Anthony Mundine has been accused of racism after making disparaging remarks about the heritage of his fellow-Australian Daniel Geale.
Mundine, regarded as "a high-profile Aborigine", is the interim WBA light-middleweight champion and due to fight Tasmanian-born Geale, also of an Aboriginal background.
He said at their pre-fight media conference in Hobart on Friday he thought "they wiped out all the Aborigines from Tasmania,” referring to a colonial-era policy that sought to resettle the indigenous inhabitants of the island state south of mainland Australia.
Mundine added that Geale had "a white woman and white kids", and "I don't see him representing black or colored people."
Tasmanian state Aboriginal leader Michael Mansell on Friday described the comments as "ugly and racist, and an embarrassment to Aboriginal people everywhere."
"Racist comments are no less racist because they are made by an Aboriginal against other Aboriginals," Mansell said.
He added that Mundine was guilty of "genocide" because he had denied the existence of an entire race.
"Denying the existence of a people on the grounds of colour of skin is to rely on racist theories of racial purity to define identity in an attempt to erase the existence of a race," he said.
Mansell said Tasmanian Aborigines had withdrawn permission for the boxer to visit the state.
"That a high-profile Aboriginal would make such ignorant and ugly statements about Tasmanian Aboriginals is downright embarrassing.
Geale, the WBA super-middleweight and IBF middleweight champion, said he thought Mundine's comments went "too far" and that his opponent often did not think before he spoke.
"I know he is trying to promote a fight, but you have to think a little bit before making statements like that," Geale told local Macquarie Radio.
Tags: Anthony Mundine , Daniel Geale , Geale-Mundine Rematch , Geale vs. Mundine Rematch