So I was watching Wide World Of Sports this morning and caught the interview with Anthony Mundine. And I have to admit, I like The Man….
Here’s the thing, I’ve spent the better part of five years overseas and while I’m pretty sure he never stopped talking himself up that whole time, I never had to hear it, never had the chance to get sick of it.
His cocky self assuredness bought a smile to my face this morning – he’s good for boxing, and for Aussie sport in general. He creates an interest in boxing that would not otherwise be there whether you’re in his corner or not.
Harder To Take Back In His League Days
Originally back in his rugby league days, like of the sport’s supporters I had a bit of a problem with his claims that he was the best at his position in the world and was being discriminated against. Especially when at the time he was running around against the likes of Laurie Daley and Brad Fittler.
And while he is no less confident in his abilities now, there is more of a knowing humour to it, a subtle wink to the audience that lets you know he’s in on the joke where before it was probably a case of the brashness of youth.
And in a way what he said back then was true of what most other top level sports stars believe.
To beat the best you must believe you are the best and even if the majority of the league supporting public disagreed with him, Mundine’s belief that he was the best allowed him to raise his game against the top players. He was never disgraced in his battles with these players, acquitting himself well and sometimes coming away with the points.
As A Late Starter He Has Done Pretty Well In Boxing
It is this self belief that may see him truly achieve his boxing potential over the next couple of years. Take away the force of his personality and have a look at what he has achieved as a boxer and you can’t help but be impressed. He only took up the sport professionally at the age of 25 where the majority of his competitors were beating up on each other in the ring before their voice had broken.
He has managed to claim a couple of world titles, but his most impressive display would have to be his victory over Danny Green…just as predicted by Mundine
There are many boxers who don’t reach their peak until their early to mid thirties, and if this is the case with
Mundine then his plans to fight in the U.S from the middle of this year onwards may see him reach the truly great heights he has talked about for so long.
On May 27th he will fight talented Tasmanian Daniel ‘The Real Deal’ Geale in Brisbane for the IBO middle weight title. Mundine claims there is a chance this will be his last fight in Australia for some time as he looks to hit the big time with possible fights against tough opposition in Kelly Pavlik and Felix Sturm.
Either of those fights would set the stage for some massive exposure in the U.S.
I think the one area where Mundine is lacking is in his ability to knock an opponent out, with the majority of his victories, especially in the last few years being by points decision. This shows that his boxing and ring craft are of a high standard but his weaponry may see him struggle against some of the top names in his division.
The fight against Geale next month should be a good indication of where he’s at and it won’t be long after that before we know whether some bigger fights are on the cards.
It would be a good thing for boxing in Australia if they were.
P.S while Mundine has publicly dismissed the idea, Danny Green has said he’s confident of there being a rematch next year…and sportsbetting have Mundine as favourite at the moment at $1.55, with Green at $2.40