Anthony Mundine Calls It Quits With A Cracker Of A Line
Anthony Mundine has said some controversial stuff, some inflammatory stuff and some downright dumb stuff over the years.
But you've got to give it to the man known as The Man. Just occasionally, he comes out with a pearler.
Mundine was speaking today at the first press conference ahead of his November 30 fight against Jeff Horn in Brisbane, which he announced -- to not very many people's surprise -- would be the last of his 56-bout professional career.
Horn, you'll recall, is the Brisbane former schoolteacher who found global fame in 2017 when he beat legendary Filipino Manny Pacquiao. He later lost his WBO welterweight title to American Terence Crawford in June this year.
Despite that loss, Horn's match-up with Mundine stands to be the biggest fight between compatriots in Australian boxing history -- bigger even than Mundine vs Green I and II.
But at the Brisbane press conference today, Mundine, a New South Welshman, was made to feel very much the impostor. The former rugby league star played State of Origin with the NSW Blues back in the day, and was told he was in Horn territory now.
That's what spurred his excellent line.
Mundine gave his usual speech full of bluster and bravado. He really does possess a unique capacity to sound both boastful and humble at the same time.
"Some people say I'm cocky, arrogant, I'm not like that," he said, straight after several lines about how he was an unbelievably good rugby league player and a far superior boxer to Horn and so on.
And then it came.
"Thanks for having me. I love Brisbane. It's like my second home. Anywhere in this land is my land."
Whatever you think of Mundine, you've got to admit that was clever. While the press conference MC and others tried to categorise him as a villain based on state boundaries, he subtly made it clear that as a proud indigenous man, he is an Australian first and that's all that matters.
Australian first and Australian sporting legend second? That's for you to decide. But the result of the upcoming fight may go some way to shaping his legacy.