Feature | Premium | Jun 28 2019

Is Jeff Fenech the most outspoken person in boxing?

On the anniversary of his controversial draw with Azumah Nelson, Jeff Fenech discusses the 'f**king stupid dumb f**king judges' who ruined his life
Jeff Fenech
Action Images

THE veins in Jeff Fenech’s neck bulge like sandworms. He’s spitting angry, not with me, thankfully, but with the sport he loves, the sport he feels betrayed him. After a brief but successful amateur career, the “Marrickville Mauler” turned professional in 1984 and 196 days later, was IBF bantamweight champion. Fenech, who went on to become an unbeaten three-weight world champion, now admits the launch from obscurity was hard to cope with, but it was the infamous draw with WBC super-featherweight champion Azumah Nelson in 1991 that remains intolerable. It was his American debut, but the Las Vegas expedition turned sour at the final bell; Fenech looked like the winner to virtually everyone, but it was called a draw. He had been denied a world title in a fourth division. He didn’t know it then, but Fenech – whose record reads 29-3-1 (21) – would never be the same again, losing the rematch as his form plummeted. Now a fit 52, and with all the fearless rage that made him an all-time great, the Aussie sits down with Boxing News.

You were catapulted into fame quickly, which can bring its own problems.

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