On Tszyu duty ? Lennox Head man to judge Kostya title defence
By STEVE SPINKS
JOHN Wright doesn't get it wrong very often.
Which is why the Lennox Head local will be one of three judges when the undisputed super lightweight boxing champion of the world, Australian Kostya Tszyu, defends his International Boxing Federation belt against American Sharmba Mitchell on November 7.
Wright is the only Australian judge to be involved in the fight and he will leave for Phoenix, USA, next Tuesday.
"I never thought I would have been involved with this fight," an elated Wright said.
"They rang me last Saturday and told me.
"I thought I was a chance of being involved with a fight in England ... I never gave it (Tszyu fight) a thought."
The appointment to Tszyu's title defence comes hot on the heels of Wright refereeing an IBF world title fight in Indonesia last month.
Wright got to be in the middle as Indonesian, Muhammed Rachman, defended his mini-flyweight world title against Colombian Daniel Reyes.
"It was the first world title I've been involved in for years," Wright said.
"When Rachman hit Reyes, the whole crowd would yell out.
"But when Reyes hit Rachman there would be this dead silence."
The last time (before Indonesia) Wright officiated at a world title was when the Marrickville Mauler, Jeff Fenech, was in his prime in the mid-80s.
Wright knows the harsh public perception of boxing officials is somewhere between a tele-marketer and a James Hardie executive, but he reckons sometimes they get a bad wrap.
"Quite often if you sit in different parts of the ring you see different things," he said.
"It's very hard to judge a fight on television."
Wright explained the vagaries of being a boxing judge.
"You work on who landed the most punches to the scoring part of the body (front)," he said.
"If you can't separate them you look at who was the most aggressive. And if you still can't split them you look for ring craft.
"Normally it doesn't come down that far and the IBF is the same as NSW in that they don't like to have even rounds."
When he's not moonlighting as an international man of boxing, Wright can be found running the Lennox Head Health and Fitness Centre with business partner Gavin Tierney.
Despite usually seeing the fight the Wright way, the experienced judge is hoping for an easy night.
"Obviously it's a lot easier if someone is knocked out," he laughed.