A rival trainer has accused Jeff Fenech of being “above the law” after the Australian boxing legend and his charge Hass Hamdan were mysteriously absent from open media workouts in Sydney.
Hamdan (6-0), who is trained by Fenech, will take on Danvers Cuschieri (4-0) on the undercard of Tim Tszyu’s fight against Brian Mendoza on the Gold Coast on Sunday.
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But both Hamdan and Fenech were nowhere to be seen at Bondi Boxing Club in Waterloo, with Cuschieri and his trainer Ben Savva left to do the talking on their own as part of their fight week duties.
It’s understood Fenech and Hamdan were absent due to training commitments, but the snub didn’t go down well with Savva, who said Fenech believes he can abide by his own set of rules.
“Jeff Fenech, he’s above the law,” the English trainer told reporters.
“They don’t have to do what they’re told. They’ll turn up on fight night though.”
Savva also took a not so subtle swipe at four-time world boxing champion Fenech’s approach as a trainer.
“Jeff Fenech thinks everyone could train and fight like Jeff Fenech, and that makes them Jeff Fenech,” he said.
“But that’s not how it works.
“He was a very special fighter himself, but you can’t just copy and become that person. If only we could, I’d be Roy Jones Jr. tomorrow if that was the case.
“Hass is Hass, Danvers is Danvers, they’ll settle it amongst themselves.”
Fenech is a revered figure in Australian boxing and he hasn’t been afraid to use his stature to his advantage.
When Hamdan suffered a nasty cut during a fight in June, Fenech used every trick in the book to help his protege claim victory.
The official doctor tried to patch up Hamdan’s wound but shook his head and said it was “too big” for the fight to continue.
But seemingly just as the fight was about to be called off, Fenech screamed from his corner: “Let me fix it! Hey doc! Give me the chance to fix it!”
Fenech then attempted to patch up Hamdan’s cut with glue and somehow managed to persuade the referee to overrule the doctor’s instructions and let the fight continue.
It was a crucial call because had the fight been stopped before the fourth round ended, there would have been no result.
But Hamdan survived the last minute of the fourth round before the bout was finally stopped, claiming victory on points via unanimous decision.
The former world champion blatantly admitted afterwards he had used “Fenech privileges” to his advantage.
Fenech’s antics didn’t go unnoticed by Savva, who said: “We know that if it’s a remotely close fight, we’re not going to get any favours.
“Everyone’s in awe of Jeff Fenech. And fair enough, Jeff was an amazing fighter.
“But he’s the only man I’ve ever seen be able to overturn a referee’s decision in my life.
“It doesn’t matter, it’s not going to matter. There’s one thing that Danvers has got and it’s power. It’s going to be the difference on the night. He’s going to knock him out.
“Danvers knows the job at hand, we know what we’ve got to do.”