Mundine vs Horn: Ultimate guide for the big fight
It's no McGregor vs Mayweather but it's still the biggest boxing match in Australia this year.
Even if you're not an avid fight fan there are plenty of reasons to tune in as Jeff Horn squares off with Anthony Mundine. Here's everything you need to know about the River City Rumble.
WHEN AND WHERE IS IT?
The fight is at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on Friday night. The undercard kicks off at approximately 7.30pm local time and Mundine and Horn won't touch gloves before 9.30pm (that's 10.30pm AEDT). There's a chance they won't enter the ring until later, though, so have a pot of coffee on standby in case of any delays.
HOW CAN I WATCH?
You can purchase the pay-per-view on Foxtel's Main Event channel for $59.95, while news.com.au will be running a live blog of the fight and carrying all the best analysis and reaction. If your TV and laptop no longer work because your housemates spilled beer all over them last weekend, plenty of pubs and clubs around the country will be broadcasting the bout.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHEER FOR MUNDINE
Because if you don't, who will? One of the main reasons Mundine attracts so many eyeballs is because people will tune in to watch him get knocked out. But whatever you think of the sometimes offensive sentences that come out of his mouth, The Man is seriously talented. To be able to step in the ring at 43 - and stand a legitimate chance at causing an upset - is damn impressive. Mundine is a genuine sporting superstar and one of the most athletically gifted sportsmen Australia has produced - if for nothing else, he at least deserves respect for that. He's also a passionate advocate for indigenous Australians and to finish his career on a high would be a fitting end for a person who's been involved in professional sport - across rugby league and boxing - for 25 years.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHEER FOR HORN
For one, he's everything a boxer isn't supposed to be - polite, humble and respectful. What you see with Horn is what you get, and what you get is a down to earth, genuine, likeable Australian. The Queenslander also has a heartwarming backstory that brings casual observers along for the ride. Taking up boxing because he was bullied as a kid before becoming a school teacher, Horn has repeatedly punched his way past more fancied opponents. Like the Little Engine That Could, he's got where he is today through sheer will power and dedication as much as skill. A win against Mundine would kickstart another pursuit of the welterweight strap he took off Manny Pacquiao last year. We all remember how fun that was, so why not barrack for another tilt at the title so we can all ride his wave? Also, unlike Mundine, Horn has never made controversial comments about Americans bringing September 11 upon themselves and he's yet to criticise Olympic legend Cathy Freeman for being a corporate sellout.
WHY MUNDINE WILL WIN
Mundine has more experience fighting on the big stage and won't be overawed on Friday night. Technically, he's the superior fighter. Although he lost last year to Danny Green, Choc showed signs his trademark speed and footwork were still there, which will help against a slightly more cumbersome Horn. Mundine will want to put on a show in what is almost certainly going to be his final professional fight and for that reason he knows he's got nothing to lose. Everyone's expecting a Horn victory so Mundine can fight without fear of failure.
WHY HORN WILL WIN
Horn is 13 years younger than Mundine and hits harder than him. He showed against Pacquiao his awkward style can be hard to cope with and if he lands a couple of heavy blows early it might be too tough an ask for an ageing Mundine to keep pace with the 30-year-old. Horn is also fighting for his career. A loss would be catastrophic and undo all of the cred he built up by defeating Pacquiao, whereas a win gives him hope of another crack at the welterweight title down the line, so he's not short on motivation - and we've seen what Horn can do when he wants something bad enough. To top it off, the southpaw will have the backing of a parochial home crowd which will be firmly in his corner.
WHAT'S ON THE LINE?
The vacant WBA Oceania middleweight belt and the WBO Oriental middleweight title - held by Mundine - are both up for grabs, but the intangibles on the line are far more significant. For Mundine, it's a chance to cement his legacy as one of Australia's greatest ever fighters and all-round sportsmen and convince punters he's worthy of their respect. For Horn, this fight will either be a stepping stone to bigger and better things or a banana peel that threatens to derail his career. Win, and the lure of fights against guys in the same echelon as Pacquiao and Crawford - and the payday that represents - is on the horizon. Lose and, as former Australian boxer Barry Michael said on SEN radio this week, "he might as well give it away".
Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech told news.com.au a Horn loss would be "terrible" for his future prospects while another boxing icon from Down Under, Billy Dib, told Macquarie Sports radio: "A loss for Jeff Horn could spell disaster. Where do you go from there? You've been beaten by an old man."
Mundine has hardly been the most active fighter of late and his recent record is far from intimidating. He lost to Charles Hatley in November 2015 then followed that with defeat at the hands of Danny Green a decade after their first fight. The 43-year-old knocked out Tommy Browne in January this year but Horn presents a much tougher test than the now 35-year-old.
Horn's been around a lot longer than the general public realises - representing Australia at the 2012 London Olympics - but he shot to stardom with his win over Pacquiao in July 2017. After defending his new welterweight title against Brit Gary Corcoran five months later, Horn surrendered his belt when he was given a reality check by American Terence Crawford in Las Vegas this past June.
Horn is a strong favourite, paying $1.17 with Ladbrokes while Mundine is a rank outsider at $5. Horn's paying $5 to be knocked down while Mundine is at $1.70 to suffer the same fate. Head-to-head at the TAB, Horn is paying $1.22 and Mundine $4.20, while you'll double your money if you bet on Horn to finish the fight early. Mundine is a far more speculative bet at $8.50 to finish the fight and $6.50 to win by decision.
EVERYTHING ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW
- The fight has been set at a catchweight of 71kg. As a welterweight Horn is used to fighting around 68kg while Mundine generally comes in heavier, from his super-middleweight bouts (76.2kg) to last year's rematch with Green when he tipped the scales at close to 80kg. If Mundine weighs in just one kilo above the agreed upon weight he faces a fine of $350,000 and $500,000 for any further kilos after that.
- Just as he refused to acknowledge what he believes is Australia's racist national anthem in February 2017 against Green, Mundine has again vowed not to stand for it on Friday night in protest against "white privilege".
- The fight is scheduled for 12 rounds. Mundine hasn't fought a 12-round scrap in three years whereas Horn went the distance against Pacquiao in 2017.
Jeff Horn (18-1-1) vs Anthony Mundine (48-8)
Cameron Hammond (17-1) vs Frank Rojas (23-1)
Brent Rice (8-0) vs Liam Wilson (2-0)
Ben Mahoney (5-0) vs Adrian Rodriguez (11-1-2)
David Aloua (12-2) vs Kurtis Pegoraro (11-4)
Kye Mackenzie (20-1) vs Francis Chua (5-0-1)
Kori Farr (2-4-2) vs Krystina Jacobs (1-0)
Ben Horn (debut) vs Lachlan O'Shea (debut)