Anthony Mundine will finally bring down the curtain on his hyped fight career in an anonymous fight

FOR years, Australians paid good money in the hope of seeing Anthony Mundine knocked out.

But now, when it’s never been a better chance of happening?
Ironically, most have tuned out.

Not everyone. But close enough.

Which itself is some story, right?

For so long the undeniable Pay-Per-View King of Australian boxing, Mundine is now, aged 45, and on an ugly run of outs, preparing to say goodbye in an anonymous Saturday fight night which, against genuine middleweight tough Michael Zerafa, won’t be shown on Main Event, or even Fox Sports, but instead live streamed to anyone who cares enough to Google details. By our count, it will be Choc’s fifth farewell.

Anthony Mundine preparing for his final bout. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny EvansSource:News Corp Australia

Although harsher critics have been urging this retirement since his loss to fellow Sydneysider Daniel Geale, now eight years and 10 fights ago. Indeed, with each new defeat, the lights that once shone so bright on Australia’s most recognised, and controversial, athlete have now faded almost completely.

Of his past five fights, Mundine has lost four. Of his past seven fights, he’s lost five — many of them worryingly so.

Like his 2014 bout against Ghanaian Joshua Clottey, where Mundine was floored five times in a lopsided points decision loss.

Then within a year, against American Charles Hatley, his corner threw the towel in Round 11, this time ending a bout where Choc was dropped three times in the second round alone. Even in his most recent fight against Aussie kickboxing legend John Wayne Parr, undoubtedly one of the greatest combat athletes this country has produced, but a fella who had not boxed professionally in 16 years, Mundine lost via split decision.

Anthony Mundine will clash with Michael Zerafa in his final fight. Picture: Mike Owen/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

All of which brings us to Bendigo Stadium tonight, and that fight few will watch.

Even with Mundine a whopping $9 TAB outsider, and men like Jeff Fenech urging the bout be ­cancelled for his safety. So as for wanting anyone ­kayoed?

No, let’s just hope this one, truly, will be the last for Choc.

That after years of entertaining Aussie sports fans as, first, that running, scoring, backflipping St George Dragons No. 6, then the boxer worth, by his own count, $34 million, Mundine will finally hang up the gloves to go do, well, anything else.

Maybe The Man disappears to perfect his jump shot with the kids?

Or perhaps, creates a Mundine Boxing Academy. Somewhere youngsters with nothing can go chase everything.

How good would that be?

Anthony Mundine with sons CJ Mundine (L) and Anthony Mundine III Picture: NCA NewsWire/Jenny EvansSource:News Corp Australia

Undoubtedly, Choc still has something to give Australian sport as mentor, trainer, even commentator. Anything outside the ropes.

But still, there was a time, right?

Most notably when he not only walked out on rugby league, ­clutching Muhammad Ali’s biography, but then silenced so much of Australia by not only beating Danny Green, but taking the WBA super middleweight strap from Sam Soliman, then IBO middleweight belt from Daniel Geale.

Elsewhere, Choc also beat Antwon Echols and, courageously, challenged Sven Ottke for the IBF super middleweight title in just his 11th fight. Which is where he got slept, sure. A loss from which he never ­really recovered.

Same deal his comments about America and 9/11. Or Arthur Beetson and Uncle Tom.

Mundine was once the headline act of Australian sport. Picture: Mike Owen/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Still, those closest to him insist so much of this has all been an act.

That the real man is someone so much kinder, genuine, and sincere.

Sure, he called himself The Greatest. Yet Choc, he never drank.

Never did drugs, either (even if the continued talk of fighting Floyd Mayweather had some convinced otherwise). But strip him right back, friends say, and Mundine is the loveliest fella.

Over the years, more than a handful of people wanting us to know how, when things were toughest, it was his arm that wrapped around them.

Which is hopefully, now, what happens for The Man tonight.

So thanks for the memories, Choc. Stay safe.

Originally published asSad, anonymous end to Mundine career

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