The 15-year veteran has judged 51 title bouts.
By GREG GULAS
BOARDMAN — Still recuperating from his most recent judging assignment in Yokohama, Japan, Tom Miller of Mineral Ridge was anything but tired Monday when he addressed the Curbstone Coaches membership at the Blue Wolf Banquet Center.
A veteran boxing judge with 51 title fights under his belt, he has also judged more 3,000 amateur bouts and 260 professional fights, never once losing the passion at any of the aforementioned levels when approached for his services.
“I got into judging totally by accident. In May 1993, Tony Maiorana and I took a group of Junior Olympics fighters to Cleveland and they needed a judge when someone failed to show,” Miller said. “I asked Tony if he thought I should judges and when he told me to go for it, so began my judging career.
“I judged a bout that featured two 8-year-olds and got a real education,” Miller said. “I liked it so much I decided to pursue the profession, going from the amateur ranks to the professional ranks to currently doing both when I am asked.
“I did my first title fight in Steubenville, a WBO event and from there everything just seemed to take off for me,” Miller said.
Miller, a graduate of Austintown Fitch High School and Youngstown State University, is licensed by the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, USBA, NABF and the U.S. Amateur.
In addition to his fights in the states he has also judged bouts in Germany, Denmark, France, Puerto Rico, England, Panama, Hungary, Russia, the Dominican Republic, Japan, China and Australia.
Miller makes anywhere from $1,300 to $3,500 per fight, noting the larger the purse for the fighters, the larger his payday as well.
A good year for a judge is three title assignments. Last year, Miller was called upon no less than nine times. With one title fight already under his belt in ’08, he will undoubtedly be called upon several more times for his services before the year is out.
Some of the well-known names that Miller has judged include: heavyweights Lamon Brewster, Sergei Lykhovich, Andrew Golata and Evander Holyfield; super middleweight Joe Calzaghe; middleweights Felix Sturm and local favorite and world champion Kelly Pavlik; lightweight Angel Manfredy; featherweights Marco Antonio Berrera and Johnny Tapia; and welterweights Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto.
He added that the scoring system is different for the pros, amateurs and for those who judge the Olympics.
When judging a professional bout, the 10 point must system is used where the winner of the round gets 10 points, and the loser nine, eight or seven points.
The amateurs are scored by the clicker system where the total number of punches are tabulated while the Olympics use a computer; a fighter earning a point when three of the five judges can agree within a second of when a punch is delivered.
Miller feels that Pavlik has already brought great publicity to the Mahoning Valley and should win his rematch with Jermain Taylor on Feb. 16.
“It won’t go seven rounds this time. I’d say just four, possibly five rounds,” Miller said. “Kelly easily has nine years of fighting left so don’t be surprised if after his next two or three bouts as a middleweight, you see him move up in class.
“I’d anticipate him going to super middleweight, then light heavyweight and he might even fight as a cruiserweight before it is all over,” Miller said.