By Jake Donovan
Former two-time titlist Anthony Mundine hopes 2014 will be the year in which he lands a lucrative showdown with a North American box office star.
However, his 10-round points win over late replacement Gunnar Jackson - which came in their modified middleweight bout Wednesday evening at Brisbane Entertainment Center in Queensland, Australia - won't exactly have the world's best 154 lb. fighters shaking in their boots.
The bout was largely one way, even with Jackson's well-intended burst at the start of the bout. Mundine remained a step ahead every step of the way, with separation in skill and ring generalship growing evident with each passing round.
There were moments in the night when Jackson seemed ready to go, but was a question of whether or not Mundine was able to pull the trigger. It wasn't necessarily for a lack of trying, but the 38-year old had to instead for a dominant ten-round showing.
Jackson managed to make it to the final bell, which would make it a moral victory for the journeyman.
In reality, it was a rout as scores of 100-90 across the board came down for Mundine, who advances to 46-5 (28KO) for his second straight win.
The brash Aussie continues to insist he is the premiere challenger for current pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr., though such claims last year were also followed with the insistence that his next fight would be a blockbuster.
Even with Jackson (18-5-3, 6KO) accepting the fight on very late notice, Wednesday's show was always intended as a soft showcase for Mundine. The original opponent was Carson Jones, who was forced to withdraw after catching the flu during training camp.
After the fight, he once again plead for a big fight.
"I want to fight the best there is. But there's nothing I can do about it if these guys aren't willing to face me," Mundine claimed afterward.
Regardless of his next oppponent, the former super middleweight titlsit plans to return in the spring.
"We're looking at April, early April, something about two months from now. I want to keep active."
Mundine's last win within sniffing distance of the contender level came in Oct. '10, winning an interim title with a 12-round decision over Rigoberto Alvarez, the older brother of boxing superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
A competitive points loss to countryman and then-middleweight titlist Daniel Geale began his 2013 campaign, though going another 10 months before resurfacing with a 6th round stoppage of Shane Mosley in their rescheduled affair last November.
The bout served as the headlining act on Australia Main Event pay-per-view.
Former rugby star Quade Cooper paid his annual ring visit, finishing in strong fashion with a 4th round stoppage of Warren Tressider in the evening's co-feature.
Cooper was a bit slow coming out the gate, but picked up steam as the bout progresssed. Urged by his corner to let his hands go, the 25-year old did just that in the final round. An uppercut began the rally, and Cooper didn't let up until flooring his foe.
Tresidder desperately attempted to convince the refere that he was fit to continue, but was disallowed the opportunity to hear the final bell.
The official time was 0:24 of round four.
Cooper is now 2-0 (2KO), his lone other bout coming nearly one year ago. Tresidder falls to 0-2.
FULL CARD RESULTS
Quade Cooper TKO4 Warren Tresidder - cruiserweight
Cooper finishes strong, drops and stops Tresidder at 0:24 of 4th and final round
Renold Quinlan UD8 Joel Casey - super middleweight
David Aloua TKO5 Junior Maletino Iakopo - heavyweight
Iakopo comes out throwing, Aloua unloads, gets stoppage at 0:55 of 5th round
George Kambosos Jr UD6 Jaikom Paitoon - super lightweight
Kambosos Jr. shuts out former Muay Thai fighter, scored 60-54 across the board
Billel Dib UD6 Igor Tsujev - junior lightweight
Dib impresses in virtual shutout of Tsujev. Scores 60-55 (twice) and 60-54
Bilal Akkawy TKO4 Jody Allen - middleweight
Akkway hammers away at Allen before forcing stoppage at 1:55 of 4th round
Cameron Hammond UD4 Pramool Boonpok - welterweight
Hammond cruises in PPV opener, wins 40-36 (twice) and 39-37 on cards
Sebastian Singh UD4 Frank McDonald - super lightweight
Bout off-TV, result courtesy of aus-boxing.com
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox