|01-11-2010, 07:51 AM||#1|
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Mundine out to add another local scalp
Anthony Mundine has the opportunity on Monday to extend his family's extraordinary boxing record against Australian opposition, but fight fans want to know when he will take on a credible international fighter.
Mundine will fight fellow Sydney-sider "Deadly" Robert Medley for the a WBA regional middleweight title at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
They were originally supposed to fight for the vacant IBO light middleweight world title, though that was allegedly scrapped due to reservations the Mundine camp had about dealing with the IBO.
The Medley team and plenty of impartial boxing figures believed the change was made due to Mundine having difficulties making the light middleweight limit, something he strenuously denied.
Medley (27-2, 17 KOs) looms as a decent test for Mundine, though he has lost some of the advantage he would have had fighting at light middleweight.
Mundine (37-3, 23 KOs) has never lost to another Australian, a feat which his famous father Tony also achieved throughout his entire 15-year professional career.
No one could ever accuse Mundine Jr of not giving other Australian fighters an opportunity.
The former rugby league star has tested the patience of boxing fans by opting for fights against second-rate overseas boxers and a number of Australians who were past their prime.
Mundine, 34, has not fought an internationally recognised overseas opponent since June 2005 when he dropped an honourable points decision in Sydney to Denmark's Mikkel Kessler.
"I don't care who it is, the best in the middleweight division, junior middleweight, I'm willing to take on the best," Mundine told reporters.
"I know Medley is a guy that you can't look past.
"I have to put in the work to be at the weight I'm at, but he's going to find out that I'm the best he's ever fought."
The only losses suffered by 28-year old Medley came on the previous occasions he stepped up in class, when he was twice defeated in IBO welterweight world title fights in Sydney by classy South African Isaac Hlatshwayo.
Medley was disappointed he wouldn't be fighting Mundine for a world title, but said he wasn't bothered by tackling him at middleweight.
"It's definitely more of an advantage getting him coming down to junior middleweight, but I'm going to be feeling super strong at middleweight," Medley told AAP.
"I've been sparring bigger opponents, so I am okay at middleweight."
Medley said he had spent a fair bit of time talking to his stablemate Daniel Geale, who suffered a close and contentious loss to Mundine last year.
Monday's undercard features the final of The Contender reality TV boxing show, with another former rugby league player Garth Wood taking on Kenyan olympian Kariz Kariuki.
The promotion also features a clash between Contender contestants Nader Hamdan and Junior Talipeau.
North Queensland rugby league forward Carl Webb will make his professional debut in a heavyweight contest against unheralded Scott Lewis who has lost three of his four paid bouts.
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