Anthony “The Man” Mundine might be slowing down, if his average performace against the average “Deadly” Rob Medley is anything to go by. While he easily beat the smaller, less experienced Medley, he never looked as dominant as he should have.
Mundine hasn’t fought a world class opponent since Mikkel Kessler in 2005. While Danny Green is the man of the moment right now, when Mundine fought him in 2006 he was coming off two losses to Markus Beyer and was probably a little drained at super middle. Daniel Geale, who Mundine narrowly beat last year, is probably only RING-rated because of his good performance against Mundine. “The Man” has one knockout from his last eight fights, while earlier in his career he routinely ended fights within the distance.
So is Mundine losing it? Maybe. It’s hard to tell without seeing him fight someone on his level — which may never happen again. At 34 he’s no spring chicken, though he’s not all that old for a medium-sized fighter. He’s still very fast, but he obviously no longer has the power he once did. It might be that losing and gaining weight over his career has had some effect on him. When he quit as a footballer he was effectively a cruiserweight, and he’s jumped between middle and super middle ever since. Maybe a lack of quality opposition and his own psychology (he obviously has issues with truly challenging himself) has had an effect. Unless he steps up to challenge more meaningful fighters soon, it’s going to be harder and harder to take him seriously.
He continued his hauntingly accurate impersonation of Floyd Mayweather Jr. last night, defeating a no name opponent in a meaningless fight after failing to make weight. Mundine easily dominated Medley, who showed a lot of heart, to cruise to a unanimous decision victory.
The fight was originally meant to be for the IBO (WTF) light middleweight world title. Mundine expressed his desire to “make history” by becoming the first man to win world titles in three descending weight classes. But for the second time in two fights, he failed to make weight and screwed his opponent in the most unprofessional way. He did the same thing to Alejandro Falliga and used the fact that he’s a big fish in a small pond to get away with breaking the rules and avoiding any penalty. It’s pretty disgraceful behaviour.
The fight itself wasn’t all that enjoyable. Both men are boxers and used their sharp defence to avoid getting hit all that much. It was Mundine’s sharp combinations that gave him the edge in most rounds. The best punch of the fight was a Mundine right hand to Medley’s ribs in the sixth. Medley crumpled but was saved by the ropes and soon stood back up, smiling. In the end the judges scored it 117-113, 117-115 and 117-112. Apart from the 117-115 card, I thought that was pretty accurate.
The best fight of the night was the pro debut of former rugby league representative front rower (kind of like a linebacker I guess) Carl Webb. Scott Lewis, his hand picked opponent, came into the fight with a record of 1-6. It was a battle of fat, out of condition heavyweights without any defensive skill. YAYEAH! After a boring first round, they traded bombs in the second and both men were out on their feet for most of the third. A stiff breeze could have knocked either of them down, but neither had the stamina to throw any more punches. Eventually Lewis managed a few and won a TKO at 2:59 in the third. Sometimes I love fat heavyweights!
The final of The Australian Contender was also on the undercard, with Kariz Kariuki, a former Kenyan Olympian, fighting Garth Wood, a former rugby league footballer. Wood used fouling and lots of clinching to control the distance between himself and the taller, more skilled Kenyan and won an easy decision.
Wood will now fight… ANTHONY MUNDINE! That’s right. Mundine’s next fight will be against a man with only eight pro fights. That speaks for itself really.