AFTER two decades in the spotlight, Anthony Mundine has prepared for his sporting swan-song.
Notorious for many reasons, the supremely dual sportsman has reached the pinnacle of two codes, earning riches, fame and world title belts. Along the way, he earned a reputation that was more often than not, smeared in controversy.
However, with his last act fast approaching, Mundine is finally showing the other side to his personality. In a revealing interview with Paul Kent, the three-division titleholder opened up about a myriad of topics.
“I’m not the young cat I used to be, when some would say I’m arrogant,” he said.
“I want them to see the real side of me, the real ‘Choc’. I want to inspire people. I have people coming up to me saying I changed their life. When you have that type of impact, you’re chosen.”
“You’ve got to make a difference.”
In many ways, Mundine (48-8, 28 KOs) has been humbled, by both fame and by age. When assessing the stylistic match-up that awaits on Friday night, it’s clear that he has lost a step or two, and maybe some speed as well.
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But with age comes wisdom and in terms of boxing IQ, there are few smarter than the 43-year-old.
Despite giving praise where he sees fit, Mundine still offers a harsh assessment and prediction.
“I take my hat off to him, but there’s levels to this, and he’s not on my level,” he explained.
“When I’m on – mentally and physically – I’m a different animal [and] I’m too much. He’s very effective at what he does but he’s awkward.”
“But once I adapt to his style, this boy’s in trouble.”
“Father time hasn’t caught up with me yet. I’m still sparring with young cats and I’m beating them up, outclassing them. I feel good.”
Famous last words, maybe. But Mundine has made a habit out of shining on the biggest of stages.
Come Friday night, the curtain will finally close on a career that will prove difficult to replicate for years to come. That alone is worth celebrating.
Photo: Getty Images