When boxing judge Tom Miller calls the world his workplace, he literally means that when he goes to work it can be anywhere.
The Mineral Ridge resident, who will be honored on June 1 by Lights Out Management for lifetime achievement, has been selected as a presenter this week at the IBF Judge’s Convention in Berlin, Germany.
The 53 year-old international judge is a member of seven boxing organizations: WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO, USBA and NABF.
He started judging amateur boxing in 1992 and has judged 3,945 amateur bouts. More than 2,100 have come during K.O. Drugs’ annual high school boxing competition.
“To receive a lifetime achievement award is a tremendous individual honor, but I’m the first to admit that there are many people who share in this honor because of the help that they have given me along the way,” Miller said. “I was really surprised to receive such an honor from my hometown because everywhere that I go I make sure the world knows that I am from Youngstown, Ohio.
“As a judge, to then be asked to present by such a noteworthy governing body like the IBF is just icing on the cake.”
His 45-minute presentation this week is designed to help other officials, spotlighting everything from the time they receive their assignment to when he or she returns to their own driveway.
“I expect other officials to chime in with their preparation secrets as well so while many questions will come from those in the audience, there will be a variety of answers to those questions,” Miller said.
Miller’s presentation will begin with assignment notification and include key points regarding initial contact, supervisor relationship, promoter relationship, travel tips, concentration mode, why it is important to rest, pre-fight thought, arena entrance, post-fight analysis and return home notification.
In addition to his amateur association, Miller began judging professionally in Ohio in 1994. He has judged 398 pro bouts, including 103 title contests. Seventy-nine have been world title bouts.
“There are so many great boxing names associated with the city of Youngstown; it remains my honor to let others know how proud we are of their many accomplishments,” Miller said. “As for this lifetime achievement award, I remain humbled and at the same time proud to even be mentioned in the same company as fighters Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini, Harry Arroyo, Jeff Lampkin, Greg Richardson, Randy Stephens, Mike Koranicki and the many others who hail from the Mahoning Valley.
“Men like Bernie Profato, Sal Marino, Tony Maiorana; local trainers like Jack Loew, Tom Cordell, Larry Filer, Keith Burnside, Sammy Calderon and Bobby Plegge; and guys like Pat and Chuck Nelson, all of whom have been instrumental in putting that Youngstown foundation together have all been very, very special.”
Miller credits Maiorana with getting him started as a judge, calling his wife, Judy, and daughter Isabella the most special of all because they put up with his crazy schedule.
“The biggest foundation in my life is my wife Judy,” Miller said. “She always makes sure that I am packed and looking good and it is all because of her. She is a true optimist in the world of boxing.
“I never thought judging would become this big for me yet while the assignments are very special, the most special feeling remains when I get back into the country, especially after a world title fight and see old glory at the customs counter,” Miller said.
Miller has logged 527,000 frequent flyer miles.
He’ll pick up another 9,500 air miles when he heads to Berlin.
Greg Gulas writes about boxing for The Vindicator. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.