
This has been sensational and uh with that uh scoop nation.
I like that.
I like this, that’s t-shirt worthy.
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It’S your boy, balla! That’S a scoop! Thank you! So much scotty.
Thank you my pleasure.