The rocky career of Anthony MundineMundine brought to ground during his NRL career.


Anthony Mundine’s boxing career ended on a dour note on Saturday night when he failed to last one round in what he says was his final fight.

The Man left the ring with his tail between his legs, outclassed by fellow Australian Michael Zerafa in just over two minutes.

Mundine, 45, announced in December that he would come out of retirement to face Zerafa but confirmed he will not step into the ring again.

“That’s it for me – even if I won I would have hung them up. I just don’t have the heart to do it anymore,” Mundine said after his fight at Bendigo Stadium.

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Mundine’s announcement finally brings the curtain down on one of Australian sport’s most divisive careers.


The son of boxer Tony Mundine, Mundine made his professional rugby league debut in 1993 at age 18. He quickly became a staple of St. George’s first grade side, proving a crafty five-eighth/centre with a knack for bamboozling opposition defence.

Mundine enjoyed his sole taste of premiership glory with the Broncos in 1997, after his Dragons came up short in the previous year’s decider.

Having struggled to hold down the number six jersey at Red Hill, Mundine moved back to the Dragons the following year.

St. George-Illawarra’s 1999 grand final loss proved something of a metaphor for Mundine’s tumultuous career. While it was Mundine who orchestrated the club’s impressive 14-0 halftime lead, many pundits blamed his bombed try as costing the club its maiden premiership.

Although he played three games for NSW in 1999, the outspoken Mundine believed he deserved more, adamant he was the best pivot in the state. Spurned by being overlooked for the Origin side too often, a bitter Mundine abandoned the game he loved because, in his eyes, it didn’t love him back.


Mundine made his professional boxing debut less than three months after he played his final NRL game. In his first 40 fights, he suffered just three losses, only one of which was by knockout.

Notably, Mundine is one of just four fighters to defeat Aussie boxing icon Danny Green, doing so by unanimous decision in 2006. The fight packed out Sydney Football Stadium for what was billed as the biggest fight in Australian boxing history.

Both men were at the peak of their powers then and there were no bigger names in the game Down Under, a win seeing Mundine cement his status as Australia’s premier fighter.

The Man earned several titles in his heyday, including the WBA World Super Middleweight Title, which he first claimed in 2003 after fighting Antwun Echols.

After losing the belt the following year, he regained it in 2007, convincingly defeating Sam Soliman in the pair’s second meeting.

Mundine is often credited with bringing boxing to a wider Australian audience in the 2000s. With his outspoken personality outside of the ring and his gutsy attitude in it, Mundine raised the profile of the sport nationwide — attracting plenty of haters while he was at it, but he didn’t care.

In recent years, however, his legacy has been tarnished by a series of brutal losses.

Mundine’s former agent Khoder Nasser led calls for him to retire in 2013, following a loss to Daniel Geale. Mundine refused to listen though, and instead went on to lose five of his next nine starts, including his rematch with Green in 2017.

That night in February nearly four years ago was full of controversy, with not everyone agreeing Green deserved his revenge over Mundine. Fans and boxing pundits lashed the “disgraceful” decision to award Green victory, while Choc also came under fire for throwing a cheap shot after the referee called a stoppage.

The fight should have spelled the end for Mundine, with some fans suggesting the rematch would have been a fitting finish to The Man’s career.

But even after his shocking first round KO to Jeff Horn in 2018, Mundine was determined to push on.

Those close to Mundine urged him to hang up the gloves. Everyone in boxing knew his time in the spotlight was over, and well into his 40s, he was putting himself in serious danger just by stepping into the ring.

The man who once thrilled Australia, first on the footy field and then in boxing, was in danger of becoming a cautionary tale for what overstaying your welcome looks like.

Mundine announced his retirement multiple times, but kept coming back for more, which only resulted in extra punishment. Pundits said boxing officials shouldn’t have even allowed him to face Zerafa.

After Horn, Mundine lost to John Wayne Parr in 2019 but defeat at the hands at Zerafa looks to have closed the book on The Man’s career for good.


Mundine made headlines outside of the ring throughout his sporting career. Converting to Islam in the late 1990s, he attracted international ire for his comments about the September 11 attacks.

“They call it an act of terrorism, but if you can understand religion, and our way of life, it’s not about terrorism. It’s about fighting for God’s law, and America’s brought it upon themselves,” he said in October of 2001.

Mundine has also drawn criticism for his comments about homosexuals.

“My dad told me GOD made ADAM & EVE not Adam & Steve,” Mundine wrote on Facebook in 2013.

Mundine made similar remarks while a contestant on I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here in 2018.

“If you’re going to be gay, do it behind closed doors,” he said.

Mundine was named Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Person of the Year in 2000 and has continued to champion Indigenous rights in the years since. For its treatment of First Nations peoples, Mundine termed Australia “one of the most racist countries” in a 2012 interview.

He has also led calls for the Australian flag and national anthem to be changed.

“I want to move forward, I want to unite the people, I want to move forward as one,” he said.

Earlier this year, Mundine said that the decision to slightly alter the Australian national anthem’s lyrics — changing “young and free” to “one and free” — “still ain’t good enough”.

“It’s always gonna be a white supremacy song until the whole song is rewritten,” he said.

Mundine had previously referred to the anthem as “the theme song for the white Australian policy”.



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