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Hooks and jabs: Controversy erupts at Horn-Tsyzu weigh-in

Controversy erupted at Tuesday’s weigh-in for the all-Australian grudge match between former world champion Jeff Horn and young pretender Tim Tszyu.

Both fighters successfully made weight for their 154lbs encounter at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Wednesday, but Horn’s colourful trainer Glenn Rushton lit the fires of controversy by making allegations against two of the judges.

Rushton voiced his concerns about two officials, declaring an unsubstantiated conflict of interest. The trainer alleged that judge Chris Condon was formerly a cornerman for Tszyu’s celebrated father Kostya and judge Philip Holiday, a former world lightweight champion, had been overheard saying Tszyu will win on cuts. At present, both judges will still officiate on Wednesday.

Co-promoter Matt Rose was less than impressed with Rushton’s comments. “It’s pretty low to jump in front of national cameras to do so,” Rose told AAP. “We’re in Queensland, remember. We’re a long way from Sydney [where Tszyu is based].

“To question someone’s integrity on a national stage is actually disgusting.”

Horn-Tszyu will take place before an expected 16,000, socially-distanced fans in a fight that has gripped the imagination of Australian fight fans.

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WBC/IBF light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev will now meet Adam Deines in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on September 25.

Russian-born German Deines (19-1-1, 10 KOs) replaces China’s Meng Fanlong who has experienced visa issues. Ironically, Meng (16-0, 10 KOs) is the only man to have defeat Deines over in Macao in June 2019.

Monster-puncher Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) has not fought since halting Oleksandr Gvozdyk in 10 rounds in a unification bout in Philadelphia last October.

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Former WBO 175lbs champion Eleider Alvarez is likely to retire after his ninth-round loss to the heavy-handed Joe Smith Jr. at the weekend.

Alvarez (25-2, 13 KOs), who previously won and lost title matches against Sergey Kovalev, looked a shadow of his former self against Smith and trainer Marc Ramsay now hopes the Canada-based Colombian follows through on a previous promise to retire after his next defeat.

“We thought we were going to do one last lap together and that we were going to make sure it was fun,” Ramsay told The Montreal Journal.

“We were going to keep moving forward as long as it made sense. Against Smith, this is the first time that we saw that we were really not in the game. I want us to stop this. We must not forget that there is life after boxing.

“We had difficulties during camp [for the Kovalev rematch]. We continued to have them thereafter. I watch him in the gym. Eleider isn’t the same guy anymore. I’ve been seeing it for a while. The legs are not there as before. His metabolism slowed down. He just isn’t able to keep up and neither is his body.

“His metabolism is not what it used to be. The rounds in sparring are getting more and more complicated, regardless of the partners he has in front of him. We knew that the end was drawing near with him.”

Main image: Dave Hunt/AAP/PA Images.