Our Experts Decide: Anthony Mundine vs. Sergey Rabchenko

ANTHONY Mundine will take what many assume to be the last roll of the dice in a significant fight, when the former three-time world champion challenges undefeated Belarusian Sergey Rabchenko (25-0, 18 KOs) for the WBC Silver light middleweight strap from Hisense Arena tonight.

“I didn’t turn up mentally against Clottey, my game sort of slipped because I wasn’t on my craft,” said Mundine in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “My defence on the night was down because I didn’t implement it in training camp to be a master of my boxing ability. Coming into this fight my defence is going to be a lot more impregnable,”

“Boxing is like monotonous, you have got to train the brain to react. When I’m stepping back, I’m stepping back with my hands down and that’s stupid. I’m training the brain to step back with the hands up or my arm up where I can’t get hit. Little things, little adjustments I’m gonna make. You are gonna see a difference in this coming fight,”

In Rabchenko, 28, Mundine (46-6, 27 KOs) is facing a fighter who is arguably in the prime of his career, with head trainer Ricky Hatton stating that Rabchenko hasn’t had a training camp as good as this one since he stopped former world title challenger Ryan Rhodes to win the European title in 2012.

Despite lingering questions about both his weight and durability, Mundine is confident of turning back the clock to produce a career-best performance.

“You see me at this weight level because I’m gonna produce the best performance you will ever see at this weight level,” Mundine added. “I beat Shane Mosely at this weight level. I’ve beat a lot of other good fighters at this weight level. The weight is not the issue, it’s just the discipline and dedication to my craft which is the key.”

“When I win, I will be WBC #1 which makes me Mayweather’s mandatory. I will be the Silver champ and Mayweather’s mandatory. If he doesn’t want to fight me then I’ll definitely get another big fighter because I’ll automatically become the champion if he relinquishes it.”

Aus-Boxing spoke to a group of industry insiders and got their thoughts on who they thought would win this weekend and why.

Ben Damon, MAIN EVENT – Record: 7-6

Mundine W 12 Rabchenko: The word from within Mundine’s camp is that we are about to see a vintage performance, with one sparring partner telling me Mundine could have “an easy night” on Wednesday. Rabchenko is a puncher, and if he catches Mundine it might be another torrid evening, but I’ll tip the former World Champion to outbox him over twelve rounds.

In victory it would be great to see Mundine get a fight with Canelo Alvarez. Heaven forbid, in defeat I believe it would be time to bulk up for a return bout with Danny Green.


Adam Wilcock, Manager/Promoter – Record: 9-4
Rabchenko KO Mundine: The job the promoters have done with this show is second to none and they should be applauded and congratulated. They’ve jumped behind the Mundine name and turned this fight into what should be a massive event for Australian boxing.

It’s a shame they weren’t able to get Mundine earlier in his career to create this type of media storm and interest, but for now and this fight I think it’s one sided. Given how easily Clottey dominated ‘The Man’ – I can’t see Rabchenko having any problems.


Brendan Bourke, Manager/Agent – Record: 9-2


Rabchenko W 12 Mundine: This is going to be a great fight, I’m really looking forward to seeing how this pans out. The big question here is can Mundine effectively box and move for twelve rounds or will Rabchenko’s pressure and power be too much?

I think Mundine will be primed for this fight as he knows another loss could spell the end of his great career. That being said I’m picking Rabchenko for the victory via close points decision.


Sam Labruna, Trainer- Record: 9-2

Rabchenko KO 4 Mundine: I’m a big fan of Mundine, I had him at the gym and he is honestly a great bloke. If you break down Mundine and Rabchenko technically, Mundine wins.

But as a style vs. style fight, this is not a good fight for Mundine. I hope Anthony proves me wrong but I’m calling a fourth round stoppage to Rabchenko.


Lincoln Hudson, Trainer – Record: 9-3


Rabchenko KO Mundine: This is the last crusade so to speak for Mundine if he loses. The Aussie public should applaud him for taking this fight, but it’s a shame this calibre of fights weren’t happening for the last five years or so ago.

Mundine has always showed tremendous skill and ability in and out of the ring during his career but chose not to compete against the best of the best for what ever reasons and that’s a shame because in doing so he probably would have been known as Australia’s greatest fighter ever.

In saying that, this that is the reason why I am sad to say this probably will be his last crusade. I tip Rabchenko by knockout, only because of his high calibre opponents.


Barry Michael, Promoter – Record: 2-1

Rabchenko TKO 10 Mundine: Mundine’s fight against Rabchenko on Wednesday is his last roll of the dice on what has been an outstanding career. I know he has trained extremely hard for this with good reports of his form but I don’t think he will be able to turn the clock back on the night.

The Mundine of old beats Rabchenko, but at this weight and with the wear and tear on his body and deterioration of his abilities, I think he will need a miracle. I see Rabchenko stopping him late in the fight after hurting him repeatedly with some vicious body shots.


Matt Clark, Manager – Record: 7-1

Rabchenko KO 9 Mundine: I think it’ll be one hell of a fight. Choc will start quicker and win the first few rounds before Rabchenko’s pressure begins to build. I’ve watched Sergey closely, setting up his training camp on the Sunshine Coast, so my opinion isn’t neutral.

He’s been super impressive in his preparation. His main sparring partner was Cameron Hammond and watching them in action was better than most fights I’ve seen.

I think Sergey stops Choc with a left rip to the liver in about the ninth round.

George Reno, Trainer – Record: 7-2

Mundine W 12 Rabchenko: Mundine wins, I’m not saying how but the hunger is back and he is more motivated to get up in this fight. If he shows the form in this fight against Rabchenko that he has been showing in sparing – he should outbox him.


Billy Dib, former IBF featherweight champion – Record: 3-3


Mundine W 12 Rabchenko: I know that this is a difficult fight for Anthony, he seems very motivated and I’m hearing great things about his training and prep for this fight.

Rabchenko is not going to let this belt go easy, Choc will have to fing amazing form to beat him. I know it will be a difficult fight but I’m going to back my brother Choc to pull the upset one last time.


Gareth Williams, Trainer – Record: 8-5


Rabchenko KO 10 Mundine: For this camp, two of my boys have spent a lot of time sparring with Sergey. At one point, I honestly thought it was an event 50/50 kind of fight. That was until Ricky ‘Hitman’ Hatton turned up in training camp and then I saw a completely different beast. With that known, I have to say Rabchenko wins by stoppage.


Lim Jeka, trainer – Record: 3-1

Rabchenko KO Mundine: Mundine looks very motivated for this fight and I’m expecting him put in a good show against a young hungry puncher and I’m sure he will try to use every inch of the ring to stay away and take a decision.

But unfortunately, I think Rabchenko will break him down and take Mundine out.

Photo: Louie Abigail/Photography by Rockfingrz



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