Mundine vs Clavero Monday Night

By Tony Nobbs: Depending on who you talk to, he is either Australia's most popular or unpopular athlete. In the fourteen years since his 1st grade debut in the Australian Rugby League Competition Anthony Choc Mundine has been a human head line. This past week was no different as it was claimed in the media he labeled Australia's Golden Girl of The Track, Cathy Freeman “a sell out” to Aboriginal people because of her ties to the corporate sector.. Whether Mundine said it or not, is unclear, if you believe him, he did not, as he hit back at the reports saying he never said it. I tend to believe “The Man” that at worst, he was taken out of context, but it has made a lot of people, who would other wise be none the wiser, realize he actually has a world title fight coming up. Then this week, the respected Dr Lou Lewis, who's due to be on duty tonight (Monday) night when the WBA “regular” 168 pound titlist puts the belt up against WBA number 15 and fellow 32 year old Jose Clavero, at the Sydney Entertainment Center, is exaggerating the extent of his lack of sight.

In all, there has been more interest on these two subjects than the actual fight. Little known Clavero has fought twice in his country previously, being stopped by Mundine victim Sam Soliman and losing by disqualification against then WBC light heavyweight number one Paul Briggs. He was especially disappointing last year against Briggs, as it was clear from round one that he did not really want to be there. The limited Argentine has lost four out his last seven starts, his most recent outing being a draw with Ruben Acosta in February. Acosta was counted out in four by a left to the body, by Mundine in November last year.

Sydney sider Mundine (29-3, 22 KO's) was last in action out pointing Pablo Nieves, another Argentine in his first defense, on the Gold Coast in Queensland. This is the 32 year old Mundine's second reign as “regular” champ.

This writer was critical of Mundine's comments regarding 9/11 but I've met him on a few occasions, spent a bit of time with him and watched him in the gym. He actually visited my home in 1997, with his cousin, rugby league star Wes Patten, while he was playing for the Brisbane Bronco's in the Super League. One on one, away from the media, I can't fault the bloke. As a fighter, he is Australia's best pound for pound today and the worlds number three in his division.

Unless Clavero (27-5-1, 13 KO's) pulls of a miracle, the upset of the year, the big fight at super middle is with Joe Calzaghe, but Choc is yet to face a left hander, and Joe is chasing bigger names to wind down his great career. If Danny Green can lift the WBA title of light heavyweight champion Stipe Drews in Perth next weekend, a multi million dollar rematch will almost surely be set up.

The live telecast on Main Events PPV begins at 7 pm AEDST.

Article posted on 09.12.2007

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