I’m waiting for The Man.
It’s 11pm in Melbourne – it’s Friday night, fight night.
I’ve taken the bait. I’m waiting to watch Mundine v. Horn.
I’ve stumped up my 60 bucks. I’ve seen the brochure, I bought a ticket, I’m here for the blood and thunder.
“Jeff Horn and Anthony Mundine – it’s the biggest box office in the history of Australian domestic boxing” commentator Gerard Whateley claim as he strolls through the tedium of the undercard.
And he’s right. I paid for my subscription and plenty of others have as well.
And you can’t help but feel – what the hell is the point?
A 43-year-old former world champ is about to touch gloves with a recently deposed 30 something title winner who a few years ago shocked the world by surviving and conquering the great Manny Pacquiao.
Now, after being blasted to rubble by Terrance Crawford, he’s been reduced to a pay-per-view content provider in a trumped-up tent show that has no currency other than these are the last two men standing in Australian boxing that anyone would cross the road to watch.
It all feels like the last days of boxing.
Gone are the days of Rose and Famechon, Harding, Ellis and Michael.
Now we have Eddie McGuire sitting at a desk in a bow tie looking like the ghost of Burgess Meredith as the penguin.
It’s some bizarre Vegas cos-play where Aussie sportscasters get to pretend they’re Norman Mailler in Kinshasa minus the prose or perspective.
Mundine enters to the sound of prayer, an Archie Roach tune and Yothu Yindi’s “Treaty”.
Say what you want about him, but he has never allowed anyone to define who he is and what he’s about.
Jeff Horn chooses The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army” and a couple of deep breaths. There’s no nonsense from Horn, he’s best alone in the ring going to work.
And it’s over before it started.
1 minute 36 seconds.
Anyone of the 30,000 suckers who stumped up their hard earned at Suncorp Stadium but had disappeared to the beer queue and missed the start of the fight might as well have kept walking and called an Uber.
A volley of right hands, body punches and a vicious left hook in the first minute and a half and boxing mortality came calling for Mundine like an avenging angel.
It took Jeff Horn less than two minutes to knock out Anthony Mundine in their middleweight bout. pic.twitter.com/1fxBwio7Kd
— ESPN (@espn) November 30, 2018
Is anyone surprised?
This gargantuan mismatch in age and weight was always a sucker punch for fight starved boxing fans hungry for some craft, a contest, a sniff of integrity and authenticity in a sport that has sold its self out repeatedly and despicably over recent times.
Mundine was old, slow and done. He knew it, we knew it, the pay per view rent seekers knew it but here he was.
A shadow of his once arrogant, graceful elegant self. Reduced to being just another mug after a pay cheque he didn’t need.
Horn barely raised a sweat.
He was swift, brutal and efficient. And so he should have been.
This, after all, was a fight that was never part of his plans but a necessary pit stop in the pantomime that Australian boxing has been reduced to.
I guess you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
And right now what I’ve gotta do is give this dog and pony show a miss.
Australian boxing has thrown in the towel.
So have I.