Former champions cannot afford to lose inside the Palms on Saturday
By:Mike Sloan inLas Vegas: Compared to the hostilities of the Amir Khan-Danny Garcia press conference a few miles away and a few hours earlier, the final pre-fight presser featuring Anthony Mundine and Bronco McKart was tame. Never bordering on tasteless or aggressiveness by any means, both former titleholders were respectful of one another, though both predicted a victory.
The Mundine-McKart card will be held inside thePearlconcert hall in the Palms Hotel & Casino on the same night as the aforementioned Khan-Garcia event, but the promoters of this card claim they have the all around better night of action. Sporting a bill full up up-and-comers as well as established contenders, the event is punctuated by the ultimate crossroads bout in Mundine v McKart. The winner will certainly remain alive in the picture of the bigger fights but whoever loses will fall back to the bottom of the pile, maybe for good.
Mundine was once a top-flight contender who became world champion after he turned to professional boxing at age 25. Having first been one of the greatest and most successful rugby players in his nativeAustralia, his transition to the sport of professional boxing was nothing short of astonishing. He’s achieved great success inside the ring and Mundine (43-4, 25KOs) was the best boxer from the Land Down Under (next to Kostya Tszyu) for many years and scored some terrific wins in his career.
McKart is also a former champion and has taken on some of the best fighters of his generation, though he was never able to really take that next step into greatness. At 41 years old, the time is now for McKart (54-9-1, 32KOs) and he simply can’t afford to lose to Mundine, a man considered by many experts as past his prime.
“It’s going to be a great night, a great fight,” McKart said at the dais on Thursday. “There’s no two ways about it. I’m an old school fighter. I don’t do anything (fancy), I don’t train any special way; I just train hard. I fight hard and I consider myself a blue-collar fighter. I also consider myself a champion.”
McKart always has been that sort of throwback fighter because he always been ready and willing to fight anyone at any time. Mundine, though not known to the casual boxing fan inAmerica, has a ton to prove to the masses in the States and he needs to put his talents on display for all to see. He’s been quoted in the days leading up to the McKart fight that he wants to fight Floyd Mayweather at some point in the near future. For that to even be considered, he’d have to throttle McKart and possibly score another major victory or two, something the Aussie understands.
“Of course I’d love to fight Mayweather,” Mundine said. “Will I get the chance to fight him just by beating Bronco McKart? I don’t think so. But this is the first step I need to take in order to get that fight. I believe I am one of a few people who has the ability to give him a great fight. I think I could beat him.”
Still, the Mayweather fight is the last thing on his mind because if he’s not focused 100% on McKart, his potential plans could go flying right out the window.