Anthony Mundine is a very good boxer. One time he was ranked twenty-sixth in the world by the WBC. That doesnít sound very high, but it is. His record was 10-0 with eight solid knockouts. Often times a super middleweight provides little to watch. They arenít as quick as the lighter middleweights or welterweights and donít pack the hard punches of the real strong heavyweights. But sometimes they really give you your moneyís worth.
Last night Anthony Mundine lost all of his rankings. The same day Oklahoma lost its place in the BCS, losing big to Nebraska at Lincoln. I had thirty dollars on that one and lost it. That is the way college football works, on this poll ranking system. It confuses most people but some get it. It takes many things into consideration like record and strength of schedule. The WBC takes things into consideration too, like what comes out of your mouth.
Anthony Mundine said that America got what it had coming. He is a Muslim from Australia. Before boxing he had been a pretty good rugby player. Americans donít know the first thing about rugby and would like to keep it that way. They donít know much about Islam either, but that is changing. Mundine became a Muslim because he thought it would make him more like Muhammed Ali. Now the WBC says he will never be Ali. No one will stay champ long enough to be Ali anyway but the WBC wasnít taking any chances on kids with big mouths. The IBF doesnít care about that though. There he is ranked eleventh in the world. That isnít bad at all, especially for a Muslim from Australia. It wouldnít be bad except that no one in the world gives a damn about the IBF. Itís got about as much opinion as Rolling Stone.
I sat at the bar alone at Rive Gauche and drank a cold Artois from the bottle and read the New York Times. A week or so earlier a Saudi prince had been in New York to give a big check to the mayor. He smiled on camera and now he made his own kinda remark that America had it coming to them and they really should get to know what is going on in the rest of world. Nobody here likes that kind of talk. The check was returned and the prince was back home now, sipping tea and watching us all on satellite television. The paper also had a nice sized article about boxing in the back of the sports section. I saved it until the end, thinking it would be something good. When I had finished reading about the Breederís Cup and the Giantís big loss I read the article about Mundine.
The bar was very quiet and pleasant and I finished the beer and lit a cigarette. The rest of the news had been pretty boring and I was anxious to see what Mundine had to say now. In the article he said that he had been misunderstood and that the press had messed up everything for him. He said his heart was with the dead people and that the man in the papers was not the real him. His trainer said the same things. I mean what the hell. They wouldnít let Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame for gambling. He never changed his story though. The prince still hadnít said he was sorry for anything. I ordered another beer and read on that the boxer wanted another shot. I donít think Ali ever apologized ever. That just wasnít his style.
folded the paper and took a drag and a long sip from the bottle.
I folded the paper. It was dark outside and the cold was setting in. There was one more football game tonight so I grabbed my coat and walked home. Maybe it would be a good one and there would be some big hits. You could never change your story about a big hit.