That’s it! Mundine ‘sails into the sunset’ after defeat
Martial arts great John Wayne Parr ended Anthony Mundine's magnificent 25-year career at the top of Australian sport with a 10-round split decision on Saturday night in a brutal boxing battle at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Parr, 43, took the decision 96-93 and 95-93. A third judge gave the fight to Mundine 95-94.
Mundine desperately tried to end it in the last round but Parr was too tough and strong.
The two old scrappers produced a fight for the ages, both determined to leave combat sports as a winner.
Parr burst into tears after the fight and kissed Mundine's feet.
"I can't thank Anthony enough for giving me this opportunity,'' he said.
"This is my last fight and I was determined to go out a winner. I need a hip replacement and training was tough but I'm so happy and amazed. I've been doing this since I was 11 years old and to have so much support for this makes me so happy.''
Mundine said: "I've had a wonderful career. I thought I did enough to win but that's boxing. I'm going to sail into the sunset now.
"I want to thank all the Australian public. Even if they didn't support me or didn't like my opinions, I always did my best.''
Mundine, 44, promised a vintage performance, and though the rusty wheels fell off a long time ago his fighting heart still beat strong in a fight that was a cracker for all 10 rounds.
Parr came on strong from the opening bell. He dominated the first two rounds with pressure and physical strength.
Mundine tried to out-jab him and feign Parr onto counters but the kickboxing great wasn't buying it.
Mundine took a huge right in Round 3 but it woke him up and he roared back with both hands.
Parr looked stunned but he came out slugging again in the fourth. Parr kept him pressed through the ropes and then drove him through them onto his back.
It was more of the same in round five with Mundine's spirit willing but the punches just too slow to damage the relentless Gold Coast veteran who continually kept Mundine on the back foot and more often than not with his back against the ropes.
The sixth was another furious round. Mundine was too slow to hold Parr off and spent most of the fight with his back to the ropes. But he remained crafty and dangerous in close with short, hard uppercuts. At the end of the round he winked at Parr to acknowledge a mighty effort from his underdog opponent.
Mundine came on strong at the end of round seven with long range bombs but in the eighth referee Paul Tapley took a point from him for punching to the back of the head.
Earlier, Titans NRL prop Jarrod Wallace won his first boxing contest, dropping Sunshine Coast personal trainer Nick Timm in the fourth and final round to win a points decision.
Wallace sealed victory with some huge roundhouse shots in the final round to drop his brave opponent, who climbed back to his feet and slugged away to the bell.
The furious four-rounder was a charity contest and not an official professional bout but both fighters showed enormous heart, Wallace winning with the strength and aggression the Titans are counting on next season.
Funds raised from the fight go to the Titans Community Foundation and Titans Physical Disabilities rugby league team.
Wallace said any future forays into boxing would depend on permission from his wife Courtney.
"This is massive. I've had some real highs in my life but fighting here is massive,'' he said.
"Full credit to Nick. We heard he was big and tough and he showed that.
"And full credit to my wife she's had to put up with me being grumpy for the last six weeks.
"I don't know about boxing again. It will depend on my wife. Right now I just want to go home and concentrate on my footy.
"We've got a great new coach and great support staff so look out for us in 2020.''
The referee was Australian cruiserweight champion Daniel Russell who helped Barry Hall prepare for his battle with NRL great Paul Gallen two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Gold Coast light-middleweight Ben Mahoney, who sparred both Mundine and Parr in the lead-up, had to climb from the floor to stop Indonesian light-middleweight John Ruba on a cut eye at the end of the second round.
A bloodied Ruba had sent Mahoney crashing to the canvas at the end of the first round with a huge overhand right but the cut under his left eye became all target by the end of round 2.
Former Australian rep Andrew Hunt, a long-time Jeff Horn sparring partner. outpointed brave welterweight Albert Tu'ua.
Hunt, a Logan barber and Jeff Horn sparring partner, has been cutting Tu'ua's hair for two years and gave him some classic uppercuts while shaving his whiskers with long-range southpaw shots.
Rising women's bantamweight Ebanie Bridges stopped Thailand's outgunned bantamweight Kanittha Ninthim in round two.
Gold Coast middleweight Leti Leti survived a furious final round to win a six -round majority decision over late substitute Mitchell Whitelaw from Nambucca Heads.
Leti spat his mouthguard after being repeatedly rocked in round six forcing a vital time-out while it was rinsed out and reinserted. The delay allowed Leti's head to clear and Whitelaw was unable to press the advantage as time wore down.
Brisbane lightweight Miles Zalewski stopped Australian super-featherweight champion TC Priestley in round four.