By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Despite concerns that Anthony Mundine would miss the agreed catchweight for the “River City Rumble”, he bizarrely weighed in lighter than Jeff Horn.
Weighing in at 70.25 Kilos compared to Horn’s 70.5, Mundine must now ensure that he does not weigh any more than 75 kilos on fight night.
It was an impressive weight cut for a man who’s 43 years old and looks every bit of it.
Whether he will be able to recover and perform remains to be seen, but perhaps we should also be concerned about his opponent.
Horn has never fought at this weight and the fact that he was heavier than Mundine suggests that he may be in less than optimal condition.
If Horn has indeed blown up well past his fighting weight, it could make things interesting if “The Man” can take the Queenslander into the later rounds.
So what’s at stake tomorrow night,
Well, the WBO Oriental and WBA Oceania Middleweight titles are on the line, but you get the impression neither of these former world champions would be too impressed by that.
Despite the criticisms about this matchup, the outcome could have serious implications on both fighters’ legacies.
It should be a straight forward victory for Horn, who gains very little from this fight if he wins, other than a sweet pay-cheque.
But what if the unthinkable happens?
It’s no secret that Horn has copped criticism for his contentious victory over Pacquaio. Many fans were eager to see him fall to prove that he was a fraud.
There’s no shame in losing to a prodigious talent like Terence Crawford, but if Horn was to lose to a 43 year old Mundine, his legacy would be permanently tarnished.
All of a sudden he would be that guy who robbed Pacquaio, lost the belt in his first title defence and lost to a 43 year old who even in his prime, was an accomplished but never truly elite boxer.
Few Australian boxers have a scalp like Pacquaio on their resume, but there are plenty who have beaten a younger, better version of Mundine.
In short, Horn would be ruined.
Mundine, on the other hand, comes into the fight as a massive underdog.
To say little is expected of him would be an understatement. Three losses in his last five bouts to Joshua Clottey, Charles Hatley and Danny Green, tell the story.
He has looked a shadow of his former self, for some time.
That said, Mundine has had an extraordinary career when you consider that he switched to boxing midway through a successful NRL career.
A three weight world champion with a record of 48-8, and wins over (an albeit diminished version of) Shane Mosley and Daniel Geale, he is without doubt one of the most talented athletes Australia has ever produced.
But he could never shake the perception that he always took the softer option throughout his career, particularly when he was a clear pay-per-view attraction.
Mundine never fought a truly elite fighter in his prime and despite winning multiple world titles, few pundits ever considered him the best in his weight division.
A win over another former world champion- in his prime no less- would provide him with the fairy tale ending he has been craving.
It might even silence those naysayers, at least for a little while.
If Mundine wins, there are huge implications for both fighters, while a Horn win would change very little.
Both men will be paid handsomely regardless.