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Mundine claims dispute with IBO, moving Medley fight to 160 pounds

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Despite very clear reports from the same publication that Anthony Mundine was having a dreadful time getting down to 154 pounds to fight Robert Medley, the Sydney Morning Herald now reports that the former super middleweight titlist has such major problems with the IBO that he's moving the January 11 fight to 160 pounds and fighting for a secondary WBA title.

Mundine, 34, does sound like he has some pretty legitimate gripes with the IBO, the fringe organization whose titles are recognized by some and largely ignored by most. After a close win over Daniel Geale last year in an entertaining, big-money fight in Australia, the IBO reportedly had different judges re-watch and re-score the bout, with two of the three awarding the fight to Geale. This was done on a protest lodged by Geale, which Mundine believes was at the insistence of the sanctioning body. Had the three new judges unanimously scored it for Geale, it could have been overturned, which is a ridiculous idea. There was nothing close to a robbery in Mundine's win over Geale. Personally, I scored it for Mundine.

But that said, the fact that Mundine disagrees with the IBO and won't fight under their banner really has absolutely nothing to do with weight, and there'd be no reason to bump this fight to 160 pounds if Mundine weren't badly struggling to make 154. Medley twice challenged for Isaac Hlatshwayo's IBO welterweight (147) title in 2008, the two biggest fights of his career. I'm sure the WBA has some useless belt sitting around they could have put on the line for Mundine-Medley at 154.

If Mundine could make the weight, he would. He obviously cannot, and he's hiding behind a potentially legitimate grudge with the IBO to explain that, when really, it's not like it's anything to be ashamed of. 34-year-old super middleweights don't generally drop down to 154 pounds.

In other fight news, Per Ake Persson reports that Robert Stieglitz has found a new challenger for his January 9 super middleweight title defense. Stieglitz was due to face Edison Miranda, but Miranda fell ill and had to pull out of the fight. Stieglitz will now defend against Argentina's Ruben Acosta (23-3-5, 7 KO). Acosta, 31, is undersized for the division and no threat whatsoever. His only steps up in competition have been three lopsided losses to Karoly Balzsay, Mundine and Mariano Carrera. Given the short notice, this is about as good as you could expect, probably.

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