Horn trainer’s crazy excuse for carnage
Aussie boxing legend Jeff Fenech has called for Jeff Horn's trainer to hand in his license after refusing to stop Tim Tszyu's demolition of his fighter.
Fenech continued his war of words with Glenn Rushton, who he criticised before, during and after Horn's eighth-round TKO defeat on Wednesday night which only ended when another member of the Queenslander's corner told the referee to stop the fight.
Rushton was overheard asking Horn "what do you want to do?" and if he wanted to go out for "one more minute" as the former world champion sat slumped in his corner a beaten man.
"For me it was pretty sad, it was quite obvious that Jeff didn't want to fight, he just had a really, really bad day at the office," Fenech told Sporting News.
"To be asked a question sitting in the corner 'do you want to fight?' that's not Jeff's job … it was Glenn Rushton's job - if he knows his job - which its quite obvious that he doesn't.
"Glenn Rushton put Jeff Horn in a terrible position last night and I think it's time that we look how we give our licences for people to train people if that's the kind of person that's in the corners of fighters in Australia … it's very, very dangerous.
"I don't want people to think I've got something big against Glenn Rushton because I don't.
"As a person, I'm sure he's a great guy but as a boxing trainer, he needs to give that license back and do what he's good at, go and do something else where you don't have the life of someone else in your hands when you can't handle that."
But Rushton is standing his ground in the face of an avalanche of criticism. Even if his excuses are slightly concerning.
"Was Jeff badly hurt? No. Was he excessively fatigued? No. What reason was there for stopping the fight, other than that he was losing the fight?" Rushton said.
"So we've got a footy team, 10 minutes from the end they're losing by 30 points we say 'that'll do it boys, let's just call it quits'? Of course not."
Rushton appeared to forget footy teams aren't risking their lives by staying in a game for another 10 minutes. But he insists Horn still had a chance to win.
"People expect you to deliver the best performance you can and if you're unhurt, potentially in boxing it only takes one punch to end the fight," he said. "Jeff Horn always had that puncher's chance of ending that fight and we know he can to do it, he's done it before.
"The same thing happened in the (Manny) Pacquiao fight and we didn't (stop it). I didn't argue this time because the fire was gone. Would you encourage a champion to perform well, or would you let him chuck in the towel?"
Rushton also hit back at Fenech, saying he had no right to criticise him as a trainer.
"I don't really concern myself ever with what Jeff (Fenech) says," Rushton said.
"Jeff is very opinionated and he jumps up and down and says things. When Jeff's trained somebody to beat someone of the calibre of Manny Pacquiao then he can criticise my training abilities.
"I haven't yet seen Jeff train anyone who's beaten the calibre of Manny Pacquiao so I don't think it's fair for him to offer criticism. It is what it is.
"Jeff (Horn) was not hurt. If he was badly hurt and been knocked down repeatedly, there could be some flak of course, but we saw what happened in his last fight (against Michael Zerafa)."
But Fenech has been in a similar position when he trained Mike Tyson in his final fight against Kevin McBride in 2005 despite Tyson leading on two of the three scorecards at the time.
"I've trained Mike Tyson, I stopped the fight," Fenech said. "Mike didn't want to stop the fight and I take the blame, it falls with me."
Fellow fighter Adam Copland, the man who ended up telling the referee to stop the fight, explained what happened in Horn's corner.
"Glenn was asking Jeff 'do you want to keep going' and Jeff's never going to quit - he doesn't have it in him, but he wasn't responding (to Rushton) either," Copland told Sporting News after the fight.
"He just didn't look good. He had too much heart for his own good.
"In the rounds, he (Rushton) was saying 'show me something' so he was getting there, but he wanted to give Jeff a chance."
Originally published as Horn trainer's crazy excuse for carnage