Underworld figure Mick Gatto has said he would be ‘a little bit involved’ when asked about his part in Anthony Mundine’s upcoming fight in Melbourne.
39 year-old Mundine is set to fight Belarussian Sergey Rabchenko, the undefeated European light-middleweight champion, at Hisense Arena on November 12. Rabchenko is now based in the UK, he is 11 years younger than Mundine, and has knocked out 18 of his last 25 opponents.
It’s a tall order for Mundine, who hasn’t fought since April of this year when he was pummelled by Ghana’s Joshua Clottely. In the bout Mundine was knocked to the canvas 5 times, but managed to clinch his way to the final bell for a points loss.
Mick Gatto, who once fought as a heavy-weight himself, believes this fight will either make or break Mundine. Should the controversial Australian lose, it may be the last fight of his career. But if he manages to overpower his opponent it would put him another step up the ladder to fight world champion Floyd Mayweather.
Not that Mundine would actually want to fight Mayweather. The champion, 37, is undefeated in 46 consecutive fights, winner of 10 world titles, and arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer on earth.
Mundine, on the other hand, has had a chequered fight record, alternating wins and losses. His three world titles are described as at best ‘dubious’.
But Mick Gatto is a true believer. He says he loves the sport and believes Mundine shouldn’t hang up the gloves just yet.
Nearly 12 months ago Mr Gatto was awarded a promoter’s licence by the Victorian Boxing and Combat Sports Board, only to have it overruled by then Premier Denis Napthine. Premier Napthine bowed to pressure within the boxing fraternity wishing to disassociate the sport from its underworld connections.