By greg gulas
Last year Tom Miller logged over 55,000 air miles to judge 12 world championship fights.
In 2010, he logged 44,000 miles and boasts 497,000 frequent-flyer miles waiting to be cashed in.
With active memberships in five boxing organizations, the Mineral Ridge resident told the Curbstone Coaches at Monday’s weekly luncheon he must always be prepared for a phone call and ready to pack on a moment’s notice for an assignment.
“Serving as a judge on some of the organizations’ biggest fights has truly been a labor of love,” Miller said.
“My travels have taken me to places that I might never have visited, meeting many interesting people along the way. Almost every time I travel someone asks where I am from and I proudly reply Youngstown, Ohio.”
Considered one of the game’s premier judges, Miller has worked 72 world title fights and 23 regional title bouts.
He has worked 376 professional fights and 3,847 amateur bouts. Miller credits Duane Ford of Las Vegas and Glenn Feldman of Avon, Conn., as his role models; judges whom he has admired since moving from inside ropes to the judge’s chair.
“It is only my opinion, but I consider both Glenn and Duane to be the best two judges in the world and admire their demeanor prior to, during and after a fight,” he said.
“I had the chance to work with both of them this past year. They remain the ultimate professionals in my book and for me it was an experience if a lifetime.”
He calls all world title fight assignments important, but the one that stood out most last year was the WBO featherweight bout between Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez; not because Salido upset then-undefeated Lopez but because every round seemed to be action-packed from bell to bell.
Miller was also asked to review controversial fight outcomes and those in which a protest was lodged, so the sanctioning body could see how he would have scored the fight.
“It really is quite an honor when asked to review a fight’s outcome. So far I have done three such reviews and just to be considered is very humbling,” Miller said.
When asked about Kelly Pavlik and Jack Loew, he was quick to point out that both boxer and trainer still have plenty going on in their respective boxing lives despite their recent spilt.
“Boxers and trainers are like a marriage; it is not uncommon to disagree and bicker. When you are together for an extended period of time you are either going to stay together or get divorced,” Miller said.