After a three hour build up that included more poor under card fighters than I care to remember and a walk on in length that would put the Klitschko brothers to shame, Anthony Mundine finally stepped inside the ropes hoping to avenge his December knockout loss to Garth Wood.
Neither fighter looked to touch Gloves at the start after a fierce stare-down. The first 30 seconds were a fencing match with neither fighter looking to commit. The only real action of a poor opening stanza was Wood attempting to body slam Mundine, Mundine retaliated with a headbutt that drew a warning from the referee.
The referee called both fighters to the center of the ring to order them to clean it up on the inside. Wood charged straight into Mundine drawing a warning from the referee and then caught a stinging left from Mundine. Wood then countered with an over hand right which seemed to shake up Mundine. Headbutts and low blows followed from both fighters until Mundine rallied towards the end of the round.
Mundine opened the third with a nice straight right followed by an uppercut which looked to have rocked Wood who responded by clinching and throwing a low blow which gained a second warning from the referee, this time for holding. Mundine seemed to be in total control rocking Wood back against the ropes , until Wood caught Mundine with a counter right which seemed to turn the tide what followed can only be described as a shootout between the two with neither fighter giving up any ground.
Wood started the fourth by going straight after Mundine and hammering right hooks to the Body, Mundine responded with the much cleaner shots. Wood continued to push Mundine back to the ropes and land his combinations and Mundine seems to have no answer.
The pace dropped significantly during the fifth which suited Mundine allowing him to work his jab. Wood was again warned for holing and low blows until he drove Mundine into the ropes and landed a huge uppercut which rocked Mundine and forced him to fire back, the round ended with both men firing combinations from the ropes in the hope of stealing the round.
The sixth started with Wood again charging in and working on the inside with Mundine seemingly happy to cover up. A class of heads ended with Mundine cut around the right eye. Mundine tried to respond but Wood continued to walk him down and beat him yo the punch. The round ended with Mundine again with his back against the robes taking far to many shots.
The relentless pressure of Garth Wood finally started to take its toll in the seventh as he continued to walk down Mundine and unload to the body. Mundine appeared to get a second wind around the the halfway mark starting to use his movement and skills to land and counter.
Wood continued his body attack in the eighth and landed a solid right Cross and continued to land combinations while Mundine covered up. The referee called in the doctor to check on Mundines cut which is now bleeding profusely and a further clash of heads deepened the gash over Mundines right eye. Mundine appeared to score a knockdown with a huge left hook o the head,the referee called the knockdown, allowed Wood to get up and start firing punches at Mundine while counting behind Wood’s back. He finally separated the fighters and finished the count giving Mundine the 10-8 round.
The tenth started with a huge pace until Wood walked into a double uppercut which put him down for the second time in the fight. Mundine was deducted a point for holding with a minute to as the referee continued to do his best to ruin the fight, while Mundine danced around the ring for the final 20 seconds of the fight. The official score cards were 96-92 twice and 95-93 all to Mundine.