Australia’s two-time WBA super middleweight and IBO middleweight champion Anthony Mundine was fighting for his future in the ring yesterday after he was knocked down five times in a points loss to Ghanaian Joshua Clottey.
Mundine, 38, the third-ranked fighter in the WBA International super welterweight division, was felled twice in the sixth and once in the third, eighth and 10th rounds in Newcastle, Australia, late on Wednesday.
The three judges scored Clottey a unanimous points winner — 116-108, 115-109, 117-108.
Pundits said Mundine showed heart to make it through to the end of the 12 rounds in what was probably the most punishing fight of his life.
“Mundine’s world title hopes took a potentially fatal hit and raised questions over his boxing future after he was knocked down five times,” Australian Associated Press’ veteran boxing writer Adrian Warren said.
The manner of his defeat raised doubts about Mundine’s ring future in a career of 46 wins with six defeats.
However, he refused to speculate on it after the fight.
“I know I’m not done,” Mundine said yesterday. “I don’t know what I want to do, I’ll talk and sit with the team. I’m upset and it’s an emotional time, so I don’t want to make any rash decisions or say anything. I just want to get some rest and see what’s next.”
Mundine paid tribute to 36-year-old Clottey, whose only four defeats in 43 bouts have been to world champions — Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Carlos Baldomir.
“I got caught early and I couldn’t recover,” Mundine said.
“Full credit to Joshua, he put me on my back a few times, but I finished the fight,” he said.