Anthony Mundine

Anthony Mundine (born 21 May 1975) is an Indigenous Australian boxer and former rugby league player. He is a former two-time WBA Super Middleweight champion. Mundine was trained by his father, Tony Mundine, who was a middleweight contender during the 1970s.

Mundine has had a stormy relationship with the media. His conversion to Islam in 1999, self-promotion and outspoken opinions have created a love-hate relationship with the Australian public. He was named the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Person of the Year in 2000. He has also won The Deadlys Award as Male Sportsperson of the Year in 2003, 2006 and 2007 amongst others.

Rugby league

Born in Newtown, in the inner west of Sydney in 1975, Mundine played junior rugby league for Hurstville United, before signing with the St. George Dragons in 1993. He played in the 1993 Grand Final, which the Dragons lost to his future team, the Brisbane Broncos.

In 1994, he represented the Junior Kangaroos, the team that beat Great Britain under-19's in the curtain-raiser to the Australia v. France Test at Parramatta Stadium.

In 1996, he played in another losing Grand Final, this time against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. At the end of that season he announced that he was signing with the Brisbane Broncos in the Super League competition..

In 1997 he played 18 games for the Broncos, scoring three tries. He also played in his first winning Grand Final team, beating the Cronulla Sharks. In 1998, after turning his back on the Broncos, he returned to the Dragons. The following year he assisted the Dragons' run to the Grand Final, with a hat-trick against the Sharks in the Major Semi-Final. The following week the Dragons lost to the Melbourne Storm in the Grand Final. Ironically he missed a try that would have won the Dragons the title.

Mundine was selected to play for New South Wales in 1999 in each of the three matches in the State of Origin series. He was disappointed that further representative honours did not follow, and believed that his representative opportunities did not reflect his abilities and achievements at club level. He raised the issue of racism as a possible explanation for this.

Anthony Mundine left rugby league half way through the 2000 season, after being persuaded to take on the world of boxing by a good friend of his fathers, known only by his ring name 'Ak', a heavyweight champion in Tripoli, Lebanon in the 1960s.

Boxing career

Mundine fought his first professional boxing match in July 2000, at the age of 25. After a limited amateur career (he had 4 amateur fights when he was 17), his first professional fight was against New Zealander Gerrard Zohs. Only 10 professional bouts later Mundine fought for his first world title against long reigning IBF supermiddleweight champion Sven Ottke in January 2001. The fight ended suddenly after 10 competitive rounds when Ottke landed a blow to Mundine's temple that left the latter unconscious on the canvass. Despite this dramatic loss, he returned to the ring, promising to fight again for a world title.

Since the WBA and IBF super middleweight titles had been unified by Sven Ottke, Ottke was upgraded to 'super' champion status by the and the WBA super middleweight title was declared vacant (see championship unification). Mundine went on to claim the vacant WBA Super Middleweight title, at this time effectively an interim title, with a unanimous points decision over Antwun Echols on 3 September 2003, in front of his home crowd at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. He successfully defended his title once, before losing it in a hesitant performance and split points decision against Manny Siaca.

Mundine failed in his attempt to re-gain the WBA super middleweight title after losing by decision to Mikkel Kessler on 6 August 2005 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Mundine's rivalry with Danny Green

Mundine's biggest Australian rivalry is with Perth-based Danny Green. In 2001, Mundine called Danny Green "a bum", and stated that Danny would be a "no hoper" against him. Danny Green, usually reserved and modest responded saying he would let his boxing do the talking. Green's manager, Bywong Drevikovsky from Northbridge, NSW agreed and suggested to Mundine he should not be as vocally confident as Green's preparation had been "nothing short of ideal"

The two boxers finally, after much anticipation, fought on 17 May 2006, at Aussie Stadium, Sydney. The bout was one of the most anticipated in Australian boxing history, and was thought to eclipse the attendance record of 37,000 when Jeff Fenech fought Azumah Nelson in their rematch in 1992. Green became the slight favourite about 2 hours before the bout. Mundine won convicingly by outboxing his opponent over the 12 rounds. The bout was scored as follows: Judge Michael Lee 116-113, Judge Pinij Prayadsub 118-111, Judge Derek Milham 118-112.

