Sunday, June 13, 2021

Boxer Anthony Mundine retires, apologises for 9/11 US terror attack remarks

Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine is hanging up the boxing gloves for good after officially announcing his retirement.

Despite the result, those who attended his send-off said he would go down as “one of Australia’s greatest-ever sportsmen”.

Mundine finishes his decorated career with a premiership with the Brisbane Broncos in 1997, plus a State of Origin series in 1999, before switching to boxing in 2000.

In that year, after just four amateur bouts, Mundine beat New Zealand’s Gerrard Zohs in his first professional fight.

Only 10 professional outings later, Mundine fought for his first world title against long-reigning IBF super middleweight champion Sven Ottke.

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In 2003, Mundine went on to claim the vacant WBA super middleweight title in front of a home crowd at the Sydney Entertainment Centre with a unanimous points decision over American Antwun Echols.

Mundine credits his determination, self-belief and bloodline – which includes his father Tony Mundine, who fought for a world middleweight title in 1974 — for helping him to a 48-11 professional boxing record over 21 years.

“What a ride man, what a ride,” Mundine said.

“I was just a young Aboriginal urban boy that had a dream and made the right choices and used my talent to excel.

“I knew I had the ability and the bloodline to do it. The mindset and the hard work ethic to be a champion.”

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In his announcement, Mundine said he also wished to right a wrong, apologising for comments he made almost two decades ago about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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Mundine in 2001 said “America’s brought it upon themselves”, which arguably had a significant effect on his boxing career in the United States, where he only had one fight.

“A lot of the media portrayed me to be for the killings. I want to put that on record, that I was in no way for the killings,” Mundine said.

“Taking one human life is like taking the whole of humanity to me. I feel like I was crucified for that — probably rightly so. I said it raw and pretty dumb at the time.”

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