Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine is back, a champ again after he claimed the WBC silver light middleweight title against Sergey Rabchenko
Anthony Mundine has redeemed himself and kept alive his dream of a title shot in the US after a troubling run that had many people expecting him to retire if he’d lost this fight.
Mundine pulled through a hard 12 rounds against Sergey Rabchenko to claim the WBC silver light middleweight title in front of a sell-out crowd at the Hisense Arena, in Melbourne.
The undefeated Belarussian Rabchenko came into the fight a heavy favourite, 11 years younger than ‘The Man’ and known for his power, but Mundine used his skill and experience in the ring to win with a split points decision.
Holding back from his regular show-boating Mundine was straight to work as soon as he got in the ring, fighting off the front foot and getting dangerously close to the powerful Rabchenko.
This served him well as he pulled ahead on points in the early rounds against an uncertain Rabchenko who was fighting for the first time of foreign soil.
Rabchenko pulled back however and had drawn even on pints by round 8, catching Mundine in the seventh and hurting him for the first time in the fight with a powerful hook that dazed the Australian.
Mundine looked almost down again in the tenth when Rabchenko connected with a brutal body shot that sent Mundine spinning and followed with an onslaught Mundine barely survived.
Just holding on, Mundine managed to pull through it and started to land his own combinations before the round was out.
Mundine also took some punishment in the 11th but did enough to get the points, with the judges scoring the bout one 115-113 to Rabchenko, while the other two ruled in favour of the Australian 115-113 and 116-112.
Mundine fought like a man possessed, like a man who’s career depended on it which it may have; with many wondering what the future could hold for the ageing fighter after his loss against Josh Clottey earlier in the year.
Mundine took swipe at those who had questioned his future after the fight, “You all thought I was done, but I’m not done until I say I’m done, I’ve got a few more, make a few mill and then I’m out. I fought a young lion tonight, a young lion that can punch. He’s got power in both hands, got good body rips but I took everything he had, I showed my chin plus my heart and I know I rocked him too a few times.”
This fight was again billed as an eliminator for a shot at pound-for-pound king, and highest payed athlete on the planet, Floyd Mayweather, though there hasn’t been any indication from Mayweather’s camp this was a reality.
Mundine has been chasing a big name fight (and purse) in the US for a long time, with underworld figure Mick Gatto the latest promoter trying to make it happen.
“I think Floyd, he’s the best of our era and I’m not going to disrespect him. It’s up to him if he wants to fight me, if he doesn’t hopefully we can fight someone like (Saul) Alvarez,” Mundine said.
Written by Daniel Whyntie