With just under 3 weeks to go until Anthony Mundine continues on his quest to face Floyd Mayweather by the end of 2014, the former super middleweight and middleweight world champion, is deep into his 8 week training camp, at his gym in Sydney.
“It’s been a great camp, and I’m preparing as I always do, just eating, and living right, and making the sacrifices to reach my goals, and my destiny. I want Mayweather.”
When you talk to him, he isn’t just talking, you see it in his eyes. Mayweather is without doubt the biggest name in boxing, and by all accounts, it’s Mayweather who calls all the shots, as to who he fights. He is the Willy Wonker of boxing, and whoever he decides to give the golden ticket to, might not have a hope of beating the “Money” man in the ring, but one thing is for sure, his life, after the fight will never be the same again.
I asked Mundine if money was the driving force behind chasing Mayweather, and he said, “ I have money, I have made a lot of money, I’m a multi-millionaire, and I have done very well …this is not , and never was about the money. I want to fight the best, and I am chasing these fights for myself, and my legacy.
Mundine then proceeded to get ready for sparring. Today, the light welter weight, Lenny Zappavigna, was coming in for 9 rounds, to provide Mundine with some good high intensity work. Zappavigna is in training, for his next fight in april for the IBF Pan Pacific light welter title, , and if he wins, another step closer to world champion, Lamont Peterson.
Although lighter, and a bit shorter, he has a similar physique to Joshua Clottey, and brings a lot of aggression to the ring, every time he laces them up, so I was looking forward to this session.
From the first round, it was on. Zappavigna wasn’t holding back and it was clear he wanted to put in the work, as he pressured Mundine and tried to push him back, unloading power combinations to Mundine’s head, chest, and body. It was tremendous stuff. Although the younger man was pressing the action, you always felt that Mundine was just accommodating these barrages of punches, to get some good work in himself.
There wasn’t much science to it, just a good old fashioned tear up.
After 6 rounds, Mundine started to show his class, and used his strong jab to pick off light welter dynamo, finding the range and started to snap Zappavigna’s head back.
The last round was more of the same as Mundine threw the jab, threw the feint, and reigned down some cracking hooks and straight rights , catching Zappavigna coming in tired and wild. A tremendous end to the 9 rounds.
Mundine then worked for 6 minutes on the heavy bag, drilling the bag consistently, and every now and then , he would hammer it with flurries of power rips, up and down .
As I watched this guy I thought to myself, he really wants it. I had seen him train before, and watched him prepare for Shane Mosley, but I think he looked stronger, more beastlike, and seemed content in what he was doing, and focused on Joshua Clottey.
The Mosley fight, was a great result, and if it wasn’t, that would have been it for Mundine. This fight with Clottey is the same. It’s the same for Clottey. A win for the man from Ghana, and Mundine’s pursuit of facing Mayweather is over.
A win for Clottey, and it catapults him into the mix of fighters like Luis Collazo, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, and Danny Garcia, and the chance of getting the golden ticket.
Mundine has to win this fight., or it’s over. Simple.
To win, the jab has to be a in Clottey’s face , and bursting through his high defence pillars won’t be easy. For me, it’s left jab, right hand, and go downstairs with rips to Clottey’s body . Clottey will be dangerous early on but will slow down and throw flurries of punches behind his walk down defence stance. Mundine will have to stay on the outside as Clottey has one of the hardest heads in the Bronx, and he isn’t afraid to use it.
For Clottey to win, he must pressure Mundine and be in his face all night, throwing bombs, and get inside targeting the head of Mundine. If he boxes, he loses.”
I feel this fight will go the distance, as Mundine would be crazy to try and knock out a guy that’s never been stopped, and risk the chance of being caught by one of Clotteys hooks.
Mundine wins by 12 round unanimous decision.
Gary Todd has been involved in all aspects of the sport of boxing for over 25 years, and he is the international best selling author of “Workouts from boxings greatest champs , volumes 1 and 2.” Available at all good bookstores and online at www.amazon.co.uk and www.amazon.com