After Green

Mundine's next fight was against Argentine boxer Ruben Acosta on 15 November 2006 at the Entertainment Centre in Newcastle. Mundine went on to win the fight with Acosta, beating him by TKO in the 4th. While the Argentine battled hard, and connected with several blows on Mundine, he was never in the contest.

On 7 March 2007 Mundine secured the WBA Super Middleweight title with a decisive 9th round TKO win over Sam Soliman. Again, the title was effectively an interim title and had been vacated when Mikkel Kessler was upgraded to super champion status by unifying the WBA and WBC titles. Mundine dominated throughout the entire match, knocking Soliman down once in round 2 and three times in the ninth round. Mundine defended his WBA Super Middleweight belt with a points decision on 27 June against Pablo Daniel Zamora Nievas (17-1-1) of Argentina on the Gold Coast. Mundine hurt his right biceps in the 2nd round of the fight.

In early-August 2007, Mundine was hospitalised with an eye infection caused by a dirty contact lens, which he had earlier tried to clean with his mouth. The infection blinded him in his left eye, and was told that he was unlikely to regain full vision. He was released from hospital on 15 August, 2007, stating that vision in his left eye is still blurry.

After Mundine recovered from the injured biceps and eye infection, he went on to retain his WBA Super Middleweight title with a 4th round TKO over Argentine Jose Alberto Clavero. On the 27th of February, Mundine had his third title defence against fellow Australian Nader Hamdan and won a 12 round unanimous decision to retain his WBA Super Middleweight World title. The scores were 117-111, 120-108, and 119-109. Again Mundine defended his WBA world title against Sam Soliman, scores being 116-112, 116-112, 117-112. Mundine relinquished his WBA Super Middle-weight title to avoid fighting his mandatory challenger Mikkel Kessler in May 2008.

Comments regarding the September 11 attacks

In 2001, Mundine commented on the September 11, 2001 attacks. He criticised the American Government, claiming that its foreign policies had helped to foster an environment in which terrorism could flourish. When asked about what he thought about Australian troops joining Americans in Afghanistan he stated:

"I really feel that it's not our problem. They call it an act of terrorism but if you understand the religion and our way of life it's not about terrorism, it's about fighting for God's laws and America's brought it upon themselves [for] what they've done in history and so on. Mundine's stance attracted some vocal critics at the time.

Music career

After appearing as himself in the music video "Like a Dog" by the Australian rock group Powderfinger and featuring in beatboxer Joel Turner's single "Knock U Out", Mundine has released his own debut single, "Platinum Ryder". The film clip created controversy for the burning of the Union Jack and a photo of then Prime Minister John Howard. His album, entitled Dreams is yet to be released.

