Tributes are rolling in for NRL and boxing champion Anthony Mundine after he announced his retirement from boxing on Wednesday, including from long-time rival Danny Green.
Mundine announced his retirement during a press conference at Circular Quay in Sydney in the presence of family, media and fellow sporting greats including NRL coach Wayne Bennett, former NRL teammates Laurie Daley, Matthew Johns and Gorden Tallis, and AFL legend, Michael O’Loughlin.
World surfing champion Kelly Slater and Australian cricket coach Justin Langer attended the event virtually, sending messages of respect to Mundine.
Tallis addressed the crowd, sharing an emotional story about Mundine’s personal character.
“My sister was dying in hospital,” he said.
“I rang the hospital … and she said hey I have got to go Anthony is here.
“I was thinking, ‘No one is more important than your family at this moment. Who is Anthony?’ She said, ‘I have got to go Anthony just walked in the room’.
“It was actually Anthony Mundine [who] flew from Sydney to go up there and see my sister.
“That’s the person that we all know away from the person from sport. You guys see the
sportsman, but I see the gentle beautiful soul.”
“You guys see the sportsman, but I see the gentle, beautiful soul.”
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) March 24, 2021
Johns and Bennett also spoke praises.
“He has copped some crap over the years, but history will judge him right and history will judge him well,” Johns told the crowd.
“He was never short of confidence, that was something that was never absent in his mindset,” Bennett told 7News.
Former professional boxer Danny Green also released a statement on Facebook in honour of his long-time rival’s retirement.
“People who know me know that I liked your style. Was great to watch when you were on,” Green said.
“We shared the longest and greatest boxing rivalry in the history of the sport in this country and our Pay Per View (PPV) records will NEVER be eclipsed. That’s something to be very proud of Choc.
“You were the pioneer of big PPV’s in Aus. Very sad that people forgot that. You did shit your way.”
Green said that whilst the rivalry between the pair was real, there was never any hatred, only competitiveness and ego. The two ingredients he said were “needed to become a World Champion”.
“We will break bread one day and reminisce about the 15-year domination of PPV’s in Aus we shared. You were the highest paid fighter of all-time in Aus. That’s very unique,” Green wrote.
“For today I will give you a pass and you can tell everyone you were the better fighter. For today only.
“Thank you for the epic memories old mate. All the best for whatever you do in the future. (One) a piece. Maybe our sons may get the Man V Machine#2 juggernaut rolling in the future!”
By Rachael Knowles