Sporting great Anthony Mundine announced his retirement from boxing in a heartfelt press conference in Sydney on Wednesday.
Mundine, 45, is officially hanging up his gloves with a career record of 48-11, with 28 knockouts and multiple world titles.
The announcement follows Mundine being knocked out by Michael Zerafa inside round one on March 13.
“What a ride, it’s been nearly three decades. I am here to announce my retirement from sport,” said Mundine.
“I am not the cocky, brash character I was when I was younger. I have evolved and matured over the years.”
Mundine focused on the change in his character throughout his sporting career.
“I am a different sort of man today, I want to show you the real man … that man is very humble, kind and giving,” he said.
“I was just a young Aboriginal boy, urban boy that had a dream. I made the right choices and used my talent to excel in my chosen sport.”
“I want to pass that on down now to the next generation, and adults too, that mindset that makes you feel strong and makes you feel like a warrior.”
Mundine reflected on his NRL and boxing careers and his early life.
“My dad drove me with his legacy, and I wanted to have my own legacy. I want the same for my boys,” he said.
“The world title was probably my ultimate achievement, I felt that I knew I could do it. I knew I had the ability and the bloodlines to do it.”
Mundine listed his performance with the 1996 and 1999 NRL grand final with the St George Dragons and his 1997 Grand final performance with the Brisbane Broncos as big career achievements.
The press conference was interrupted by a surprise call from surfing champion Kelly Slater, who called to congratulate the retiree.
The conference was also interrupted by tributes from Australian cricket head coach Justin Langer and NRL star-turned-boxer Paul Gallen.
Mundine, a devout Muslim, publicly apologised for his remarks regarding the 9/11 attacks in October 2001.
“I want to put it in record that I was never for those killings,” he said.
“Taking one human life is like taking all humanity. I feel as though I was crucified for that, and probably rightly so.”
He continued, offering an apology for any offence he caused during his career in the spotlight.
“If I offended anybody in my career, honestly I am sincerely sorry. Please find it in your heart to forgive me.”
“Like I said, I’m a changed man, I am a different type of cat. As you get older you get more mellow,” he said.
Mundine says he will now dedicate his time to his business, MGM Building Maintenance, an Indigenous building company he co-founded with Gosh Daher and supporting mob mental health through his other business, Mundine Mindset.
“I want to work in the Indigenous space, I want to tap into a bit of mental health, get the brothers’ and sisters’ minds strong. That is where it all begins in the mind,” he said.
Mundine also intends to spend his retired days focusing on his family.
“I want to look into my kids, I want to guide and inspire my kids to fulfil their dreams. There are Mundines coming through, let me warn you. We ain’t stopping yet,” he said.
“There’s another legacy to be built … look out for them.”
By Rachael Knowles