By: Hans Themistode
Jr middleweight contender Jeff Horn may have only one path to victory tomorrow morning against Tim Tszyu.
The Australian born contender has done everything that he has needed to do for his upcoming contest. The sparring was intense, plenty of miles were ran and the conditioning tests were top notch. But still, Horn will be at a decided disadvantage.
Judges have one job during any contest, and that is to be fair and impartial as they give their opinion on who won the contest they are watching. Yet for judge Chris Condon, many are questioning whether or not he will be able to do just that.
That aforementioned judge has been assigned to the Horn vs Tszyu contest that takes place in Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Australia tomorrow morning. It wasn’t that long ago that Condon would accompany Tszyu’s father, hall of famer Kosta Tszyu, to the ring for his bouts. He would also allow Tim to have access to his gym when he was growing up.
With the playing field seemingly uneven, Horn’s trainer, Glenn Rushton, has voiced his concern.
“That does concern me just a little bit,” said Glenn Rushton. “I don’t like judges going in with a preconceived view of the outcome of the fight. All I’ve ever asked is just for a fair go. I don’t want to say it after the fight cause everyone will say it’s sour grapes.”
To make matters worse, another judge finds themselves in the middle of controversy as well.
Phil Holiday, the second of three judges, has reportedly quietly given his opinion on who will win their contest. Claiming that Horn comes straight forward with his head which produces a number of cuts and would lead to a win for Tszyu.
Following the news of the allegations, chief official Derek Milham explained that Holiday was only speaking of Horn’s bad habits. Still, all of this controversy surrounding their contest has rubbed Rushton the wrong way.
“I went and spoke to the judge in question,” said Milham during a recent interview. “He’s quite embarrassed and apologized to me about it. He’s very, very professional. Someone asked him and he made the comment that there is some chance that Horn could get cut, he said to me he didn’t predict anything.”
“But he made the comment that if Horn loses it, it could be through cut eyes. He apologized to me. It’s a shame it’s gone this way because we had a conference call with Glenn Rushton [weeks ago]. I think it’s a bit of a tactic actually.”
Everything is pointing in the favor of Tszyu. But regardless of the unfair advantages, WBO global chairman Danny Leigh has claimed that both judges will be innocuous and play by the rules.
“Everyone is getting into everyone’s mind, in my opinion,” said Leigh. “The judges are like the fighters, they want to do world titles as well. So if they perform correctly in a fight like this, that’s when sanctioning bodies look at them and give them a world title fight. If they do the wrong thing, the whole world is watching this now. As far as I’m concerned we have the right officials.”
Whether or not both officials will be unbiased is an ambiguous question. However, Horn now finds himself having to deal with the three opponents on the night instead of one.