Love, Hate, Tragedy and the Trail Back- Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine

10.06.04 - By Eddy Manning: Whether you have seen him fight or not, there’s a good chance you have heard the name mentioned or brought up before. There is no denying that Anthony Mundine is a superstar and like any superstar he has his detractors, but that is what makes Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine exactly that, ‘The Man.

Since making the jump from superstar Rugby League player to super middleweight prize fighter, publicity and controversy has followed Anthony Mundine around ready for the good, bad and ugly. Mundine, who has never been media shy and is always ready to stir up some controversy, has relished all the attention and seems to thrive on what most sporting stars would say, is nothing more than a distraction.

Throughout a four year career Mundine has compiled a record of 21 Wins and only 2 losses including a recent stint as the WBA Supper middleweight champion. Every step of the way the boxing public as well as sports fans in general have watched with interest. In the history of Australian boxing, fans have not yet seen such a brash, cocky, confident and controversial fighter as Mundine and they are enjoying it. Newspaper and Television coverage is never a problem for ‘The Man’ and Australians are always curious to know ‘How is Anthony Mundine going lately’.

But recently all of that has looked like falling apart. Mundine lost a split decision and his WBA title to Puerto Rican Manny Siacca in May of this year and with it lost a large portion of his public interest. Everybody was quick to jump on Anthony Mundine, calling his win over Antwun Echols nothing more than a fluke and becoming unconvinced yet again, that The Man could not contest it on the world stage. Mundine said he would return and avenge his defeat to Siacca, and so the road back begun….

Last month in his first bout since the loss, Mundine faced cagey veteran Sean Sullivan whom in his previous bout had gone the distance with Danny Green. In the only way he knew he could, Mundine ran all over Sullivan, demonstrating his lightning fast hand speed and razor sharp combinations on the way to a 10th round TKO victory- The first stoppage in Sullivan’s career. Mundine said after the fight that he felt more physically strong than ever and he had a new found confidence in his power after a visit to the Jones Jr camp in America. So where to now for The Man?

Another ‘comeback’ fight on October 13th will pit Mundine up against Australian Super middleweight champion Juarne Dowling, who is known for standing in front of his opponents and not backing down. The bout will no doubt a tough test for Mundine but one he has to pass in order to continue on his title hunt. Entitled to a shot at the winner of the upcoming Manny Siacca Vs Mads Larsen title match if he defeats Dowling, Mundine has an extra incentive.

In the coming months we will see the real Anthony Mundine and we will have our questions answered. ‘Is he legitimate?’ ‘Was his title reign a fluke?’ ‘Did he get cheated out of his title?’ and most importantly of all ‘Can he become champion again?’ Anthony Mundine seems to think so- He had these final words for Larsen and Siacca

"I'm the best out there” "That's all I need to say and I'm going to prove it within the years to come. After I get my belt back, I want to go for greatness and hit the US market in a way that it has never been hit. Let them know my story and where I came from. Let them see an athlete they have never seen before."

Article posted on 06.10.2004

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