Anthony Mundine.
Anthony Mundine. Warren Lynam

Mundine offers all the answers ahead of Brisbane fight

AT 38, Anthony Mundine remains one of the most divisive of public figures in Australia.

On the eve of his fight against unheralded New Zealander Gunnar Jackson in Brisbane tonight, "The Man" was his confident - many may call it brash - self.

Mundine believes tonight is the start of his journey to fight the multiple belt-wearing super champion at super welterweight/junior middleweight level, the unbeaten Floyd "Money" Mayweather.

It hasn't been a rosy preparation for the man nicknamed Choc - but then again, when is he not so heavily scrutinised?

Mundine got plenty of Aussie fans offside after insulting rival Daniel Geale's indigenous heritage in 2012, before losing the fight and storming off without shaking his hand.

The former rugby league star from the Dragons, who left the code because he believed being indigenous stopped him from representing his country, has also had to deal with his troubled cousin Blake Ferguson in recent months.

Ferguson was de-registered from the NRL last year after being convicted of sexual assault at a Cronulla nightclub.

Mundine jumped to support his younger relative's cause on the eve of his sentencing next Monday.

Despite all this, the champion dual sportsman was not short on a word while preparing for tonight's fight at Brisbane's Boxing Express gym in Kangaroo Point.

How do you feel your preparation is coming along for the fight?

"I'm doing good, man. I'm treating every fight like it's my last. I'm going in with that killer mode, like I did with Mosley. But I don't want him to see six rounds."

You've spoken about how you still feel good at 38. What are you doing now that's leading you to feel so good physically and mentally?

"You know what it is? I was a late starter. Very late, very late. I pretty much started at the same time as Bernard Hopkins, who was 24-25.

"Look at him - he's 48 and still champion, still whipping these young guys.

"All it is is desire, it's passion, it's paying attention to detail. As long as I've got my full arsenal as far as hand-eye, speed, footwork goes.

"And as you saw last fight, you won't see my slowing down anytime soon, so I'm just trying to keep my mind in good shape, keep my spirits in good shape.

"I feel as though the next three or four years will be the best in my career. I truly believe that.

"The reason being is because you can never, ever, ever buy seasoning or experience. I've done it all - I've won championships, been knocked down and come back, and won again.

"I've lost close fights. Me and Bernard never had the distinguished amateur career of fighting since we were nine, and going to the Olympics, then going on to being professionals.

"I changed that. That's why I truly believe I'm the best athlete, ever, because of what I've done.

So Choc, do you feel as though you're going as good as you were 10 years ago? Or even better?

"Better. Because of the experience and the seasoning."

There's been a lack of publicity regarding this fight. Are you worried about that and your critics saying it's another no-name?

"Listen, I've been saying this since day one and that was a long time ago.

"It doesn't matter who I fight - they'll always find an excuse. That's just the western media and the relationship that we have.

"They never want to give me the credentials and they always want to belittle me, and they never give me the credit that I deserve.

"Check the resume. Check for anyone that's done what I've done and switched codes.

"I was at the top of my game in footy. The reason I left was because of politics, we all know that.

"I was one of the highest-paid players, and then to come and do what I've done ...

"No one's done it. I'm not talking from Australia, but from around the world.

"And you have superstars like Beau Jackson and Dion Sanders, but they're team-to-team sports.

"We're talking about a team sport, going to the hardest gladiatorial sport since the start of time, and I've been a three-time world champ.

"And I'm still going, and not just going, but I'm going strong.

"And I want to get the goals that I desire, and that's to become the first man, and that's another thing, to win three world titles in descending weights.

"I will do it."

You're right up there in the rankings - you must feel like a fight against one of the top guys isn't too far away?

"It ain't too far. God willing - at the end of the year I'll be fighting for the WBA super welterweight championship of the world.

"That'll be against a Cuban guy Erislandy Lara, who is an unbelievable fighter. The only loss he's got was against Paul Williams - a controversial loss, and he's knocking everyone out.

"He's knocked (Austin) Trout down and beat him up. He's the guy I want to go after first.

"You can't just say I want to fight this guy, and make it happen. It's up to Golden Boy, (Saul) Alvarez, the guys that I want, (Miguel) Cotto and his team, or (Floyd) Mayweather and his team, or (Manny) Pacquiao and his team to say 'we're fighting Mundine next'.

"It's up to them - they're in the box seat. But if I get a world championship, then I've got a bit of bargaining power.

"If I get the chance to fight him here or there, I will fight him."

