Trainer Glenn Rushton has been a man under fire for his reluctance to stop the fight when his boxer Jeff Horn was comprehensively beaten by Tim Tszyu on Wednesday night.
Commentators, fans and particularl boxing legend Jeff Fenech have slammed Rushton's actions after he was heard on the broadcast of the fight, asking Horn whether he could keep fighting in the ninth round, when he'd already copped eight rounds of beating.
'CHAMPION': Horn's classy post-fight act for Tim Tszyu
The trainer could be heard on the broadcast asking Horn: “Have you got a punch left in you or not? Give us a minute," despite his fighter and other team members indicating that he'd had enough.
His actions were branded "disgraceful and "embarrassing" in the boxing world, with many people arguing that he should have his training license revoked as a result.
Rushton is having none of it, however, arguing that Horn proved against Manny Pacquiao that he is never out of a fight.
“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.”
Fenech pointed out, however, that unlike a footy team the trainer has a duty of care for his fighter and claims Rushton failed when it came to protecting Horn's safety.
“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," Fenech told Sporting News.
'In boxing, it only takes one punch to end the fight'— Sporting News Australia (@sportingnewsau) August 27, 2020
There was plenty of controversy surrounding Glenn Rushton's decision not to throw in the towel for Jeff Horn.
What do you make of his defence of his actions?#Boxing #HornTszyu pic.twitter.com/pROktJELUg
“Glenn Rushton put Jeff Horn in a terrible position... 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.”
Rushton insists that because Horn was not hurt, his team had every right to give their man one last chance to land a knockout punch.
“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.
Rushton points to Horn victory over Pacquiao
“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?”
The trainer also returned fire at Fenech, saying he never concerns himself with the thoughts of the Aussie boxing legend.
“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).”
As it turned out, Horn's cornerman Adam Copland was the man who eventually signalled for the referee to stop the fight.
He explained to Sporting News after the fight how it all went down.
“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 said.
“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.”