CURBSTONE COACHES Boxing judge gives insight on system
Veteran judge Tom Miller explained just how a boxing match is scored.
By BOB ROTH
CANFIELD -- There were plenty of questions for boxing judge Tom Miller at Monday's luncheon of the Curbstone Coaches at the Lockwood House.
Miller has been judging fights for a decade, starting on the amateur level in 1992 and later professional bouts in 1995. He has sat in for more than 1,200 amateur fights and 125 pro bouts with 21 for championships.
The most pertinent question, with relevance to pro boxing, was how he judges a fight?
"With the 10 point must system in use I look for clean punches from the knuckles and I always like to see a fighter who comes forward," said Miller. "I look for ring generalship which means a fighter knows what he is doing in the ring, but being aggressive means a lot to me, because that means a boxer has come to fight."
Miller said he is at the "intermediate" level of judge selection which means, "I get fights that older judges don't want to travel to."
Born in Austintown and a 1978 graduate of Fitch High, Tom resides in Mineral Ridge with his wife Judy. Miller earned a degree in accounting from YSU in 1983.
He began training for the late Art Mayorga in 1979 and after some club fights Miller went on the college circuit, where he had a 58-7 record. He won two Ohio Collegiate championships fighting as a 156-pounder and in 1983 in Detroit he won an NCAA national title.
"I knew I wasn't good enough to go pro so I got out of boxing in 1984," he said.
In 1990 he began helping Tony Maiorana train fighters and started judging Junior Olympic bouts in 1992.
Miller's biggest payday was for a featherweight title bout in New Orleans between Marco Antonio Barrera and Jose Valeuena for which he received $2,600 to judge. That fight, and a Johnny Tapia/Sammy Stewart featherweight title bout in Las Vegas, are his favorites.
"When I get an assignment I am called two weeks prior to the event. Travel, food and hotel expenses [are] taken care of by those who do the hiring," he said.
Miller has judged fights in Paris, London, Germany and Argentina.
"It is a great experience," Miller said, "and regardless of where I go when Youngstown is brought up, it is recognized as one of America's great boxing towns."
He still judges amateur boxing at every level and will be ringside in Hubbard for the KO Drugs Tournament Wednesday night.