By Craig Watt
Former two time WBA super-middleweight champion Anthony Mundine (34-3, 23 KOs) takes on fellow Aussie Shannon Taylor (48-6-3, 34 KO’s) in Wollongong, New South Wales on Wednesday. The 33 year old from Sydney who is ranked #1 by the WBA at Middleweight received an impressive rap from Bernard Hopkins today, in his role as a member of Golden Boy Promotions. The former Middleweight and Light Heavyweight champion told Fox Sports News in Australia, “Now that we have an opportunity to promote him, he is going to be a champion and well known all around the boxing world. He will be a champion, very, very soon. We are going to bring him on slow and then showcase his to he boxing public and I believe given his talent and dedication he will blow up into a major boxing star. Many people have tried to sign Anthony Mundine and I am glad we will be working with him at Golden Boy.”
He continued, “He is a fighter who is dedicated in his focus and his training and these are the type of fighters we wish to be associated with at Golden Boy. He will be a credit to our team and Australia should be proud of their fighter.”
Mundine is a big personality in Australian boxing and never far from outspoken views or controversy. He started his sporting career as an NRL Rugby League player in Australia and played 127 games in the top flight before becoming a professional boxer. After converting to Islam in 1999 he has had a love-hate relationship with the Australian boxing public. He has won the WBA 168 pound title on two occasions and won eight WBA title fights with only Mikkel Kessler, Sven Ottke and Manny Siaca defeating him in championship fights.
Even in the build up to the Taylor fight he told his opponent, “The mouth is an open grave.” This drew many negative comments about the terminology used but has driven Taylor to motivate him. He stated today, “I am going to give Mundine the hardest fight of his career. Everyone is talking about Mundine’s next fight and his future challenges, but he has got to be on top of his game to beat Shannan Taylor. I plan to upset everyone’s party on Wednesday night.”
It is expected that on Tuesday former WBA 175 pound champion will announce a return to the ring, and a planned re-match with Mundine. He is holding a press conference at the Subiaco Oval on Tuesday morning to announce his future boxing plans.
The Mundine V Taylor fight will be televised by Main Events in Australia on Wednesday on PPV at 7pm AEDT.