December 8, 2010 in Boxing
For the five or six people out there that care about Australian boxing, local loudmouth Anthony “The Man” Mundine was knocked out in the fifth round against Contender Australia winner Garth Wood in a massive middleweight upset.
The 35 year-old Mundine (now 40-4, 24 KOs) talked a lot of trash before the bout against the 32 year-old Wood (now 10-1-1, 6KOs), saying that nobody could beat him when he is focused and on his game and that there was too much of a disparity in ability and experience between him and his rival (who also once played professional rugby league).
However, in an ugly fight marred by lots of grabbing and holding, Mundine was unable to utilise his superior hand and foot speed, allowing Wood to pin him against the ropes too often. In the fifth round, with Mundine wedged in the corner, Wood unleashed a flurry of wild punches, one of which tagged Mundine to the side of the head and dropped him to the canvas. Mundine looked dazed and confused as he gingerly made his way to his feet, but the fight was waved off as an ecstatic Wood celebrated in the ring.
The devastating loss has thrown Mundine’s plans for “greatness” into chaos. Before the bout, Mundine declared to the world that he was soon heading over to the United States (on advice from his buddy Russell Crowe) to fulfil his destiny (or fantasy) of becoming one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and the first boxer to win world titles in three weight classes in descending order. Of course, he also talked about taking on the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr in big money fights — ideas that were difficult to fathom even before he was KO’ed by a virtual no-name with just 10 fights under his belt.
In Australia, where Mundine is generally hated, the public sentiment is mainly one of jubilation. Some say Wood has exposed Mundine as an overrated fighter who has built a career out of handpicking worthless opponents. Others are calling for Wood to be made Australian of the Year for shutting Mundine’s mouth and possibly ending “The Man’s” boxing career.
(For those who don’t know who Mundine is, he is a former rugby league star and Australia’s most famous boxer, probably best known outside the country for his controversial comments about 9/11 (about how America kind of brought it on themselves). Boxing fans might also know him as the guy who beat the guy who KO’ed an old Roy Jones Jr in one round (ie Danny Green), or as the dude that got knocked out cold by feather fisted Sven Ottke (6KOs from 34 career victories) with also a single blow to the temple. Mundine’s loss to Wood will only solidify his reputation as a fighter with a “glass head”.)