BOXING world champion Anthony Mundine has been condemned for a
last-minute weight change that prompted his opponent to start their
fight two days early yesterday. Farcical scenes broke out at the
Launceston press conference after Alejandro Fillija exposed the
practice. The Argentinian confronted and provoked Mundine who tore
off his shirt and had to be restrained before dismissing the
grievance out of hand. But co-promoter Garrie Francisco said the
27-year-old South American was justified to complain. "It's a bit of
an old pro trick," he said. "They had contracted to fight at 74kg
and he said he only found out this morning that Anthony wants to
come in at 76kg. "Mundine has shown him absolutely no respect by
saying he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He is showing
a bit of contempt for his opponent. "If Mundine fails to reach 74kg
it is technically a breach of contract, but this is not highly
uncommon in the fight industry." Mundine brushed aside suggestions
that the weight change was underhand, saying he had not been
training very hard and had eaten too many chocolates and cakes.
Fillija eventually stormed out of the Silverdome, implying home-town
drawcard Daniel Geale would make a more worthy opponent. But Mundine
responded by saying his opponent had the option of pulling out.
"This is my show and if he wants to get paid he's got to agree," he
said. "He either gets paid or gets a whippin' ".
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