by Adam Santarossa: Anthony Mundine is the only fighter in history to have had all of his fights broadcast on PPV. The simple answer is Anthony Mundine equals money. Mundine reportedly made $700,000 from his boxing debut against Gerard Zohs way back in 2000. It was similar money to what he would have made only a year earlier for a full season with the St George/Illawarra Dragons.
Daniel Geale on the other hand would have been lucky to make a few thousand dollars from his debut fight, despite being a former Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
In fact it would have only been in his last few fights that Geale would have even ticked past the $700,000 payday Mundine earned on his debut, which is ultimately the very reason we have arrived at Geale v Mundine 2.
Daniel Geale is one of the greatest Australian fighters of all time. He currently holds the IBF Middleweight Title and was disgracefully stripped of the WBA Middleweight Title only weeks after winning it. He has gone to Germany twice and has come away with two world titles against top notch fighters in Sebastian Sylvester and Felix Sturm.
Yet despite all of this Geale can still walk down the street and the large majority will have no idea who he is. Geale doesn’t yet have the profile to match his in-ring ability, which was shown in reports that only 3000 pay per view sales were recorded for his recent Middleweight unification fight with Sturm. But that’s all set to change with this fight.
See Anthony “The Man” Mundine hasn’t fought his way to an IBF Middleweight World Title shot with Daniel Geale, he has been given the opportunity for two reasons.
A) As mentioned earlier, Anthony Mundine equals money. He is a compelling figure that draws publicity wherever he walks, and whether to see him win or knocked out, we all pay to see him fight.
B) Mundine is seen as being on the downward spiral. Knocked out by Garth Wood and most recently in action against journeyman, Bronco “Superman” McKart. The fact is Mundine is very beatable these days, especially to a fighter on the level of Geale.
In boxing fights are made with a variety of factors in mind. The ultimate formula that prevails is Risk vs. Reward. It’s the very reason fighters such as Roy Jones and Shane Mosley continue to get fights. They can sell tickets, yet they are also very beatable.
Geale could have made a defence against a tougher but largely unknown fighter and made half of what he will make against Mundine.
Yet by taking the Mundine fight he will make a good payday and “scratch the itch” that is his loss to Mundine in their first fight back in 2009, all the while increasing his ever-growing profile given the public interest and press coverage the fight will achieve.
Geale was unlucky to lose his IBO Middleweight Title against Mundine back in 2009 by way of split decision. There is an unwritten rule in boxing that in a close fight the decision tends to go the way of the champion given the challenger must win decisively to wrestle the title away, however Mundine got the result via split decision.
Geale’s camp filed a protest and the IBO had three independent judges score the fight, all of whom scored it in favour of Geale. Therefore the IBO commanded an immediate rematch between the pair. Mundine responded by vacating the title.
So if Mundine wasn’t interested in the rematch in 2009, then why now? The reason- He has no other options.
His recent excursion to the United States was a disaster. He sold an embarrassingly low number of tickets and raised little interest. All the challenges to Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and others went nowhere, as they were always going too. The journey even caused the end of his long term association with Khoder Nassar.
Mundine even turned down the one legitimate chance he had at taking on the world, his interim WBA title shot against Austin Trout, the very man who recently toppled Miguel Cotto. It could have been Mundine, if only he took the chance.
The fight with Geale is Mundine’s very last shot at achieving his lofty ambitions. An IBF Middleweight Title is sure to open doors and will be the first reputable world title in his collection.
For this very reason alone, no one should discount Anthony Mundine. He is hungry, he is desperate and he will give everything that he has in this fight. This Mundine is dangerous, he simply has nothing to lose. It is his Rocky moment, and a shot he probably doesn’t deserve.
Some of Mundine’s best performances have been on the biggest occasions, his fights with Danny Green and Antwun Echols case in point. He has spoken previously about struggling to get up for fights against opposition not on his level, which will not be a concern this time around.
For Mundine it is his last chance to leave a legacy that will be respected. For now there lies an asterix next to his name with the line “How good could he have been”. For all his talent, freakish ability and three world titles he has never truly fulfilled his potential, however he now rides the road to redemption, to leave the talk and bravado at the door and show his true character and show the world just how good a fighter he is.
A win for Mundine and new life is generated on a career that seemingly for now the lights are flickering.
A win for Geale and the country will have a hero whose standing and profile will match the size of his in-ring feats.
Strap yourselves in ladies and gentleman it’s going to be a blast!
Follow Adam on Twitter at @adamsantarossa