Monday Buzz: Tony Mundine comes out swinging
Anthony Mundine during a training session at his father's Redfern gym in the lead up to Wednesday night's fight against Daniel Geale. Picture: Phil Hillyard The Daily Telegraph
UNILKE his son, 61-year-old trainer Tony Mundine is never one for rash statements.
He's a legend of Australian boxing, has an OAM at the end of his name and been in the fight game for 50 years.
When he talks, it's never the trash that has been the trademark of Team Mundine.
This guy is a respected voice in a sport renowned for its big-noters.
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So I rang yesterday to get his views on Wednesday night's showdown with Daniel Geale at the Entertainment Centre.
He starts off calmly.
"It's going to be a good fight between two very fit boys," he says in a light voice. "Anthony's in great shape."
Just don't try suggesting his son can't win. The mood, tone and voice level soon change when you mention what the experts and bookies have been saying for weeks.
The old fighter comes out swinging.
"We don't care what they are predicting," he says.
"It just makes my son more determined to prove them wrong.
"Good luck to them - but they will be proven wrong again.
"I've got no bad feelings about this fight. None at all. Everything is positive."
While most are suggesting Mundine's career is in decline, Tony has no doubts his son is a much-improved fighter from when he last met Geale in Brisbane.
"As a middleweight he's going to be dynamite," he declares.
"He's got power like he's never had before. He's got more experience. He's very fit and he's very fast.
"He will go another step higher on Wednesday night. I know he will."
Mundine Sr remains one of the greatest middleweights this country has produced.
He fought Argentina's legendary Carlos Monzon in Buenos Aires in the '70s, coming up just short.
His son has won big fights, too, but there has always been that shadow hanging over his achievements and the standard of his opponents.
Wednesday night is a defining fight for the Mundine name. It's a chance to claim the title that Tony couldn't quite get.
Anthony polarises opinion, he talks a good fight.
"The goal is to dominate him," Mundine said as rapid-fire as one of his jabs when we spoke late last week.
"I'm equipped to do 12 fast and furious rounds if I have to. But I'd rather stop him because I don't want to leave it in the judges' hands.
"I just want a fair shake. If it goes 12 rounds, whoever dominates should win."
In contrast, there's a quiet confidence coming from the man who knows him best.
This columnist, like many others, loathed Mundine for almost 20 years.
On Wednesday night I'll be sitting ringside cheering for him.
There's something I like about underdogs in sport.
Like his dad says - nothing beats proving the knockers wrong.
Destiny has arrived for both this man and his boy.