By Keith Idec
Trainer/manager Glenn Rushton really gets annoyed when Jeff Horn’s detractors degrade his upset of Manny Pacquiao by claiming he benefited from hometown judging.
None of the three judges that scored their 12-round, 147-pound title fight for Horn on July 2 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane are from Australia. Two are American – New York’s Waleska Roldan (117-111) and Arizona’s Chris Flores (115-113) – and the other, Ramon Cerdan (115-113), is Argentinean.
The WBO again has assigned three non-Australian judges to Horn’s first defense of the WBO welterweight title he won thanks to his controversial victory over the Philippines’ Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs). Three Americans – Nevada’s Lisa Giampa, New Mexico’s Levi Martinez and California’s Lou Moret – will judge Horn’s scheduled 12-round fight against England’s Gary Corcoran on Wednesday night in Brisbane, Horn’s hometown.
Corcoran and his trainer, Frank Greaves, repeatedly mentioned during a press conference Monday in Brisbane that all they want is a fair shot to take the title from Horn. Rushton reiterated that won’t be an issue when the seventh-ranked Corcoran (17-1, 7 KOs) and Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) square off at Brisbane’s Convention & Exhibition Centre.
“I believe in a fair go,” Rushton said. “That’s all I want. We had no Australian judges for the Manny Pacquiao fight, and it really does my head in when people go, ‘Aw, the Australian judges …’ We had two American judges and an Argentinean judge. We also had an American referee. Where’s the Australians in there? The same thing going into this fight. There’s no Australian judges. There’s no hometown advantage.
“There’s American judges … and an experienced referee [American Benjy Esteves]. We just want a fair go for both fighters. We’re not looking for any advantage. We want a level playing field. That’s what we want. You want a level playing field, we want a level playing field. May the best man win. You’ve done your homework, you’ve prepared, we’ve prepared.”
Horn seconded his trainer’s take on another potential controversy.
“The judges are from all across the world,” Horn said, “so there’s no advantage there.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.