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Australian boxer Anthony Mundine wants to “educate and unite Australians” with his boycott of the Australian national anthem before his world title fight against Daniel Geale tomorrow.

“The best athlete ever” in his own humble opinion is reportedly using the anthem played ahead of the fight for Geale’s IBF world title to inform Australians of the story behind the anthem.

"I don't mean to incite any racism or anything like that," Mundine told Fairfax Media. "I am just trying to make people aware and educate them because most of them don't know the story.

"The truth is, that anthem was composed in the 1800s when Aborigines were considered fauna. From 1901 to 1973 there was a White Australia Policy to make Australia white, and guess what the theme song of that policy was - Advance Australia Fair. So what are they really singing, Advance Australia White.

"I am a guy who has always stood up for what I believe in, and if people were educated on that and knew the facts they would say 'let's change it for the better - for all Australians'," Mundine said.

Geale is also proud of his indigenous Australian heritage, which has been questioned by Mundine ahead of this fight, although he later apologised, a trend for the former rugby league player who has a habit of making inflammatory remarks that he later regrets.

Outsiders could have been confused about who the fight was against after Mundine took exception to respected sports journalist Paul Kent’s line of questioning at a pre-fight press conference this week.

Kent, an unabashed critic of Mundine who says he isn’t allowed entry to “The Man’s” fights, set Mundine off when he asked what can be found in his previous fights that would give any reason to believe he could be Geale in this showdown.

Anthony’s response:

"Listen man, everyone respects me except for you, Paul. I know deep down in your heart you've got a little respect for me. But I know that you, and a lot of other people, doubt. I don't know, you just want to hate on somebody.

"You just want to hate because, I don't know, because I'm me, and I'm raw. I want the best fighters and the biggest tests. So what's going to get me up for this fight. That's what I need. That's all I need. I want the biggest stage, the biggest test. That's all I need. I don't need nothing else.

"That's what gets me off because it's going to satisfy me so much that people like you, I'm going to prove wrong. And you keep writing, dog.

"But tell me after this fight, when I win it, when I win it, I'm the best athlete ever, man. Ever. And if you give me the same accolades as Geale, you should."

Kent, who works for the Daily Telegraph, reported the rest of the exchange verbatim, covering a range of issues:

Kent: "You say you're the best athlete ever but you're the only one that says it ... can you name me one other person that has said it?"

Mundine: "You name me someone that done what I did and conquered two sports like I did."

Kent: "Bo Jackson."

Mundine: "That's team to team. We're going from a team to boxing."

Kent: "Ambrose Palmer."

Mundine: "Never heard of him."Kent: "Aboriginal boxer, also played AFL."

Mundine: "Never heard of him. I'm talking world titles. I'm talking records, doing what I done. You know they gypped me in football, that's why I left the game.

"You had the (Australian) coach Chris Anderson coming out saying, 'We don't pick him because of his off-field characteristics'. I left it at its height, and I was the highest player in the league at the time. Money talks."

Kent: "You left the game because you said it was racist - and there were Aboriginals (sic) in front of you. The five-eighth in front of you was Aboriginal."

Mundine: "How?"

Kent: "Laurie Daley."

Mundine: "How was he Aboriginal? He didn't claim to be Aboriginal, he was like this fella (pointing to Geale). He never claimed to be Koori."

Kent: "The chairman of selectors was Arthur Beetson. How do you claim he was racist against you?"

Mundine: "Because they're all Uncle Toms, baby, just like him (Geale). He's an Uncle Tom."

Kent: "You're saying Arthur Beetson was an Uncle Tom?"

Mundine: "No, I'm saying they're joined to the system."

Kent: "Did you say Arthur Beetson was an Uncle Tom or not?"Mundine: "No, I'm saying there's Uncle Toms out there, there is Uncle Toms out there."

Kent: "Arthur Beetson was chairman of selectors."

Mundine: "Yeah, but he don't make the decisions. He might be chairman of selectors but he don't make the decisions - it's set up to crumble, man."

Kent: "You're rewriting history."

Mundine: "Listen, you just come Wednesday night and witness the best athlete you've ever seen. I'm a likeable guy, man. I'm easygoing, just down to earth. I give everybody time. But when you have people that want to see the downfall, want to wish bad, doubt you, criticise you - what I've done ain't ever been done."

Kent: "We want to see you finally do what you're saying you're going to do."

Mundine: "You just be at the fight."

And that was that, until their next round.

Images via Getty

 


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Anthony Mundine to 'boycott national anthem' before Daniel Geale fight to 'educate and unite Australians'
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