Mundine an icon and legend: Lewis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mundine an icon and legend: Lewis

By Adrian Warren 04/09/2003 07:09:37 PM Comments (0)

Anthony Mundine was hailed as "an icon and a legend" and acclaimed by his Australian boxing peers as `The Man' savoured his first full day as the nation's newest world sporting champion.

While Mundine said he wouldn't make the first defence of the World Boxing Association super middleweight title he won on Wednesday night against American Antwun Echols until January at the earliest, he foreshadowed fighting both here and overseas.

Although only three of his 20 professional fights were outside Australia, Mundine has always hankered after establishing himself in the huge American boxing market and said he wanted to cement his name worldwide.

"I love to fight here at home, but at the end of the day, the mecca of boxing is in the (United) States," Mundine said.

"I'm always going to come back home and have great events here, but if an opportunity arises on a program with (US Cable Television Networks) HBO or Showtime, I might just take that opportunity to put my boxing skills over there."

His slick execution of his hit, run and hold strategy which earned him a unanimous points win over Echols was applauded by the biggest names in Australian boxing.

"I think he's made himself an icon and a legend," said Johnny Lewis, the most successful trainer in Australian boxing history.

"This means a great deal to Australian boxing, I think it's a great shot in the arm and I think the way that Anthony made Echols look so ordinary, it was a credit to him, I think he really came of age last night."

Australia's undisputed super lightweight world title holder Kostya Tszyu dismissed the suggestion by some sceptics that Mundine won only a secondary or interim title because German Sven Ottke was the WBA Super champion at super middleweight.

"I regard him as a world champion," Tszyu said of Mundine.

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