|Mundine looking up and down as he prepares for Soliman
Interview By Anthony Cocks, Site Editor (May 27, 2008) Doghouse Boxing
Two days ahead of his third fight with Sam Soliman, Anthony Mundine was in a relaxed and playful mood. “It’s the Man right here,” he said when he answered his cell phone. “It’s the man with the master plan, I got the ace in my hand. How you doing buddy?”
It was an unusually cordial response from a boxer than can often be difficult to contact. But that is the Mundine enigma. Flamboyant, bombastic and intentional brash in the public eye, yet exceedingly guarded about his private
life and his personal time.
On Monday afternoon Mundine took time out to discuss the Soliman fight, his plans to conquer the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions, and why a rematch with Mikkel Kessler is unlikely to happen any time soon.
Anthony Cocks: How’s your preparation been for this fight?
Anthony Mundine: It’s been good man. I had a bit of the flu a couple of weeks ago that set me back a little bit, but besides that everything has gone to plan. I’ve done a lot of good sparring, I’ve done my running, I’ve done my training, so I’m ready to dominate once again.
AC: Sounds good. Who have you been using for sparring partners this time around?
AM: I’ve had a few of them. I’ve had a few good amateurs, I’ve had Emanuel Augustus, I had my regular sparring partners in
Jamie Withers and Daniel Baff, I’ve had Kerry Foley as well. I’ve used a whole range of different ones, so it’s been great for me.
AC: How many rounds have you put in for this preparation?
AM: Over 100, 120 rounds, so I know I’m in shape. And I’ve come down to 74kg
AC: You seem to make the weight pretty easy.
AM: Yeah, I make super middleweight easy without even dieting. That’s why I know that if the opportunity came along in the middleweight division I would definitely take it.
AC: Now are you expecting anything different from Soliman this time around? Last time it became increasingly one-sided as the rounds wore on.
AM: He will have to try something different. If he comes back like he did in the last fight it’ll just be a continuation. We’ll try to box a little bit, stay on the outside. But I think he’s going to try to mix his gameplan up. Try to catch me unawares, try to outhustle and bustle me sometimes, try to box me sometimes, maybe dirty tactics, all kinds of stuff.
AC: You mentioned just a moment ago that there might be an opportunity for you to move down to middleweight. I have heard a whisper that Felix Sturm would be the bloke you would be targeting there.
AM: Nah, I’m just looking at all the economical fights. It they make money, they make sense, you know.
AC: And you’d be willing to travel overseas to make a fight happen?
AM: Oh definitely, definitely. I want to fight the best of the best. Kelly Pavlik is the best of the middleweights and if he’s the best, then I want to fight the best. Or Calzaghe.
AC: They are the two on your hit list at the moment?
AM: They are the two that I really feel that if I was matched up against and given the opportunity, their 0’s would go, you know what I mean.
AC: Sure. Would you consider giving a crack to Sakio Bika?
AM: Definitely. We tried to work that fight out but Sakio has got to realize that while it’s economical viable, I’m giving him double, if not double and a half, of the highest payday he’s getting offered. He has to start to realize who he is and what he’s worth rather than price himself out of the fight. He says he wants to fight me but he has priced himself out of the fight to get out of the fight, so really no-one wants to fight me, you know what I mean.
AC: How hard has it been to make fights in Australia knowing that other boxers are aware that you’re their ticket to a big payday? How hard is it to make those fights happen?
AM: That’s right. And that’s what I’m saying. With Sakio, we’ve been trying to negotiate that for the last three to six months. He says he wants to fight and he talks a good game, but he don’t want to fight. He don’t want to fight.
AC: And how was your reaction to the news that Danny Green was retiring? Obviously there was talk of a rematch down the track.
AM: Well that hurt me a bit. Green would have been another great fight, a great payday for the both of us. But I don’t mind, I’m still here, I’m still gonna do what I do and that’s win. Like I said, you give me the opportunities. I want to fight the best and beat the best and if Green comes back I’ll tap his arse again.
AC: Realistically what are the chances of you moving down to middleweight or up to light heavyweight, or will you sit around at super middleweight and wait for something to come up?
AM: Well I’m just going to keep my options open. I’m definitely interested in the middleweight division, but I want to fight for lucrative deals against the best fighters. Winky Wright, Kelly Pavlik, just the names in the sport, you know what I mean. If I’m matched up against them and I do what I do, which is win and be destructive and be dominant, there’s not many names left. I’m already in the mix, it’s just a matter of continuing to do what I do and just being patient and biding my time because they’re going to have to come and see me. I’m not going to lose again.
AC: And what about a rematch with Mikkel Kessler? Is that fight dead in the water or is there a chance there for you to go back and get revenge?
AM: It’s not dead in the water, but the thing is I can’t win against Mikkel Kessler in the fact that he’s coming off a loss to Calzaghe, so if I beat him now, he’s already lost to Calzaghe. And I’m not winning financially, you know what I mean. So why take a fight like that where I’m not going to win either way even if I beat him and I’m not going to make money. That would be silly on my behalf. But if he comes back and wins a few fights and beats a few names, he’s back in the picture. But right now he’s not.
AC: What can fight fans expect from Anthony Mundine on Wednesday night?
AM: They can expect another great show. Another great boxing entertainer, a flamboyant and charismatic fighter doing what he does best. That’s why people love to watch me, because I’m pretty to watch. I’ve got the values that pound-for-pound fighters have and that is the grace of the sweet science. They enjoy my fighting style, they love my fighting style and obviously my personality and my charisma make for a great fight.
AC: Thanks for your time, Choc.
AM: Thank you.
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