Anthony Mundine a 'dog' for pulling out of Rob Medley fight
(By Josh Massoud and James Phelps - dailytelegraph.com.au)
January 5th, 2010
ANTHONY Mundine stands accused of "dogging'' his IBO world title bout against Rob Medley, which was sensationally cancelled yesterday after the controversial boxer abandoned ambitious plans to make light middleweight.
With less than a week left before Monday night's opening bell, Team Mundine has reneged on meeting Medley at 69.9kg - yet blamed the IBO for a debacle that threatens to short-change ticket holders and pay-per-view subscribers.
Team Mundine demanded the IBO install a NSW-only judging panel and referee for the Sydney Entertainment Centre stoush, and simply walked away when their wish was denied.
But many feel the excuse was merely a smokescreen to hide Mundine's apprehension at entering the ring a whopping 6kg below his previous fighting weight.
Mundine, who played NRL for St George Illawarra at 86kg, last week complained about the physical hardship of stripping so much bulk from his already lean frame.
It was believed he had a further 2-3kg left to lose when the bout officially collapsed yesterday, although he reportedly looked very impressive sparring against Nader Hamdan and Peter Matrevski Jr on Sunday night.
Medley's trainer Graham Shaw confirmed the IBO title was off the table, but said urgent negotiations were being held to salvage a 10-round fight at middleweight.
There was also speculation last night Mundine would stake his WBA international middleweight belt, which he won against Shannan Taylor last MARCH.
"To be honest with you, I half expected it,'' said Shaw, who trains out of Grange Old School gym in Narellan. "It's disappointing for Rob and us. I don't think Mundine can make the 154 pounds [69.75kg].
"It doesn't look like he wants to fight Daniel Geale either. I think he's dogged it to be honest with you.''
Medley has agreed to stack on 3kg over the next six days to meet Mundine at middleweight, but the event will struggle for an audience after losing world title billing. Australian IBO delegate Phil Austin said yesterday that he'd been advised Team Mundine wanted the officials to be NSW-based.
"We have protocols and processes in place for a world title fight and they can't be changed according to one camp's demands,'' Austin said.
"We couldn't give them what they wanted, so they've cancelled the world title fight at light middleweight.
"Make of that what you will.''
The IBO and Team Mundine have endured a frosty relationship since the 34-year-old was ordered to give Geale a re-match following their controversial middleweight title bout last May.
Mundine, however, decided to give up his belt and fight Medley instead.