In a major upset, hand-picked patsy Garth Wood knocked out Australian fighter Anthony Mundine in the fifth round of their bout this morning. A 7-1 underdog, Wood won the Australian version of The Contender to get his shot at Mundine. Like Mundine, Wood was a former professional rugby player, but unlike Mundine, he had less than a dozen fights of experience before pulling off the upset.
This is not the first time that Mundine's chin has failed him in his professional career. To his credit, Mundine started fighting credible opposition very early in his career. It was only his 11th pro fight when he became one of five career knockout victims of Sven Ottke.
But since the beginning of his second title run at super middleweight, after his mega-fight with Danny Green became the highest grossing fight in Australian boxing history, he has strenuously avoided any credible competition, all while flapping his lips about fighting the best. When it was announced that Mundine would be the mandatory to face Mikkel Kessler for a second time, Mundine moved to middleweight. After facing a few journeymen and nearly getting beaten by Daniel Geale (and winning an IBO "world" title), when a Geale rematch was mandated, Mundine decided the best move was to drop to junior middleweight, despite being a 35-year old whose best days were two weight classes higher.
After defeating an Argentinian journeyman and a domestic fringe contender, Mundine moved back up to 160 pounds for this fight. Wood was getting his big break in his 11th pro fight, the same as Mundine. Unlike Mundine, Wood was able to seize the opportunity, finally ending the charade that Mundine might ever actually face a true contender in any weight class.
For Wood, the win almost certainly means a rematch, unless Mundine retires. Mundine is by far the biggest draw in Australia, and Wood's stock has skyrocketed there.