By all accounts, Floyd Mayweather loves a flutter.
He is nicknamed “Money”, after all.
But even the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer would not gamble on a bout with Anthony Mundine judging by the ex-NRL star’s unconvincing performance against Gunnar Jackson in Brisbane on Wednesday night.
Mayweather is no stranger to placing huge bets — he added to his reputation by outlaying almost $A15 million on next week’s Super Bowl.
However, even he would baulk at the odds of facing off against Mundine by year’s end as predicted by the ex-Dragons playmaker after the Australian’s unanimous points win over plucky Kiwi Jackson.
Still, Mundine (46 wins, 27 KOs, five losses) believed his victory over the drain digger who had less than a week to prepare for their 10-round fight was a step toward achieving boxing greatness in 2014.
“I regained my killer instinct. I had bad intentions when I hit him. I wanted to hurt him,” Mundine said.
“In the (Daniel) Geale fight last year I wasn’t right mentally. But Gunnar made me switch on straight away because I knew this guy meant business.
“I put pressure on him at a world class pace. All I need to do is switch on mentally.
“Mind over matter, that is how it happens.”
Mundine lowered his sights somewhat by claiming post-fight that Cuba’s Erislandy Lara, the WBA super-welterweight world champion, was a better bet than Mayweather in the near future.
But he still appeared at long odds of facing off against Lara any time soon after being forced to battle manfully by Jackson (18 wins, six knockouts, five losses, three draws) — albeit at 27 a rival 11 years Mundine’s junior.
Mundine had hoped his last win two months ago — sealed when American legend Shane Mosley was forced to retire with back spasms — would be a stepping stone to the big leagues.
At 38, Mundine believes staying active in 2014 and notching wins every 10 weeks at least will force the likes of Lara or Mayweather’s hand by year’s end.
But even the most rabid Mundine supporter would have been hard pressed to find positives from the win over Jackson — not that it stopped “The Man” from trying.
“I told you this was more of a risk than Mosley,” he said.
“I had everything to lose and Gunnar gave his heart and soul — and I applaud him.
“He hung tough, he had never been stopped before which is another thing. He’s 27 and I am supposed to be old.”
Mundine said he wanted his next fight in April but warned locals need not apply.
“All the Aussie fighters calling me out, you are not on my radar,” he said.
“If I wanted the money I could fight Geale, I could fight (Danny) Green.
“But I am chasing the dream.”
Super Cooper maintains boxing dream
Pity Quade Cooper’s embroiderer if his latest boxing moniker sticks.
The Wallabies vice-captain was introduced as “the Quintessential Quade Super Cooper” ahead of his impressive fourth round TKO cruiserweight win over veteran Warren Tresidder in Brisbane on Wednesday night.
Asked about donning the name next time he took the ring, Cooper laughed: “My shoulders aren’t that broad.
“The Reds boys had been asking during the week if I had come up with anything.
“But I don’t think I am in a position to have a nickname after two fights.”
Yet Cooper’s current nickname threatens to be longer than his actual professional boxing career.
The Queensland Reds playmaker has a taste for the sweet science after extending his perfect record to 2-0 with the convincing victory – albeit over a 40-year-old Tresidder, who was also in his second professional bout.
However, Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver has hinted that he may take boxing off the table when Cooper re-negotiates his contract after it expires this year.
Cooper’s view that boxing training had only made him a better rugby player had been backed by the likes of Reds teammates James Horwill and Will Genia and another ex-Wallabies skipper George Gregan this week.
Asked if he would fight again, Cooper said: “Yeah, hopefully.
“It is something I enjoy doing but those discussions (with Pulver) are yet to be had.
“All I am going to focus on for the rest of the year is doing all I can for the teams I am involved in – the Reds and hopefully the Wallabies after what I hope is a good Super Rugby season.”
Still, Cooper believed no one could keep him away from the boxing gym even if Pulver kills off his professional plans with the gloves.
“I didn’t need anything to whet the appetite,” he said.
“Since I put on the gloves and started training I have enjoyed it.
“And the passion will only continue to grow.
“I will still go to the gym and work on things, my conditioning (if denied by Pulver).
“I will use it as another outlet to get away from rugby when I need time away.
“As much as I love rugby, I need to keep occupied when away from Reds training.”