If Anthony Mundine was playing a character to draw in the crowds, or engaging in a bit of gamesmanship to put his opponent off a bit, that’d almost be alright, but last week his bad sportsmanship and verbal bile went to a whole new level. 

Surely devotees of ‘The Man and Greatest Athlete of All Time’ – his words – are having second thoughts about the merit of their allegiance.

You’ve probably worked out I’m not a fan, but I’ve been willing to offer respect to a sublime athlete who was a bloody good rugby league player (albeit more for individual brilliance than for his team) and a skilled boxer.

No more. The lead-up to and aftermath of his loss to Daniel Geale, who retained his rightly earned world middleweight boxing title, has made that impossible.

Point blank, the guy is a gibberer who is wasting talent most of us would dream about by making brash, disrespectful and in some cases pig ignorant statements that help no one, least of all those he so vehemently claims to represent.

He enters the ring to the voice of Ali, but couldn’t be further from the man who mixed politics with class in the ring with bravery and effect.

Mundine’s threat to boycott the national anthem before their bout meant it was played before the boxers entered the ring – if he was able to articulate his reasons and make his point without being such an arse, he’d earn respect.

His refusal to touch gloves with fellow Aussie Geale before the final round (a traditional gesture of respect between boxers who’ve gone the distance) and then his childish walkout after everyone at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, most importantly the judges, declared he’d been out-boxed in about three-quarters of rounds.

His claim that he was “ambushed” and “robbed” by the judges (all Australian).

Delusion is a friendly term. A guy with no one to say “pull your head in” would be generous.

Sad thing is he fought well. The underdog in every mind but his own and the bubble in which he lives, he wasn’t thrashed, just beaten.

A humble defeat could have stemmed the boos he’s worked so hard to earn from his detractors, but that was too much to ask.

Agree or disagree? Is Mundine a hero or a loud-mouthed zero? letters@tntmagazine.com


Phew, the window is finally closed

Can you hear that? The sweet blissful silence now the transfer window has been closed.

Did you wake on Sunday and Monday morning and read reports about the matches from the weekend that actually talked about the games?

It’s a crazy thought, life without that industrial-sized bay bird exit creaking in the wind, but one I’ve dreamt about for a couple of months.

The whole notion of the window sucks.

It’s a fiesta of business transactions in which clubs who’ve spent poorly in the previous half of the season dig into their pockets to flog off their overpaid numpties and try to ressurect something from their season. Or, for big clubs to raid the desperate ones. 

Newcastle’s basically a different side now with five French signings and QPR have some star power to help avoid the drop.

But mostly, a stack of speculation’s come to nothing and wasted column inches better filled with Joey Barton quotes.


Photo: Getty