Jeff Horn’s trainer Glenn Rushton did his fighter no favours by letting him continue against Tim Tszyu
ONE of the last things that boxers are told before answering the opening bell is that they should protect themselves at all times. Hopefully the advice is taken to heart because they can’t always count on those entrusted with looking out for their welfare to do so. The recent fight that saw Tim Tszyu stop Jeff Horn is a perfect case in point.
For every Angelo Dundee who would not allow Jimmy Ellis off of the stool for the fifth round of his heavyweight unification fight against Joe Frazier, and Eddie Futch who ignored Frazier’s pleas to come out for the 15th round against Muhammad Ali in Manila, there are dozens like Horn’s trainer Glenn Rushton. They are so caught up in winning that they fail to fully comprehend the danger that their fighter is in. As a result, they are reluctant to stop the contest of their own accord, instead deferring to the wishes of the boxer.
you must understand that fighters by nature are valiant. They are mentally
conditioned to never give up even when their quest for victory is futile. To expect
them to admit defeat in the face of adversity goes against the warrior
mentality that is required of them at least in the eyes of the public. Their
body language can be crying out for someone to step in and save them, but the
one thing they will rarely do is verbally say they don’t want to carry on.
the end of the eighth round Horn slumped on his stool well beaten. He had
already been down a couple of times in the fight and was hopelessly behind on
points in the scheduled 10-rounder. Horn was not punching with the type of
authority that suggested he could stage a miracle finish. He was tired and
being hit regularly, entering the danger zone that sadly puts a fighter’s life
at risk. The match probably should have been stopped earlier. The decision for
Horn’s corner was clear. There was no need to consult with Horn because he was
so well beaten that nothing he could say could have made a difference. Yet when
he got back to the corner there was conflict among his seconds. “What do you
want to do?” Horn was asked by Rushton. He avoided answering, which is a
universal sign of a fighter hoping his corner stops the fight.
you have a punch in you or not?” Horn was asked by Rushton, invoking a response
of, “Oh my God” from one of the commentators. The chaos continued. “Do you want
to give us a minute?” Rushton inquired, giving Horn the option of getting
seriously hurt even though it couldn’t have been his intention.
Tszyu celebrated in the ring shortly after the contest ended one of the
commentators said, “Thankfully sanity prevailed.” But did it really? The corner
was the main culprit, but the referee, ringside physicians, and local
commission could have intervened at any point as well.
fairness to Rushton, Horn survived a ninth round barrage from Manny Pacquiao
that had some calling for the fight to be stopped and was ultimately awarded a
disputed decision. However, unlike the Pacquiao encounter, Horn was so far
behind on points that even had he miraculously rallied over the last two rounds
it would not have come close to being enough to wipe out Tszyu’s insurmountable
a fighter every chance of winning is a noble intention on the surface, but in
doing so when the fight cannot be won is dangerous in the extreme.