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Mundine Out-Points Alvarez To Claim Interim Crown
By Adam Santarossa: Anthony Mundine Out-pointed Rigoberto Alvarez over 12 rounds at the Entertainment Centre in Newscastle, NSW, Australia on Wednesday to win the WBA Interim light-middleweight title.
You can tell a lot about a fighter by the way he prepares, and the way he comes to the ring.
When the broadcaster cuts to the dressing room and you see Rigberto Alvarez, gloved up and dancing with his team, led by a Mariachi Band to “La Bamba”, you sense something is amiss.
Alvarez was that relaxed, he may just have forgot there was a fight on, given we saw more movement and tenacity in his performance of the “La Bamba” then we saw in any of the 12 rounds.
Across the dressing room sat Anthony Mundine, staring a hole into the wall, silent and focused.
Mundine walked to the ring, without any of the swagger that “The Man” is renowned. He was all business. Mundine saved his dancing for the ring.
Alvarez, who is a former WBA Light Middleweight Champion, looked slow for the first couple of rounds. Some fighters take time to warm into fights, but we could come back next week and Alvarez still wouldn’t be anywhere near as Red Hot as Anthony Mundine looked tonight.
Mundine has always looked his best when he has his lighting fast jab working, and he is throwing combinations. Tonight he never gave Alvarez a chance. Whenever he came come forward, Mundine would catch Alvarez with the jab, and follow it up with a couple of left hands for good measure.
This reporter was concerned coming into this fight with Mundine’s preparation. The fight had already been postponed a number of weeks, due to Mundine sustaining a cut in sparring, a cut that tonight was still very visible and well within reach for a fighter of any note.
It was surprising to see the cut barely threatened by Alvarez, and it was Alvarez who came out bloodied, sustaining a cut above his left eye from a short Mundine hook.
Mundine not only had the cut to contend with, he also spent time in hospital with an infected boil on his elbow, which again affected his training.
But there was no sign off any of these interruptions tonight, as Mundine dispelled doubts over his boxing ability with a vintage performance.
I didn’t write Mundine off, but I did feel Alvarez would come out victorious tonight. I felt given Mundine’s preparation, he would be unable to compete with a fighter the calibre of Alvarez, but it was Mundine who made Alvarez look second rate.
After seeing Mundine’s fights with Garth Wood, you would have to say that Mundine was in decline. The first fight ended in a fifth round knockout, before Mundine avenged that defeat with a scrappy points decision in the rematch. In both fights Mundine was caught with some shots, he should never have been caught with. Wood is a ten fight novice, who shows promise but is still in the early stages of his career. To see Mundine struggle like he did against Wood, you would never have said he would do such a job on Alvarez.
But something happened with that knockout at the hands of Wood. Mundine says it woke him up from his slumber, and will make him a better fighter.
His jab was back tonight and as deadly as ever before, his head movement was as good as ever, and he constantly made Alvarez miss, and promptly made him pay. His movement to the outside was also much improved, he was getting caught with some good shots in his fights with Wood, but against Alvarez he had no trouble getting his shots off, and then slipping to the outside with ease, and without copping anything in return from Alvarez.
Alvarez did play into Mundine’s hands though as he constantly backed up straight, instead of using his angles to upset Mundine. Mundine hasn’t had a lot of experience with Southpaws, but that was not even a factor in the fight. Mundine’s camp to their credit always have a great gameplan, and Alvarez simply could not work out Mundine tonight.
No longer is Mundine going to entertain the likes of Wood, Waters or Medley, from now on its only the big fish for The Man.
The first name on the agenda, was Alvarez, and he couldn’t have ticked that box more emphatically.
Up next is a shot at WBA Junior Middleweight Champion, Austin Trout, and after that The Man has Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito in his sights.
But The Man no longer overlooks anybody, he now takes things one fight at a time, so Trout is the next big fish he hopes to reel in.
As the Man exited the ring after disposing of Alvarez he had a few simple words for Trout....”Bring It”
Tonight, Anthony “The Man” Mundine certainly brought it, and for those prepared to bring down the curtain on his glittering career, pull up a comfy chair, there is some fight in ‘The Man’ yet.
Mundine by unanimous decision – 114-113, 117-111, 117-111
October 19, 2011
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