By Adrian Warren
Anthony Mundine is promising some razzle dazzle as he strives to make an impression on his American debut following the longest layoff of his boxing career.
Mundine is fighting former WBO light middleweight champion Bronco McKart in Las Vegas on Saturday in the first step of a plan he hopes will ultimately lead to a bout with unbeaten pound-for-pound superstar Floyd Mayweather.
Both men weighed in the same, well under the middleweight limit on Friday.
Having apologised for any heartache caused by his comments about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mundine now wants Americans to recognise his actions inside the ring.
Asked what fight fans at the Palms Resort Casino can expect to see, Mundine said: "That skills pay the bills.
"Show everything that people can see when I fight in the ring, as far as charismatic, flamboyant, will, heart, courage."
The 37-year-old Australian is adamant he won't be affected by his less than perfect preparation, which included him being forced to spend some unscheduled time in bed.
"I got heat stroke at the Mayweather gym after doing seven rounds sparring and it really messed me up, and I had to stay in bed for a couple of days to recover," Mundine said.
"Since then I started training at the Palms cardio room and did my last sparring session there and I'm primed.
"I'm in tip top condition."
A gap of almost nine months back to his last bout against Rigoberto Alvarez is the longest of his professional career, but Mundine (43-4, 25 KOs) was patiently waiting for his American management to secure the right fight.
"They keep procrastinating and nothing came through and then this opportunity came up so I grabbed it with both hands," Mundine said.
"I've continually worked on my art and I knew this opportunity was coming."
He dismissed criticism of his choice of opponent, 41-year-old McKart (54-9-1, 32 KOs), who has fought just three times in the last two and a half years, though victorious in all three.
"He's a veteran, he's cagey, he's a six-foot leftie, so he's going to be hard to touch," Mundine said.
"This man can fight, no matter what the critics say.
"I've got to be ready, I've got to bring my A game. As long as I do that, I know I'm a level above."
Describing himself as a blue collar fighter, McKart said he had done his homework on Mundine.
"He's a good fighter, I've watched a lot of tapes. I knew about Mundine years ago, long before this fight ever came on the table," McKart said.
"I know a lot about Anthony."
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