Nice
hat, Anthony. At yesterday’s announcement of the inevitable Mundine-Green
middleweight fight (the fight we had to have, as a former politician might have
put it), Mundine turned up looking like Snoop Dogg going to a fancy dress
party.

With
Mundine strutting in a pure white Fedora to match his white suit, you got the
impression that he’d maybe put more than a moment of thought into the outfit.
Not exactly the first clobber he grabbed from the bottom of his wardrobe.

Only
Mundine would wear such a crazy costume, but we are going to tip our own (less
spectacular) hat to him. Every photo in today’s media was of guess who? With
the fighters choosing to hold separate press conferences at Sydney Football
Stadium yesterday, to announce the 19 April fight, Mundine knew his first task
was to steal the lion’s share of air time, and he won. We only spotted one
nano-second glimpse of opponent Danny Green, in a snappy but less flashy dark
suit, from memory, on the TV news.

When
it comes to getting headlines and manufacturing photo ops, Mundine has it all
over his Perth rival and with the fight to
be held in Mundine’s hometown, Green had better resign himself to playing the
straight man role. At least until they get in the ring.

Keith
Ellis, brother and trainer of world champion Lester, had some colourful,
home-grown views on marketing the product. He once said that a boxer had to
decide whether he wanted to be a good guy or bad guy, and not fall in between.
Punters buy tickets to watch a good guy win, but they also pay happily for the
potential to be there when a bad guy fighter gets what’s coming to him.

In
boxing, of course, that day carries more threat and pain than other sports,
which is part of the appeal.

Mundine
seems to be inching down the bad guy route, although you suspect he hopes and
thinks everybody still loves him. The truth is that even Sydney boxing fans roll their eyes
at The Man, and yesterday’s suit will only add to that. Then again, with
Mundine reportedly guaranteed a $3 million share of the Green fight’s $5.5
million purse, maybe he can dress however he likes?

Peter Fray

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