I’m a boxing fan, get me out of here!

Tom Atkinson Roar Rookie

By Tom Atkinson, Tom Atkinson is a Roar Rookie

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17 Have your say

    One thing the Australian public seem to love above all else in sport is authenticity – a genuine competition, built on legitimate emotion. It’s apparent across the entire sporting spectrum.

    At present we are witnessing a former bonfire that is now smouldering embers. Danny Green and Anthony Mundine are drumming loudly as ever, in the almost comical setting of a reality TV show.

    It is the chief example of a once-great rivalry gone amiss, and the public turning their backs.

    Being a long-time connoisseur of the sweet science, I must admit there’s some yin and yang here. Wind your clocks back to 2006, and try to remember the state of interest in Australian boxing.

    Kostya Tszyu, Australia’s last blue-chip fighter, had recently retired, after a changing-of-the-guard bout in Manchester against Ricky Hatton.

    With few foreign luminaries to carry the mantle, Australia turned to its domestic warriors to help reignite the scene with a hellish flurry. Mundine and Green achieved just that.

    I was only a young buck, but remember the spectacle vividly. It was an iconic event and easily one of the loudest and brightest moments in Australian boxing history. You picked a side: Man or Machine. Mundine emerged victorious by unanimous decision.

    Despite venturing down markedly different paths since, the two remained the most notable figures in Australian combat sport, up until the noisy Filipino storm and a gifted American arose.

    Father Time caught up with both men, and a string of losses to Argentinian cab drivers and Polish road sweepers left the nation nonplussed, particularly with a new, shiny toy named the UFC gaining traction.

    As performances grew meek and interest waned, Mundine’s antagonistic gob rendered him more incredulous by the hour. He is an extremely talented man, but a career skint in big names turned the public against him.

    Green had his moments, and attracted some former supernovas to our shores, but ultimately he succumbed to fans’ investment in foreign fighting products.

    Mundine and Green danced again for a second time in Adelaide, in a fight no one asked for, but we all got.

    Both well into their middle ages, it was a dour affair greeted with a yawn and disgruntled groans. It seemed a final goodbye to the glory days for them, one last smash-and-grab mission.

    While Green was the victor, the Adelaide entry into the Green-Mundine story really only served to remind us that Father Time is undefeated.

    Danny Green

    Danny Green (AAP Image/Tony McDonough)

    Boxing has since surged back into popularity on a global scale, with the top dogs seeking each other out, rather than scurrying for safe corners.

    Heavyweight thoroughbred Anthony Joshua holds the cards for the big units. An athletic freak, Joshua’s limitless marketability gave boxing the figurehead it so badly needed.

    Middleweight gladiators Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez added a new chapter to the middleweight division’s storied history. Their absorbing contest was a throwback to the all-or-nothing days.

    Featherweight masterpiece Vasyl Lomachenko holds a new slice of social currency. His almost futuristic style of swimming without getting wet is totally unseen in boxing circles, so much so that his last four opponents (including pound for pound king Guillermo Rigondeaux) have quit mid-way, unable to unlock the complex Loma puzzle.

    Local MMA products like Robert Whittaker and Mark Hunt also have their slice of the pie with outstanding performances, leaving the champions of yesteryear lagging by a distance. They had their moment in the sun, and its gravity at the time should not be underestimated nor posthumously degraded.

    However, if you do an assessment of the current boxing landscape, you’ll quickly realise that Man and Machine are all but redundant.

    Mundine and Green are now squaring off under the carefully scripted eyes of the directors of ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’, and it defies belief that any person of sane mind – especially a former professional athlete – would willingly participate in such low-brow debauchery.

    While Brendan Fevola’s sensational claims that the two are mates might be off the mark, there’s no doubt the logical answer points to two men knowingly milking the cash cow a little longer.

    However, with this faux confrontation on reality television 12 years on from the original fight night, it has simply left people thinking, “I’m an Australian boxing fan, get me out of here!”

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    The Crowd Says (17)

    • Roar Guru

      February 7th 2018 @ 9:29am
      BigJ said | February 7th 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      Nice article mate, but who are the cabdrivers and street sweepers you speak of?? Don’t think that either fighter lost to an Argentinian before, green loss to that polish wbc champ but I like to see you call him a street sweeper to his face!!!

      I’m confused why Mundine is even doing this as he is trying to chase a fight with either Horn, ggg or Canelo. Green is done so fair enough, but after Mundine’s last fight, clearly he is not done yet. He should be in America having discussions with Golden boy promotions to set up a fight with the loser of ggg v canelo 2. I think he ego has gotten in the way of his goals this time. As for green v Mundine 3. As I said in my article, it will be like the third croc Dundee movie, a terrible addition that no one wanted

      • February 7th 2018 @ 11:09am
        Tom Atkinson said | February 7th 2018 @ 11:09am | ! Report

        Thanks BigJ. Shouldve phrased it better but the Argentinian cab driver was intended metaphorically as to Mundine and Green both exiting their prime and starting to fight or lose to fighters who werent considered in the upper echelon of the sport. Will clarify better next time.
        I felt Mundine was extremely talented and couldve pushed harder for more quality opponents but he had a string in his middle years of fighting guys not on his level, and chasing local rivalries for the better pay day (cant blame him for wanting more money either). If Danny Geale was able to land fights with GGG and Cotto then Mundine could have.
        I can hardly call a toddler a street sweeper so lets hope he doesnt read this article!

