UFC London was meant to be over, but apparently the fighters weren’t finished just yet.
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They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. It’s a saying Anthony Mundine obviously isn’t familiar with.
Mundine was torn apart last night by a faster and stronger opponent in Melbourne. It was an 11th round TKO officially, but this was a one-side affair. Brutal, devastating and in the end, sad.
Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine is 40 years old and still fighting. But competing, not fighting, might be a better description.
Mundine was pummelled from pillar to post by American Charles Hatley, a boxer ranked 36th in the world who has had a solid if unspectacular career so far. Probably the most exciting thing about Hatley was the Segway he rode into the weigh-in on.
Mundine’s greatest asset, when he crossed codes from rugby league to boxing, was his speed and reflexes. He never had power, but he built good defensive skills and movement that could trouble most opponents.
But at 40 years of age, drained to make an unrealistic weight, the best of ‘Choc’ is long gone.
Sadly he may be the only one who can’t see it.
Mundine talked about his legacy before this fight. But with three losses in his past six fights since January 2013, the only thing he is doing now is damaging his legacy.
You could say that was harmed when he questioned Daniel Geale’s Aboriginality, insulted Geale’s wife, made controversial September 11 remarks or homophobic comments, but that’s talk for another day.
In the ring, on his day, Mundine was a quality fighter with wins over Danny Green, Daniel Geale, Sam Soliman, Antwun Echols. But when he stepped up to world-class – Sven Ottke, Mikkel Kessler, Manny Siaca – he was found wanting.
He was never as good as he thought and said he was, never in the elite league where he thought he belonged.
Like his idol Muhummad Ali, ‘The Man’ is following a similar path to destruction if he continues with his gloves on. He has nothing left to achieve, plenty of money in the bank and only his health and well-being to damage.
At this point it is pure ego.
There is talk of a Green rematch and there is a good chance that it will happen.
But will just be another case of two over-the-hill fighters trying to milk the boxing public once more. A familiar tale from London to Berlin to New York and Vegas.
A rematch between the two Aussies should have happened in 2007 or 2008, not ten years after the event. A bout between a 40-year old and a 42-year old who has fought once in three years? Please.
Father Time claims all boxers, eventually, and Mundine is no different. He may think he is so, but the evidence to the contrary is damning.
‘Choc’ says he doesn’t know if he will fight again. He has been saying each of his fights are “do or die” for the past four years.
If he does climb into the ring again, it will go from farce to just plain sadness. At some point the circus has to end.