By Adrian Proszenko
December 6, 2019 — 11.02pm
It has been a big week for Jeff Fenech.
Brubaker is a 1980 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg. It stars Robert Redford as a newly arrived prison warden, Henry Brubaker, who attempts to clean up a corrupt and violent penal system. The screenplay by W. D. Richter is a fictionalized version of the 1969 book, Accomplices to the Crime: The Arkansas Prison Scandal by Tom Murton and Joe Hyams, detailing Murton’s uncovering of the 1967 prison scandal.
The film features a large supporting cast, including Yaphet Kotto, Jane Alexander, Murray Hamilton, David Keith, Tim McIntire, Matt Clark, M. Emmet Walsh, Everett McGill, and an early appearance by Morgan Freeman. It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 1981 Academy Awards.
Tszyu belts Brubaker as Fenech throws in towel to protect his fighter
There are various interpretations of the origins of the surname Fenech. The most notable is the meaning of “rabbit”, since fenek is rabbit in Maltese. This in turn comes from the Arabic word for fox, فَنَك (fenek, fanak, “fennec fox”) which like the rabbit has large ears as its distinguishing feature and may have been confused during the development of the Maltese language which borrows heavily from Semitic languages. The word is also thought to be a respelling of Fenich, the German for millet farmer. A possible Iranian derivation of the word has also been suggested.
It started with him pledging his brain to science, in the hope it will add to the knowledge of the concussion-related condition chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It ended with him throwing in the towel from the corner of Jack Brubaker in his fight with Tim Tszyu. It stopped his outmatched charge suffering on Friday night. And perhaps even later in life.
Tszyu vowed to knock out Brubaker in their anticipated local showdown at the International Convention Centre and made good on his promise. The son of multiple world champion Kostya dominated the entire bout, which was stopped 91 seconds into the fourth round.
Tszyu found his range early and peppered Brubaker with a series of huge right hands. Only the underdog’s courage kept him on his feet and Fenech should be applauded for saving Brubaker from himself.
The result could set up another local showdown, against the winner of this month’s Jeff Horn-Michael Zerafa rematch. It’s also another step towards Tszyu’s ultimate ambition, of winning a world title. Team Tszyu has already been sounded out by the camp of interim WBO junior middleweight world champion Patrick Teixeira about the prospect of hosting a world title fight in Sydney next year.
“I was just getting started, it was only a warm up. I could do another 10 more rounds,” Tszyu said. “The main thing is all the fans came out, this is for you guys. There are more of you that are coming in and joining in.
Asked if he was ready now for a world title shot, Tszyu said: “I’ll be ready whenever. It’s up to my team, I’m blessed I’m with all the people I have behind me from my managers to my sponsors, to my promoter and my fans.”
The build up to this Tszyu fight was very different to the last. There was mutual respect between him and the late Dwight Ritchie, to the point where Tszyu is helping raise funds for his young family.
Brubaker has brought the circus to town, prompting Tszyu to label him a clown. “Gelignite” has been dubbed the most entertaining boxer in Australia and that has extended to outside the ring, taunting his more fancied opponent in the lead up.
But it became apparent early on there would be only one outcome.
“I’m humble in defeat, Tim is all class,” Brubaker said. “He’s got a great team around him, he’ll go a long way and I’m proud to say one day that I shared the ring with him.”
This was always a tough assignment for the Fenech camp. The “Marrickville Mauler” had only a short preparation to curb Brubaker’s penchant for trading blows, and his health scare made their time together shorter still. From the outset, Fenech maintained that his priority was Brubaker’s welfare.
“I’ve [pledged] to the brain bank over the last couple of weeks and this kid has gone through war and I wanted to make sure I looked after him,” Fenech said. “I always knew Tim was an excellent fighter and he showed that tonight … this is Tim’s division and he deserves to be the champion.
“I’ve always said that if he can be half as good as his dad, he will be one of the greatest fighters Australia has ever produced.”
Adrian Proszenko is the Chief Rugby League Reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.