Anthony "The Man" Mundine received a pretty thorough beating earlier this week against Joshua Clottey, dropped five times en route to a decision loss in Australia, but the former super middleweight titleholder says he's got no plans to retire, and that he was proud of his effort.
"Nine out of 10 men probably would have given up," he said. "But I'm a warrior. I'm a fighter. I fought to the end. That's what champions do. I'm really proud of my effort but not so much my execution. You know what - I've just got to work harder. I feel fresh. I know my body. I'll know when it's time to stop."
Mundine (46-6, 27 KO) turns 39 on May 21, and this loss probably ends any hope of his becoming some international star in the sport. He has over the years picked up an iffy reputation even fighting at home, as these highlights will show you when the commentator says, "Because there's nothing better seeing 'The Man' on his back, here they are in all his glory":
As you can see here, too, these weren't five flash knockdowns, or timing shots. Mundine was dropped hard, repeatedly, and did indeed show genuine toughness in bravery to keep on fighting against someone who was so clearly better than he was on the night. Whatever you think of Mundine, questioning his toughness here would be silly. He showed a lot of grit.
Where does Mundine go from here? Probably back to what he's been doing forever, fighting overmatched foes, be they young guys who have paper records or old, washed-up opponents, making a few headlines, possibly winning a fight or two and declaring himself on par with Floyd Mayweather again. He's not done yet, but the real end of his career is probably looming. Time waits for no man, and it won't wait for "The Man."
(That is great writing, you guys. I really nailed that.)