Don’t buy into the hype about Danny Green and Anthony Mundine’s rematch

Old friends: Danny Green and Anthony Mundine after their bout in 2006. Photo: Craig GoldingUrgggghhh. It’s already started. Even for boxing, even for a politician, describing the latest version of Anthony Mundine against Danny Green as the ‘biggest fight in Australian history’ is taking one almighty tinkle on the toilet of credibility.
Nanjing Night Net

Maybe it’s going to the biggest fight in the history of Adelaide. That’s probably the case, especially with predictions of almost 40,000 at the Adelaide Oval in February for a rematch so sought-after that it’s taken more than a decade to unfold, in which time both men have faded into their early 40s.

“These guys are supreme athletes. Last night I went on YouTube and watched their fight from 2006,” said Leon ‘Spinks’ Bignell, South Australia’s sports minister and brand new fight fan. “They just hit each other all night. I’ve never been to a boxing match in my life … but this thing has got some intrigue about it.”

Does it? Really? Bignell would hope so, given his government has tipped in millions of dollars to secure the rights to a bout that should, mercifully, be the final time we see either man in the ring. He boasted of a sporting coup, although I’m not so sure state governments up the east coast were in much of a bidding frenzy.

That’s not to sledge Green, nor Mundine. Both were excellent fighters earlier in their careers and it takes immense courage to step into a ring against any opponent, which is something the armchair critics should always remember. Both have done wonders for the sport domestically, in terms of profile.

But that’s all this bout really brings to the table – some profile. It will be little more than a curiosity globally and media covering the lead-up should be careful not to project this bout as something it isn’t – i.e. relevant – in terms of the elite echelons of the sport.

Mundine will have to stack on some weight, although that’s unlikely to bolster his power, which has never been a feature of his career. Green, now 43, is still in decent enough shape but if you are hoping for a world-class spectacle at 83kg, be prepared to avert your eyes.

All of this arrives and completely overshadows some of the genuinely good things happening in Australian boxing, most notably the rise and rise of Brisbane welterweight Jeff Horn, a former schoolteacher who looks set to challenge for a real world title in the near future, possibly against American Errol Spence (21-0).

Truth is, he could give away 15kg and still tear apart a pair of fighters who were at their peak when he was recovering from Schoolies. But Horn suffers, in terms of exposure, from a) Not being from Sydney and b) Spending more time knocking people out than talking about knocking people out.

If you are one of the 10,000 people keen enough to take a trip to Adelaide to help give Green and Mundine (well played to them, btw) one final payday, all the very best. Make sure you go wine tasting as well. That way, you can leave with a decent taste in your mouth.

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