As the curtain came down on Anthony Mundine’s controversial career, he finally dropped the act.
In a candid admission after his brutal 96-second loss to Jeff Horn on Friday night, Mundine said all the trash-talk and controversial opinions were just his way of getting people to watch him fight.
“All the hype and all the bulls*** that I talk, you guys get caught up in up all the time but I’m really a cool cat, down to earth, pious and humble,” he said.
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“I just want to say all the trash I talk, we’re in the entertainment business and I’ve got to try and get bums on seats, get people talking.
“Obviously a lot of people are going to like it, a lot of them are not going to like it so you’re going to get your detractors and lovers and supporters.
“It’s part of the game.”
For all his athletic brilliance, Mundine’s outspoken ways have often put him offside with Australia’s public.
The veteran was booed as he walked into Suncorp and then cheered when he was floored by Horn.
But post-fight, he dropped the arrogance and paid a humble tribute to Horn.
“I’ve had a great career. Jeff proved tonight he was the better man. That’s the next generation, I’ll pass it on to him,” he said after composing himself.
As he did before his previous big fights, Mundine drew criticism for speaking out on a number of topics – from the national anthem to Horn’s win over Manny Pacquiao and more.
Fans filled the comment sections and social media with a familiar refrain each time: ‘Please knock him out, Jeff.’
While he was sent out in brutal fashion, Mundine didn’t run his mouth.
“I want to thank the Australian public,” he said.
“You guys play a big role in supporting me and getting behind me – and whether you like me, you don’t like me, you were interested.
“I played footy in a big way and boxing but my time’s up and good luck to Jeffrey and hopefully he can go on and do good things and bounce back from the Crawford (loss).”
Mundine’s new-found humility would have been refreshing for some fans, but others were fuming that he’d duped them into paying $60 to watch a 96-second fight.