By Craig Watt
Photo: Team Mundine
On April 13th at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Queensland, Australia former two time WBA 168 pound champion Anthony “The Man” Mundine (40-4, 24 KOs) attempt to take revenge on the only boxer to defeat him in the last five years. He takes on the “Australian Contender” winner Garth Wood (10-1-1, 6 KOs) in a rematch of their December 2010 match up at the Acer Arena in Sydney when the 32 year old Wood knocked out Mundine with a left hook in the fifth round. This was considered by many experts the boxing shock of the year in Australia in a fight Mundine was expected to win easily against a relatively inexperienced opponent.
The two time WBA 168 pound champion spoke to Fightnews from his camp in Sydney today where he is putting the finishing touches to his preparations for the Wood rematch which will be shown on Main Events PPV on April 13th in Australia.
He stated, “I have a new state of mind for this fight and I have taken my defeat on the chin and focussed back on the basics of boxing again. I admit I couldn’t get up for the first fight mentally and I had got into sloppy habits in the ring – bad habits that got worse because I was beating all of my opponents with ease. This came back to haunt me in the Garth Wood fight when a combination of poor motivation and sloppy preparation plus his obvious determination gave him the edge and he won fair and square – I have respect for his win in Sydney but I was my biggest opponent that night.”
“I am a different fighter now, fully motivated and just focussing on getting myself into top physical and mental shape for the bout in Brisbane. There will be no excuses this time and I will show everyone that I have the boxing ability to defeat Garth Wood.”
He continued, “I think the loss in December was God’s will – it was the wake up call I needed for complacency and bad habits. I got lazy and got caught with some good punches and Garth took his advantage. But let’s be fair, on my day I am in a different league to Garth Wood and that is what I will be showing in the rematch.”
Many ringside observers pointed to Mundine’s tendency to drop his right when receiving a body shot that ultimately led to the opening for Wood to land his left hook that knocked out Mundine in the fifth round.
The 35 year old former IBO 160 pound champion confirmed he had been working on his defense in the build up to the rematch.
He added, “I have been working on my defense since the loss and you will not see that scenario again. If you watch the punch that actually hurt me it was an overhand right to the back of the head which caused me to be hurt and the left hook looked the telling blow but it was the right that caused the damage. Don’t worry though I am in the best shape of my life and had some excellent sparring and training. Wood will not hit me like that again – I’m too sharp, too focused and too motivated and the world will once again see the boxing skills of Anthony Mundine.”
For once Mundine was cautious about the future, should he defeat Wood in the return bout and he stated, “This was my problem last time in my preparation – I was planning to go to the USA and set up camp there and was targeting WBA 154 pound champion Miguel Cotto. I lost my focus, my motivation and my boxing edge. Not this time though- I am not looking past April 13th and a chance for revenge and redemption. After that I will consider the future but until that point it is back to one serious objective and defeat Garth Wood convincingly and effectively and get my career back on track.”
The rematch will take place over ten rounds at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Queensland and is available on PPV via Main Events.