Anthony Mundine, the former world boxing champion who has defined his career as one of Australia’s most controversial and outspoken sports figures, is still fighting at 43.
He has again declared he won’t acknowledge Advance Australia Fair if it is played before his November 30 bout with Jeff Horn – an event which is expected to draw 30,000 spectators to Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Mundine, who has previously said this fight would be his last, described the national anthem as a “theme song for the White Australia policy” and vowed to sit down in protest.
“We’re a multicultural country but you gotta recognise the First Nations,” he told SBS Sport.
“You gotta recognise Indigenous people.”
Mundine said if he could he would play 'Treaty', the protest song made famous by Yothu Yindi.
"If they play the anthem, I'm sitting down man. I can't stand for that, it's a white supremacy song," he said.
"The constant everyday injustice to Indigenous people has got to stop, we're getting raped and pillaged in different ways."
At a training session this week, Mundine put on a show for the TV cameras – hitting the pads and taking the opportunity to taunt his opponent.
“I feel sorry for Jeff, he’s the one that’s going to have to cop the hits,” he said.
“I’m going to cut him up, I’m going to cut him real good, just like a watermelon. Cut him up real good, then I’m gonna eat him. I’m gonna bust him up. I’m quicker, I’m bigger, I’m stronger.”
Mundine has previously said he would snub the anthem several times before – in a re-match with Daniel Geale in 2013 and at his fight with Danny Green in 2017.
In both instances, organisers diffused the issue by playing the anthem before the fighters entered the arena.
This may be the last time Mundine courts this kind of controversy in boxing. He believes that he could fight at a “world-class level” for another five years but no longer has the desire to continue competing with the possible exception of “massive fights”.
“I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t use drugs, I dedicate myself to my craft,” he said.
“All I do is train, man. All I do is live a clean life, you know, and try and do the right thing and stand up for the right causes.”
With a sporting career that includes playing in three ruby league grand finals, State of Origin and several major international boxing titles, Mundine said he was “undoubtedly” one of the country’s best athletes.
He also suggested that he has paved the way for Indigenous rugby league stars like Josh Addo-Carr, Lattrell Mitchell and James Roberts.
“What I’ve done in my career, ain’t no one’s done,” he said.
Asked if he would consider a career in politics after sport, Mundine ducked and weaved but suggested he would use his profile to address community issues.
“I would love to use my platform to empower people and they don’t have to be blackfellas,” he said.
“If there is injustice, if there is something wrong, I’m gonna stand up against it."