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Old 07-15-2002, 18:13   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Mundine beats another has-been

From SMH

Crowd, boxing and Ellis all take a severe battering
By Roy Masters
July 16 2002


Floored challenger: Lester Ellis falls to his knees and the fight is over in the third. Photo: Vince Caligiuri




It was a fight in which the winner's reputation and the patience of those who watched took a worse battering than the loser.

Anthony Mundine's victory over 37-year-old Lester Ellis in the third round at Melbourne's Vodafone Arena last night was pure farce. The younger, fitter, heavier Mundine carried Ellis from the opening bell.

When Ellis's brother and trainer, Keith, stopped the fight in the third round, the only person in the capacity crowd who seemed to agree was Mundine's mother, Lyn. "I'm glad its over," she said, with the look of mothers who see their sons home tucked in bed after they have come home from war.

When asked why he had stopped the fight, Keith Ellis said: "Mundine was only warming up and I've got to take him home."

Any element of suspense in the evening air dissipated as soon as Mundine showed he was too quick and Ellis lacked power.


The crowd had been promised a mugger in Ellis but got a man with a pop-gun punch.

A protracted delay before the tainted spectacle, described by the ring announcer as a "battle of tactics to see who comes out first", forced the Victorian Professional Boxing and Combat board to enter both dressing-rooms.

In view of Ellis's age and the fact he had not fought for six years, it was feared he might be the first contender ever carried into the ring.

The delay was, in fact, caused by a demand by Ellis to be paid up front, despite the VPBC board's official version that Ellis had succumbed to the crowd's wish he enter first.

He did, to the tune of Working Class Man, the crowd giving him a hero's welcome.

The Mundine strategy was to fight from afar in the first three rounds, avoiding the in-fighting which could produce an accidental head clash and a technical draw and give Ellis another pay day. Instead, fans did not get bang for their buck.

Ellis was once a great body puncher, a skill that does not deteriorate too swiftly with age, but it deserted him last night.

Ellis was once an industrial-strength in-fighter, a hard-punching bull with a killing body attack, a relentless style and the chin of your average tugboat, but Mundine could have knocked him out in round one when a short right jab on the chin wobbled the former world lightweight champion. Only once did he attempt to maul and outmuscle Mundine on the ropes, but it was a shortlived flurry.

Even by professional boxing's corrupt and capricious standards, it was a cynical promotion, appealing to our basest instincts.

Nobody can argue any longer that, long-term, boxing is any good for you, but this fight did serve the purpose of giving Ellis a clean bill of health.

The VPBC board declared Ellis fit last month and last night was a sterner test than those runs on a treadmill with wires attached.

Yet an opponent with good lateral movement and a crisp jab was always going to give him trouble, and Mundine is 10 years younger and 2kg heavier.

Even in round two, Ellis's face was smeared with blood running from his right eye and his legs were backpedalling shakily.

After only two rounds, he had reached the end of a short tether and wore the desperate look of a man who wanted only one thing - a place in the night to hide.

He lost his future and his past in the same instant he collapsed on one knee on the canvas in the third round.

It has always been stupid celebrating a fighter such as Ellis for his ability to take a punch, especially when it is obvious he has no hope of ever returning one and even more so when he returns to the ring after an absence of six years.

The stink of easy money in the air and the prospect of a mismatch did not deter the 8500 fans who paid up to $100 a ticket, filling the arena and registering the biggest Melbourne boxing attendance since the rematch between Jeff Fenech and Azumah Nelson at Princes Park 10 years ago.

Nobody this side of a Roman emperor wants an athlete to be a sacrifice for our entertainment but last night's crowd went close, with a brawl in the ring and another in the stands.
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Old 07-16-2002, 20:53   #2 (permalink)
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Mundine to avoid Green in second bid for title

Mundine is a complete

From SMH

Anthony Mundine will sidestep another challenge from unbeaten fellow Australian Danny Green as he closes in on a second shot at a world super-middleweight title.

Jeff Fenech, Green's trainer and manager, yesterday offered Mundine $250,000 and a percentage of pay TV income to fight Green at the Central Coast Leagues Club in what would be a sellout attraction anywhere in Australia.

But Mundine is determined to remain master of his own destiny and will not fight on a card promoted by anyone other than TeamMundine.

"There is no reason for us to fight for any other promoter ... particularly for the money that has been mentioned," Mundine's manager, Khoder Nasser, said.

"All our promotions are successful. Anthony can make more money than that fighting for himself. We see ourselves as the heavyweight promoters in Australian boxing."


For all his natural ability, Mundine has been criticised for his unwillingness to take on young, hard-hitting opponents - but Nasser said Mundine had a plan and he would take fights to improve his ranking, not to boost other people's bank balances.

"A lot of guys want to fight me," Mundine said. "You've got guys queuing up like a dole line it's that long."

Mundine, knocked out by IBF champion Sven Ottke last December, is 10th in the WBA super-middleweight rankings and is aiming to get a shot as soon as possible at WBA champion Byron Mitchell (24-1-1), an American who has been inactive for almost a year.

Look, then, for Mundine to face technically gifted but light-punching Rick Thornberry (26-4) - who went the distance with Ottke in March - sooner rather than later.

Mundine will also turn down a challenge from Pierre Karam, who was ejected from the ring after Mundine's farcical third-round annihilation of former world junior-lightweight champion Lester Ellis in Melbourne on Monday night.

Mundine, now 14-1 with 11 KOs, is also unlikely to fight Kenyan-born Peter Kariuki, a former Australian light-heavyweight champion based in Adelaide who had been mentioned as a future opponent.

"To be quite honest, those guys are not even on our radar," Nasser said. "I hadn't even heard of Karam until he tried to step into the ring on Monday night. To fight him would be ludicrous.

"We've been fighting every six or seven weeks and I can't see that changing. All the great fighters - Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard - look at the way they built up their careers.

"Three bouts before he won the world title, Ali was fighting Archie Moore, a guy in his fifties. Leonard had 25 fights before challenging for a world title.

"The target is for Anthony to win a world title, not to get involved in slanging matches."

Former amateur star Green, who has won all 10 of his professional fights inside the distance, will fight South African Roland Francis on a Fenech card at Le Montage, Leichhardt, on August2 as he tries to shame Mundine into fighting him.

"Maybe if Danny were 38 years old, Mundine would fight him," Fenech said. "Mundine-Green is the fight that the fans want to see and maybe public pressure will force Anthony to change his mind."

But the betting is that Mundine and Green will not fight until one of them has a world title to defend.

Memories...
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