By Tony Nobbs: Boxing’s first ever All Sydney showdown for a world championship takes place at the Cities Entertainment Center on Wednesday night when Anthony Mundine (33-3, 23 KO’s) puts his regular WBA 168 lb strap on the line against veteran hard man Nader Hamden (40-5- 18 KO’s).A winner of his first 32 bouts who was once the top contender to Oscar De La Hoya when the Golden Boy held the WBC title at super welterweight, Hamden recently slipped into the WBA’s top 15 at super middleweight..
A popular fighter amongst Aussie fans, “Lionheart” as 34 year old Nader is known, spent time in a boys home as a juvenile, is as game as they come and won’t leave the ring wondering. He is a good warhorse but probably not good enough to dethrone multi talented Mundine, 32, who is making the third defense in this his second reign.
Mundine, trained by his dad Tony, spent two weeks on the Gold Coast sparring for the fight and finished with a twelve round session on February 15, putting a show on against five partners, Les Sherrington, Daniel Baff, James Chan, Clinton Johnson and amateur champ Wade Foley.
Hamden has had eight weeks to ready, after taking a lot if his fights of late at short notice and by reports has had a great preparation, giving himself his best shot at an upset, training under the guidance of the brilliant Billy Hussein.
Hamden sparred Mundine prior to the Aboriginals title loss to Manny Sciaca in 2004. Nader first challenged Anthony in mid 2000, when Mundine was just 1-0 after turning to boxing following a career at the elite level in Rugby League. At the time “The Man” refused saying he wouldn’t fight a Muslim brother. Hamden’s then Team Fenech stable mate Ian Mc Leod, a PABA champ faced Mundine in December that year, in Anthony’s fourth fight, going down in nine one sided rounds.
Mundine was last in action in December stopping Argentine Jose Alberto Clavero in round four at this same venue. Hamden’s most recent contest was a points loss over eight rounds to WBA number 13 Mads Larsen on the road in August.
In an interesting heavyweight under card bout, Solomon Haumono (13-0, 13 whacks) is slated to face journeyman American Tommy Connelly (17-11, 13 KO’s). Heavy handed Haumono, 32 year old son of former Australian and OPBF heavyweight champ Maile, is ranked number three by the ANBF and is trained by legend local trainer Johnny Lewis, who has high hopes for his charge. As with child hood mate Mundine, easy to like Sol is a former top level rugby league star, playing both here and the UK. Connelly,26, has been in with Ruslan Chagaev and Kali Meehan and should give Sol’s team a fair guide to where he is at.
Also scheduled on the bill are Peter Miterevski, Daniel Baff, Peter Kazzi, Kerry Foley, Zac Awad and Ahmed Elomar.
Main Event Pay Per View Telecast starts at 6 pm Sydney Time.