        To be honest with you though at 42 i feel the only fight left for Mundine is with Horn. GGG and Canelo are way too far above his station for me. There would be many more lucrative options for them after their rematch. I also think its not a great idea for Mundine. Both men younger, genuinely heavy handed knock out artists whove been fighting a long list of tougher opponents for years. Cant see Mundine troubling either man at this stage in his career, and considering he was knocked down a few times by Josh Clottey it perhaps wouldnt be wise to seek out Canelo or GGG. His last fight was impressive but Tommy Browne is a far cry from the blue chip middleweights getting around at the moment.

        • Roar Guru

          February 7th 2018 @ 11:39am
          BigJ said | February 7th 2018 @ 11:39am | ! Report

          Mundine certainly sold himself short with dropping down to 154lbs he should of never left middleweight and he would of got those big fights against ggg and cotto. But the same result would of happened with Mundine as it did geale, Mundine would of be beaten badly both times. But it would be interesting if he fought canelo as Mundine ended his brothers career in 2011

          • February 7th 2018 @ 2:10pm
            jeff dustby said | February 7th 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

            there is no way Canelo would lower himself to fight mundine

    • February 7th 2018 @ 9:34am
      Jeff dustby said | February 7th 2018 @ 9:34am | ! Report

      Who cares? Couple of old boxers – don’t watch it

      • February 7th 2018 @ 11:12am
        Tom Atkinson said | February 7th 2018 @ 11:12am | ! Report

        I wont be, Jeff. Hence the article!

    • Roar Guru

      February 7th 2018 @ 10:30am
      BigJ said | February 7th 2018 @ 10:30am | ! Report

      Akco, another thing. Just focus on Jeff Horn’s career for your boxing ? fix. Seems he will be around for a while

      • February 7th 2018 @ 11:10am
        Tom Atkinson said | February 7th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        Lets hope so. We need someone to carry the torch for Aus Boxing on the international stage.

        • Roar Guru

          February 7th 2018 @ 11:43am
          BigJ said | February 7th 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

          If I’m correct Horn is the only world champ we have at the moment. Well the only one of statue anyway

    • Roar Guru

      February 7th 2018 @ 12:52pm
      pformagg said | February 7th 2018 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

      “would willingly participate in such low-brow debauchery.” ?

      You realise the money they win goes to a charity.

      • February 7th 2018 @ 2:07pm
        Tom Atkinson said | February 7th 2018 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

        Hey mate, we’re all for charitable organisation and the wonderful work they do, certainly not here to cast any dispersion upon those organisations or those who raise funds through other means. The intent which I think is clearly conveyed is that reality television as a viewing spectacle is complete low-brow garbage, I’m sure the intentions are great but unfortunately it’s tarred with the Kardashian brush for me.

    • Roar Guru

      February 7th 2018 @ 1:13pm
      BigJ said | February 7th 2018 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

      Yes but they don’t do the show for free they still get appearance fees. Celebrities never do anything for free there is always something in it for them

      • February 7th 2018 @ 3:01pm
        Tom Atkinson said | February 7th 2018 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

        Once again bang on the money BigJ. Amir Khan received 400k pounds for his appearance on the british version last year. By the way mate would love to hear your thoughts on the upcoming heavyweight bouts. Significant action going on again there.

        • Roar Guru

          February 7th 2018 @ 4:47pm
          BigJ said | February 7th 2018 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

          With the heavyweight fights I see Joshua knocking out Joesph in about six rounds. Wilder fighting Joshua in October and Joshua being the new undisputed heavyweight champ. With fury v Joshua in 2019. Ggg will again beat canelo and canelo maybe fighting choc as an easy payday in October. But if Horn loses to Crawford, Mundine v Horn in October

    • February 8th 2018 @ 1:16pm
      Johnno said | February 8th 2018 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

      You cry about this Tom, yet you are taking an interest in this. You clearly are interested in this rivalry and are sneakily watching it on TV otherwise you wouldn’t have done an article on it you are interested in what this rivalry has become..

      • February 10th 2018 @ 8:45am
        Tom Atkinson said | February 10th 2018 @ 8:45am | ! Report

        Absolutely no interest in the TV program mate, as a Big Bash cricket fan, it’s impossible to avoid the noise when every commercial break and in-game promos are being shoved down your throat, combined with the social media highlights.

        You’re right on some level, the overarching story line piqued my interest enough to write!

        • February 17th 2018 @ 11:28am
          Oingo Boingo said | February 17th 2018 @ 11:28am | ! Report

          Johnno has got his bedside book of psychology out and analysed your inner self there Tom …
          Cmon admit it , you record this junk and watch it over and over and over .

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