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.