Lennox Head world title fight referee John Wright
Lennox Head world title fight referee John Wright

Johnny on the spot


THE international boxing career of Lennox Head's John Wright just keeps on going.

Hot on the heels of judging Kostya Tszyu's title fight against Sharmba Mitchell last November, Wright has been appointed as referee for Australian Robbie Peden's International Boxing Federation super featherweight title defence tomorrow night against American Nate Campbell in Melbourne.

And judging by yesterday's explosive press call involving the two combatants, he may have his work cut out for him.

Wright prefers to referee in the middle rather than be out of the ring as one of the judges.

"But there's more money in refereeing and not many people could say they have refereed a world title fight."

Despite his appointment, Wright admits to not knowing much about Peden or Campbell.

"He's (Peden) been out of the country for a while," he said.

"He's fought him before, but I can't say I've ever seen Peden fight.

"It'll be interesting."

Peden won the IBF title 11 months ago in the US against Campbell in a boilover.

Campbell was way ahead on points but dropped his hands to mock the Australian who then ended the fight dramatically with a vicious left hook.

Peden has lived in the US since competing for Australia at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

The two-time Australian Olympian will start as underdog tomorrow night, despite being the title-holder.

The bout will be staged at Melbourne's Vodafone Arena which is the home of the Australian Tennis Open.

Peden's title defence caps off a strong card, including Shannon Taylor and Sam Soliman.

Wright has refereed an IBF world title fight before.

Just prior to judging Tszyu in November, he was in Indonesia adjudicating Muhammed Rachman's mini-flyweight successful title defence against Daniel Reyes.

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