Boxing

Siaca takes Mundine's title with split decision

07.05.04 - By Tony Nobbs - Puerto Rico’s Manny Siaca won the WBA Super Middleweight title with a split decision over defending holder Anthony Mundine at the Sydney Entertainment Centre last night. Though the bout never rose to any great heights as far as consistent action it was an evenly contested contest and after a strong Mundine round in the eleventh the result was still up for grabs going into the final three minutes. In the end, after the two embraced at the start of the twelveth it was Siaca – in his fourth bid at the title- outworking his fellow 28 year old Mundine who shut up shop until the decision that he and his team felt he had earned. If he had finished with more urgency Anthony might still be wearing the belt today.

A right uppercut - left hook knocked Mundine down after the ten second warning in round two. The Australian also hit the deck in the sixth (ruled a slip) which many ringsiders thought was from a Siaca right hand and he also slipped in a neutral corner in the tenth, for a few seconds looking like he damaged his right ankle that he injured when slipping on a wet patch in sparring early last week. The majority of the bout saw Siaca stalking forward pressuring Mundine who won his rounds with more accurate punching-mostly just in ones. In rounds seven and eight Anthony appeared to be gathering momentum, stepping up the pace and throwing more, being up a point on this card with four rounds to go. A few Mundine rights connected cleanly on Siaca over the course with a right uppercut landing flush in the eleventh. Tough Manny never budged. If it was going to end early, it was clear Siaca would be the man standing. As the fight wore on, large sections of the 7000 strong crowd got behind their man with chants of “Mundine Mundine."

In January I wrote that Siaca will give Mundine reason to be on his A-Game. He wasn’t. Perhaps, he was not allowed to be. The official verdicts were 115-113 (twice) and 113-114. Eastside scored it 114-113 for Siaca who deserves credit for coming into the talented Mundine’s hometown and taking the title.

Eastside gave Siaca rounds 2, 4, 6, 9, 10 and 12. The knockdown being the difference. With the win Manny becomes the first Puerto Rican 168 lb world champ and the 23rd world champion his father Manny Snr has trained.

Article posted on 07.05.2004



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