The career of controversial boxer Anthony Mundine came to a sad end against Michael Zerafa on Saturday night, in a fight many good judges insist should never have happened.
A series of heavy blows from the 28-year-old Zerafa left Mundine crashing to the canvas, who lasted barely two minutes of the bout in Bendigo.
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Now 45 and, in his own words, a shadow of the sporting super talent who went from State of Origin rugby league star to world boxing champion, Mundine conceded he was finally done with the fight game afterwards.
However, many argue he should never have been allowed to fight Zerafa in the first place - a man who famously KO'd fellow Aussie Jeff Horn.
Mundine was destroyed by Horn in a 96-second KO loss in 2018 and fears it would be more of the same against Zerafa proved correct.
Boxing promoter Lou DiBella was among those incensed with the decision to sanction Mundine's latest fight after seeing the former champion crumple to the canvas in a heap during the first round.
“This ‘fight’ should never have happened. DISGUSTING,” DiBella wrote on Twitter. “Australian #boxing owed a debt to Mundine to protect him from himself.
“The man is forty-five and had NO chance. This was wrong. And I said what I said.”
Veteran boxing writer Grantlee Kieza said the defeat marked "a sad end for Anthony Mundine - once a brilliant boxer".
Those sentiments were echoed by many of other observers across social media.
Boxing career 'definitely' over for Mundine
Mundine made it clear in no uncertain terms after the first round defeat, that he was finally done from boxing for good.
"Definitely, definitely," he said.
"Win, lose or draw, even if I won, I still would have hung them up.
"I just haven't got the heart anymore to do it.
"God's given me great talent, both in rugby league and boxing. I'm not the fighter I was five years ago, a year ago or 10 years ago.
"But I've achieved a lot in my time."
Concerned for his health, boxing greats including Jeff Fenech had urged Mundine not to fight Zerafa - and "The Man" himself was grateful to escape the ring alive after copping two brutal blows to his already battered head.
"Thank God I'm healthy," he said.
"But, unfortunately, I got caught in the first round. It happens in boxing.
"Hopefully Michael can go on and be a success and reach all his dreams.
"He's wanted to fight me when he was 15. Lucky he got me when I was 45, not 35."
A legend himself, Mundine's trainer-father Tony, a four-division Australian champion and world middleweight challenger, also privately feared for Mundine's future wellbeing.
Zerafa, though, was over the moon to finally get a shot at his boyhood idol, then live out his dream by winning.
"Feeling electric. This is a legacy fight for me: 15 years I've been waiting for this moment and I've delivered," Zerafa said.
"A huge thank you to the Mundine team for the opportunity."
Despite polarising Australians for more than two decades with his motor-mouth and divisive comments about rivals and the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, Mundine's sporting prowess cannot be questioned.
He should go down as one of the country's all-time sporting greats.
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