Anthony Mundine has vowed he is “ready to eat” Jeff Horn after grabbing his opponent by the jaw at their official weigh-in on Thursday, before Friday night’s much-anticipated River City Rumble in Brisbane.
Tensions between Mundine and Horn flared when they faced off for the media after both made weight for the 71-kilogram catchweight bout at Lang Park.
They exchanged words and began whispering in each other’s ear, before Mundine shoved Horn, making contact with his jaw before both boxers were restrained by their respective trainers, Tony Mundine and Glenn Rushton.
Anthony Mundine already getting physical with Jeff Horn a day before their fight. pic.twitter.com/FXAYj52u7P
— James Matthey (@jamesmatthey) November 29, 2018
“I’m just fired up man. I didn’t mean no harm. I’m a caged lion right now,” Mundine said. “I’m ready to eat him.”
Mundine attributed his aggression to simply being ready to fight, an argument given credence by his animalistic roar after tipping the scales at 70.25kg.
He stood to face a significant financial penalty if he did not make the weight.
“I wanted to show them that not only was I going make the weight, but I was going to make it comfortably,” Mundine said.
Mundine again took exception to the fact Horn has said he would be standing for the national anthem inside the ring before the fight.
“It’s not personal. He just stands for and represents everything I fight,” Mundine said.
“Injustice. He’s the recipient of it. He wants to wave the flag. He wants to play the anthem … when he doesn’t understand himself.”
Horn weighed in at 70.5kg, well above the welterweight marks he has had to strip weight for in the past.
The 30-year-old, who is taking all the risk into a fight he knows he has to win after his loss to American Terence Crawford in June, shook off Mundine’s aggression.
Horn’s camp feel 43-year-old Mundine, who only fought once in America in his career, is jealous of the opportunities his opponent has enjoyed.
Of all the barbs Mundine has thrown at Horn in the past few weeks, the suggestion he has had an easy ride to the top or is undeserving of his reputation is the one that has hit home.
“It’s been such a hard journey to get to where I am. It hasn’t been easy and he talks about how easy I’ve got it and how easy I’ve had in the past to get to where I am,” Horn said.
“Please walk in my shoes and then you will see how hard it has been. That is frustrating to me.”
Horn has admitted he has to win convincingly against an opponent many feel is past his best to get back into the frame for future world title bouts.
Mundine, meanwhile, is competing in what looks likely to be the last fight of his 18-year career.