Anthony Mundine The Aussie Underdog

Celeste WinchesterSenior Analyst IApril 25, 2009

Anthony Mundine
Born May 21 1975 Newtown an inner west suburb of Sydney.

Second generation boxer.

Few fans overseas realize that Mundine was a dedicated rising sports star before going into the demanding world of boxing.

Trained by his father Tony Mundine who was a middleweight boxer back in the 70’s. Anthony became interested in boxing at the age of 17 and entered the sport as an amateur boxer.

With only four amateur fights under his belt, he left boxing behind in pursuit of glory with Rugby League.

Mundine played both for local teams representing St George and later The Brisbane Broncos, as well as abroad representing Australia  in the Junior Kangaroos against England in 1993 in the under 19 league.

He was also picked to play for the State of origin for NSW against Queensland.

He returned to boxing at the age of 25 after many issues arising in the Rugby League which concerned racism, this theme seemed to follow him into the sport of boxing as well.

Mundine rose fast through the ranks of boxing; and with 10 consecutive wins in 2001 he was ready to lay claim to his first world title against Sven Ottke from Germany (who retired as an undefeated world champion), however,the match ended early, after Ottke delivered a straight punch to Mundine’s temple, rendering him unconscience.

Mundine did not let this stop him however, he kept climbing the ladder to success through out 2002 with 6 more consecutive wins. He won the WBA super middleweight title after Ottke left it vacant; and also sucessfully defended it against Antwun Echols in 2003.

Yet, sadly for mundine, becoming the peoples champion has eluded him, unlike one of his popular rivals, Danny Green.

There are several reasons for this phenomenon, but none that I personally agree with.

It seems that Mundine--always the trash talker, lost his popularity not because he is aborigine, the boxing fans were fine with that, they were even fine with his greed.

It was something much more sinister,  something that Mundine had encountered through out his whole professional sporting life, racism.
Racism that intensified 10 fold as soon as he mentioned his conversion to Islam.

Although Mundine’s record stands for itself with 35 wins, the fame he craves from the Australian public--that is long overdue--still eludes him.

Even though Mundine is ranked No.3 by The Bible of boxing Ring Magazine, he is viewed by many as over-rated; some even say he's not in the same class as other boxers he has fought.

Does racism play a major hand in this?

In my opinion yes it does, and it is a crying shame.

Many thanks to Stoker for his support and help with this article.