Anthony Mundine is adamant Wednesday night’s rematch with conqueror Garth Wood won’t signal the end of his boxing career.
Mundine, 35, vowed on Tuesday to follow his long-stated plan to pursue big fights in the United States after the 10-round middleweight bout in Brisbane.
The way Mundine saw it, last December’s shock fifth-round knockout loss to fellow ex-rugby league player Wood was a good thing.
“He didn’t knock me out. He woke me up,” Mundine said.
Critics suggest Mundine (40 wins, 4 losses) will be at a career crossroads when he faces Wood (10 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw), with another defeat possibly signalling the end.
But Mundine preferred to call it a “resurrection”.
“I am going to make it, I am going to be there (overseas),” Mundine told AAP.
“It’s just a matter of time – it all starts with my resurrection tomorrow.
“We will cross that bridge (losing) if we get to it, that’s if God wills it.
“But I know I am not going to lose. That’s just the way it is.”
The early signs were good for Mundine, judging by Tuesday’s chaotic weigh-in.
He admitted he wasn’t himself when they last met, but it was vintage Mundine on Tuesday, riling Wood at the pre-fight media conference by calling him a “dirty” fighter before holding his own in some argy-bargy.
Standing eye-to-eye for post weigh-in photos, Wood appeared to headbutt a chatty Mundine, sparking a shoving match that only ended when support staff jumped in.
The pair exchanged taunts, prompting another scuffle, this time between support staff.
When the dust settled, Mundine swore that he would one day be fighting in the US like Michael Katsidis, who lost to Robert Guerrero in their weekend fight for the interim WBO and WBA lightweight crowns.
And all thanks to his dad Tony Mundine.
“He’s a legend. I am unhappy with myself for not taking his advice earlier,” Mundine said.
“I was being pig-headed (ahead of the first Wood fight) – my dad was trying to address certain issues about the way I was fighting and I didn’t listen.
“Now I have fixed all my errors and bad habits.”
Wood first met Mundine as a reward for winning Australia’s The Contender reality TV program in 2010.
He remains the only Australian to have beaten Mundine.
Not that it earned him much respect on Tuesday.
“I knew he was going to be dirty but I didn’t think he was going to be that dirty in the first one,” Mundine said at the media conference.
Wood interjected: “What was dirty?”
“Hitting me in the back of the head … over 30 times – check the video,” Mundine said.
“And you tried to knee me when I went down.
“This is boxing, it’s not Muay Thai, it’s not wrestling.”
But Wood said later: “I am not looking for respect.
“I am confident and happy with where I am at.
“I learned from the first fight the potential I have got.
“I am going to go out there and do the business.”