Mundine v Geale II: Winner and Loser

Daniel Geale controlled Wednesday night’s fight from start to finish. He landed the first punch of the night – a left hook – which stunned Anthony Mundine and set the pattern. Geale settled early and was comfortable throughout. With his chin tucked behind his left shoulder, he combined solid, compact defence with constant forward movement and was rarely hurried or unsettled. As usual, Geale’s technique was faultless, delivering well-constructed combinations. Not a knockout specialist, Geale racked up points consistently, proving to those who didn’t already know that he is the Real Deal.

Aged 31 and at his peak, the next year will be important for Geale. He is obligated to meet the winner of the Felix Sturm and Sam Soliman fight, an IBF eliminator in Germany on Sunday. Assuming he gets through that bout, Geale should attempt to reclaim the WBA title he was stripped of in accepting the Mundine fight, while keeping an eye on the WBC belt currently held by Sergio Gabriel Martinez. The Argentinian defends against Brit Martin Murray in April. A few jigsaw pieces have to be fitted in place, but unification of the major middleweight belts is possible for Daniel Geale. If he achieves this he can lay claim to being one of Australia’s greatest.

Although on his heels and in defensive mode for much of the fight, Mundine stuck to the task admirably. Like Geale, his technique was good and he attempted to deliver heavy right hands, but six years older than Geale, he was unable to breach the champion’s defences, except for one or two desperate flurries in the later rounds. At times Mundine resorted to lifting his elbow to deflect Geale’s left hook and was warned more than once for head butting.

Unfortunately for him, Mundine’s commendable efforts were soon forgotten due to his post-fight petulance. Mundine refused to acknowledge Geale’s victory by storming out of the ring like a schoolboy who didn’t get picked on the team. He ranted and raved all the way back to the change rooms and continued to let loose during the press conference, claiming to have been robbed.

Blind Freddy could have seen Geale won the fight hands down.

While Geale’s future looks golden, it’s difficult to predict where things will go for Mundine. The public is tired of him. His post-September 11 comments cost him a shot at the American market and he has continued since to offend and annoy. His questioning of Geale’s heritage in the build-up was stuff of a bygone era. Mundine fancies himself as a witty, social commentator. He’s not.

If this is the end for Mundine (there is a whisper he may fight Danny Green again), it’s difficult to see image conscious corporate or sporting bodies hiring him for appearances or to plug their goods – if that’s the way he chooses to go. The media courts controversy – who was that rude Kiwi Channel10 gave a morning gig to? – and Mundine may attract an audience as a specialist commentator on Main Event, but beyond that a steady media career is doubtful. Another stint on ‘Big Brother’ may be in order.

Anthony Mundine should be remembered for being a great exponent of two sports. If he’s not, he has no one to blame but himself. And that will be a shame.


  1. Starks – outstanding summary of the fight. Mundine’s hands still looked quick but his feet have slowed up just enought to get him into trouble against good boxers. And Geale is a very good boxer. A couple of times Mundine launched at Geale only to find he was throwing punches at fresh air.

    Mundine is an angey (not so) young man. He will never be at peace with the world and may never be at peace with himslef.

    Geale could go a long way. He achieved something that is rarely achieved in boxing – he won with humility and grace.

  2. Andrew Starkie says

    Dips, Mundine’s a complicated, yet simple character. Aren’t we all. There’s something vulnerable and likeable about him – which can be said about most boxing people which is why I love the sport. He had a moment and opportunity to show humility and grace in defeat and repair his relationship with Austn society. But he blew it and may never get the chance again.

    I thought about his dad often during the build-up and washup. I wonder what he feels about his son’s poor behaviour? What all parents feel when their kids stuff up, I suppose. Did you notice Tony greet Daniel when he arrived at the venue on Wedy night? Great gesture that spoke heaps about the camarederie among boxing people.

  3. Nice little report on the fight – Thanks
    I saw it exactly the same way and also have a huge respect for Mundine as an athlete not as his “boxing persona” , I have never met him but believe he is nothing like that without a camera on.
    Excellent footballer , excellent boxer who time has come and gone but hey,could we have done either?
    Just wanted to put it into perspective,lot of haters out there saying alot of vicious stuff.
    Love Daniel Geale,humble,lovely boxer,hope he goes far

  4. One man’s hater is another man’s realist. Can’t comment on the guy as a footballer… but for all the people who wanted to be Ali, Mundine was the one guy who truly didn’t get the essence of Ali.
    And as a fighter, well, you can be said to be an excellent fighter while fighting in Australia only in the sense you can be said to be an excellent baseballer or soccer player while playing in Australia. The only time he fought o/s he woke up on the plane home somewhere over PNG. It severely diminished his taste for exotic climes.
    He fought Lester Ellis, for God’s sake, when the man was seven-hundred years old and drinking a slab a day.
    I still don’t know how good a fighter Mundine was, because he never went to the USA to sit the exam.

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