STAGE SET FOR MUNDINE TO RESURRECT HIS CAREER
By Tom Watt on Sept 10 2014
After losing in devastating fashion to Joshua Clottey (38-4-0, 22 KO) in a landslide decision it was unclear whether 'The Man' would be back in the ring. He had been swept away by the former Welterweight - and apparently lighter man, being knocked down 5 times on the night. It was a crash back to Earth following his TKO win over former 3-time World Champion, 'Sugar' Shane Mosley (47-9-1, 39 KO) - a win that had seen his stock rise overseas and ignited hopes of another World title. The loss and particularly the nature at which it was delivered had ruled Mundine out of scaling those heights again in the eyes of vast majority of pundits and fans.
Clottey is not a man that should be underestimated, the 37 year old African has a wealth of experience at the top level and has mixed it with the very best, fighting Zab Judah (42-3-0, 29 KO), Miguel Cotto (39-4-0, 32 KO) and Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO) in successive fights between 2008 and 2010. He is also being touted as Mexican superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez's (44-1-1, 31 KO) next opponent so he is name that holds certain weight and that may be the saving grace for Mundine who, ranked 25th by the same governing body has been given his chance to fight Number 2 rated, Sergey Rabchenko (25-0-0, 18 KO) for the WBC Silver title. The fight will take place in Melbourne on November 12th.
So the questions that have to be asked are; does Mundine have what it takes to come back at the top level? And does Australian Boxing need the former Rugby-League player as much as he would like to think - Mundine recently claimed he saved the sport when he came onto the scene 14 years ago - giving it "mouth to mouth" and that he would do it again.
It is no secret that the popularity of Boxing in Australia has room to grow and Mundine is certainly one of the more recognisable faces in the sport, having sold the most PPVs in Australia throughout his career. However, his divisive behaviour has the potential to put on-the-fence fans off which is a legitimate concern amongst the growing popularity of MMA. It seems a risk worth taking, there is a number of Australian's featuring in the rankings across the major governing bodies and if Mundine could manage a voctory against the unbeaten Belurusian in Rabchenko, he would not only shoot up in the rankings, but would be mandatory for the WBC World Title, currently held by P4P king Floyd 'Money' Mayweather (46-0-0, 26 KO). Whether or not that fight would go ahead is up for debate but either way, a shot at 'The Green Belt' would be a huge night for Mundine and Australian boxing fans.
Whether Mundine has the quality or the heart to compete the elite level will be determined very soon, should he win then he has the Boxing World at his feet - lose, and it would almost certainly be a setback too far. A lot is at stake for both fighters which should be enough to turn this Mundine V Rabchenko a highly contested affair.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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