You know when Channel Nine reporter Ken Sutcliffe is the voice of reconciliation that things are getting a little crazy.
But that’s what happened at today’s final press conference for Anthony Mundine vs Daniel Geale at Sydney’s The Star casino.
Sutcliffe tried to restore a bit of normalcy, a bit of sanity into an event that had just about everything.
Racism, boasting, profanity, long-winded statements from the promoter, crowd interjections, sexism were just the start.
Mundine went toe-to-toe with long-time critic Daily Telegraph journo Paul Kent in a debate about the greatest crossover-sport athletes, and that’s just a taste of the hour-long press conference.
Street fighter Kimbo Slice showed he was a man of few words, while David Alou showed he is a man of even fewer. That guy did an amazing impersonation of a brick wall that blinks.
The press event started off slow and took a while to warm up but oh did it blow up and end with a bang.
However it was good ‘ol Ken, the male model from Mudgee, at the end trying to play peacemaker. Mundine had slammed Geale previously for not “representing his people”, and had questioned his and his family’s Aboriginality. A touchy subject to say the least.
Today Mundine, channelling his best Muhummad Ali impersonation, called Geale a “fake” and threw out the “Uncle Tom” term. Ali vs Frazier this was not. But it managed to inflame some of the crowd, the Mundine supporters, and tensions in general, adding another facet to the event that had it all except fisticuffs.
Those will be saved for Wednesday night, when these two fighters meant to see who can really claim all the bragging rights.
You can say a lot of things about Anthony Mundine – showman, braggart, supreme athlete, good role model, bad role model, talented boxer, former NRL star, motormouth, controversial, Aboriginal icon etc etc – but no one sells like ‘The Man’.
No-one creates headlines and column inches like he does. No-one has injected life into Australian boxing like he has.
He will get people to the fight, and to buy the pay-per-view. They may not like him, they may not want to see him win (but many do), but they will tune in.
Because the man loves to give a show. Win, lose or draw that’s the one thing, in the sometimes murky and madcap world of boxing, that’s guaranteed.
Follow John on Twitter @johnnyddavidson