Boxing Record

Date Result Opponent Method Round Time Location Notes
7/30/2008 Win Crazy Kim Decision (Unanimous) 10 Newcastle, NSW, Australia >-
5/28/2008 Win Sam Soliman Decision (Unanimous) 12 Melbourne, VIC, Australia Defended WBA Super Middleweight Championship
2/27/2008 Win Nader Hamdan Decision (Unanimous) 12 Sydney, NSW, Australia >-
12/10/2007 Win Jose Alberto Clavero Knockout 4 2:14 Sydney, NSW, Australia Defended WBA Super Middleweight Championship
6/27/2007 Win Pablo Daniel Zamora Nievas Decision (Unanimous) 12 3:00 Broad Beach, QLD, Australia Defended WBA Super Middleweight Championship
3/7/2007 Win Sam Soliman Knockout 9 2:26 Sydney, NSW, Australia Won WBA Super Middleweight Championship
11/15/2006 Win Ruben Eduardo Knockout 4 1:41 Sydney, NSW, Australia
5/17/2006 Win Danny Green decision (unanimous) 12 3:00 Sydney, NSW, Australia WBA Super Middleweight Championship Eliminator
12/11/2005 Win Rico Chong Nee Technical Knockout 3 3:00 Perth, WA, Australia
9/7/2005 Win Rashid Matumla Technical Knockout 6 0:36 Canberra, ACT, Australia
6/8/2005 Loss Mikkel Kessler Unanimous Decision 12 3:00 Entertainment Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Lost WBA super middleweight title
2/2/2005 Win Darmel Castillo Technical Knockout 4 2:31 Broadbeach, QLD, Australia
10/13/2004 Win Juarne Dowling Technical Knockout 3 2:19 Carrara, QLD, Australia
9/8/2004 Win Sean Sullivan Technical Knockout 10 0:47 Liverpool, NSW, Australia
5/5/2004 Loss Manny Siaca Decision (Split) 12 3:00 Sydney, NSW, Australia Lost WBA Super Middleweight Championship
1/19/2004 Win Yoshinori Nishizawa Technical Knockout 5 0:43 Wollongong, NSW, Australia Defended WBA Super Middleweight Championship
9/3/2003 Win Antwun Echols Decision (Unanimous) 12 3:00 Sydney, NSW, Australia Won WBA Super Middleweight Championship
3/17/2003 Win Rogerio Cacciatore Technical Knockout 1 ? Carrara, QLD, Australia
2/1/2003 Win Sean Sullivan Decision (Unanimous) 12 3:00 Suckland, New Zealand Defended WBA Fedelatin Super Middleweight Title, Defended WBA Pan African Super Middleweight Title, Defended PABA Super Middleweight Title
11/2/2002 Win Rick Thornberry Technical Knockout 11 ? Carrara, QLD, Australia Won WBA Fedelatin Super Middleweight Title, Defended WBA Pan African Super Middleweight Title, Defended PABA Super Middleweight Title
9/2/2002 Win Soon Botes Knockout 3 ? Liverpool, NSW, Australia Won WBA Pan African Super Middleweight Championship, Defended PABA Super Middleweight Championship
7/15/2002 Win Lester Ellis Technical Knockout 3 2:04 Melbourne, VIC, Australia
6/3/2002 Win Darren Obah Technical Knockout 6 ? Liverpool, NSW, Australia Defended PABA Super Middleweight Championship
4/1/2002 Win Roland Francis Technical Knockout 8 ? Carrara, QLD, Australia Won PABA Super Middleweight Championship
3/4/2002 Win Brad Mayo Decision (Unanimous) 10 3:00 Townsville, QLD, Australia
12/1/2001 Loss Sven Ottke Knockout 10 ? Arena Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany Lost IBF Pan Pacific Super Middleweight Championship, For IBF super middleweight title
10/20/2001 Win Guy Waters Knockout 2 ? Sydney, NSW, Australia Defended IBF Pan Pacific Super Middleweight Championship
9/3/2001 Win Sam Soliman Decision (Split) 12 3:00 Wollongong, NSW, Australia Won IBF Pan Pacific Super Middleweight Championship
7/10/2001 Win Kevin Pompey Technical Knockout 3 0:57 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
6/18/2001 Win Mike Makata Technical Knockout 5 ? Liverpool, NSW, Australia Defended PABA Super Middleweight Championship
4/16/2001 Win Timo Masua Knockout 3 ? Carrara, QLD, Australia Won PABA Super Middleweight Championship
2/19/2001 Win Marc Bargero Technical Knockout 6 ? Gosford, NSW, Australia Won Australian Super Middleweight Championship
12/11/2000 Win Ian McLeod Technical Knockout 9 ? Wollongong, NSW, Australia Fight Stopped On Cut
10/30/2000 Win Heath Stenton Decision (Unanimous) 8 3:00 Melbourne, VIC, Australia
9/4/2000 Win Nik Taumafai Technical Knockout 6 ? Sydney, NSW, Australia
7/3/2000 Win Gerrard Zohs Knockout 4 ? Sydney, NSW, Australia Professional Boxing Debut


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