WILL MUNDINE LAND HIS SHOT AT 'MONEY'?
By TOM WATT on July 7 2015
Much has been made in the last 24 hours over Anthony Mundine’s Open Letter to P4P King, Floyd Mayweather with the majority of people, even within Australia, disregarding the Australian’s claims as ‘desperate’ and 'bizarre'. With the Cinco De Mayo holiday weekend (Sept 12th) edging closer and closer it will not be long before Mayweather’s 47th professional opponent will be announced and with ‘Money’ declaring that Andre Berto and Karim Mayfield are the front-runners for his supposed final bout, it’s open season for every other fighter at 147 or 154lbs to state their case and that is exactly what Mundine has done.
Many believe Berto and Mayfield to be a distraction, and 99% of fans will be hoping so as well – the rumour mill has been circulating non-stop with suitors and the likes of IBF Champ Kell Brook, WBO Champ Tim Bradley, Amir Khan and Keith Thurman have all put their hat in the ring for the chance to secure themselves a career-high pay-day and a shot at inflicting Mayweather’s first ‘0’.
Outside of Australia, Mundine is not the superstar he is down under and American fans will not be as familiar with his career or achievements which will not help his cause in campaigning for the biggest fight of his career. However neither Berto or Mayfield can boast strong PPV numbers in any of their prior fights whereas Mundine has always fought on PPV (in Australia) since his debut back in 2000 and also holds the record for the highest PPV figures in Australian history for his fight with fellow Aussie, Danny Green (a record that even Mayweather vs Pacquiao couldn’t beat). Like Mayweather, Mundine’s polarising effect on public opinion has translated to excellent viewing figures and both men will testify that it doesn’t matter if they are paying to see you win or lose, it’s all money in the bank and PPV figures on the board. Other than Amir Khan, who has the potential to bring in the Asian and European fans, there are very few other options that offer the same kind of international draw that a fight with Mundine would bring for September 12th and this has to play in the Aussie’s hands.
On top of that, it is hard to think of another fighter at 147 or 154lbs that could hold court with Mayweather as far as trash-talking goes and this would without doubt be the best part of a fight between ‘The Man’ and ‘Money’ – the clash of egos and the bravado that would ensue thereafter. Mayweather has admittedly calmed down in recent years when it comes to antagonising opponents but if anyone can bring that back to the forefront, it is Anthony Mundine who has proved time and time again he knows just how to get under his opponent’s skin.
Mundine will know that his chances of winning the ‘Mayweather Sweepstakes’ are limited, his challenge was as much for Floyd to give up the belts he has no intention of defending as much as it was for him to fight the ‘Wonder from Down Under’. Mundine beat hard-hitting Sergey Rabchenko last year to take home the WBC Silver Title, effectively making him the No1 contender for the 154lbs belt held by Mayweather (who also holds the WBC belt at 147lbs). If/when Mayweather decides to vacate that belt then the WBC will order a fight for the vacant belt between the Silver Title holder and the next highest ranked available fighter – Canelo is currently ranked behind Mayweather but looks certain to pen his fight with Cotto in November which leaves Erislandy Lara the next in line, a very tough fight but one that, due to Lara’s poor PPV numbers in America, could be negotiated to happen in Australia which would certainly appeal to the team behind Mundine,
With only ten weeks until September 12th, it surely won’t be long until all these questions are answered. Whether it be Mayweather, Lara or anybody else, Mundine is edging closer to knowing his next opponent and yet another World Title shot.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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(left) Mundine's open letter to Mayweather