Speaking of Trout, do you regret how (your botched negotiations) went about - obviously Trout went on and fought Cotto. Do you regret how that happened?

"You do at the time, but now it's history - it's water under the bridge. I'll tell you how that deal went down - basically, we gave him a high offer.

"It goes to purse big - they get 55, and I was interim champion so I got 45. They didn't want to take our offer, which was more than generous - three times more than what he was getting at the time to fight.

"They wanted to come here and take my money, and everything I've worked hard to get.

"Now looking back, maybe I could have bitten the bullet and taken a loss, like I did with the Mosley fight.

"I've come to a stage where I might have to take a few off before I get the big one. It's tough.

"And instead of getting behind me, the Australian media, they want to knock you.

"We're trying to build momentum and snowball that into a championship fight.

"I only want the best fighters - if I could fight them now, I would. But I can't.

"It's not up to me. I can't offer Floyd Mayweather, or Pacquiao or Cotto a million dollars, like I offered Mosley.

"Mosley was on the outer with Golden Boy and was having some problems, so that's how we got that fight.

"But we lost a lot of money.

"I'm trying to make things happen and the media is eating me up for it."

You can't just keep outlaying money to get the big fighters can you - it's a tough one isn't it?

"It's very tough - that's why we've had a long relationship with the WBA. We want to try and defend our title. We're hoping by the end of the year of fighting Lara, if he's still champion.

"That's a massive fight. Lara is not a guy that anyone wants to fight, and at the same point nor am I. So let's do it, me and him, and the winner moves on.

"Once you get the belt - Mayweather is the super champion, but who's the next in line?

"I've always talked it up to him. He fights guys that he knows he can beat, he's fighting Amir Khan but it's for a pay day.

"He (Khan) has got the whole of Europe behind him, and it's a big market.

"I shake my head sometimes, because the country and the media should get behind me and my urge to fight the premier fighters in the world, such as Pacquiao or Mayweather.

"If they did get behind me, then things might shift and change a little bit.

"But they're making it harder for me. So I've just got to keep winning, keep getting victories, and God will take care of the rest."

Going into this fight, we haven't seen much publicity from you. Is that partly because of what's happened after the public's reaction (to what you said before and after) the Daniel Geale fight. Maybe you lost some fans there. Have you taken on a quieter stance because of that?

"My motto now is just 'be about it, not talk about it'. I'm going to let my fists do the talking.

"You've got plenty to write about me from over the last nearly 20 years now, with everything I've said.

"So you know what I stand for - I don't need to say too much anymore. I just need to get knock-outs, rack up victories and move on.

You've mentioned your desire to fight the world's biggest names, but there's a guy in our APN readership, Jarrod Fletcher from Hervey Bay who is highly credentialled. He wants to fight you. Is that something that you might consider later on down the track?

"I've given every Aussie a chance since I came into this sport. It's just unfortunate for Jarrod and the rest of the crop nowadays that I'm heading in a different direction.

"I've fought them all. There's no one I ducked. I beat them all - I still believe that.

"But it's not about that - it's about where I want to go. I'm sick of doing stuff for other people. Let me do something for me.

"I want to become the best in the world, and get the best PPs in the world - that's pound for pounders.

"In order to do that, fighting Jarrod Fletcher - that's not going to create anything.

"At least I'm getting Americans that are credible. That's my goal to get American after American after American, and just keep wiping them out one by one.

"Then hopefully I can get the title. Then once I get the title I can be the old Choc, and talk how I want to talk. Because you can't say nothing to me then."

Why should a guy like Floyd Mayweather fear you? You seem so confident you can match it with him …

"I can. I believe I'm only one of the few that can, because we're very similar stylistically. He's a very fast, accurate skilful fighter, same as me.

"And I'm a defensive fighter, same as me. But he can adapt, and I can adapt to any scenario. And I'm a much bigger guy.

"And it'll be a challenge for him. I've never seen him get challenged.

"They build and build these fights and have the 24-7 and All Access shows, and this and that, and build it up to a point where people believe the s***.

"It's a great selling point. But people that know boxing know they don't have the skills or boxing ability to match it with him.

"And I truly believe I'm only one of a few. But I can't keep talking about it, I've just gotta be about it.

"And everyone that's lined up in front of me - he's going to get knocked off, the next one - he's going to get knocked off.

"And I'm not just talking a victory - I'm talking about doing it in devastating fashion, whether it's a TKO or a KO."

What about your cousin (and troubled footballer) Blake (Ferguson). There was a recent headline that he was seen out drinking, despite swearing off alcohol. Were you disappointed about that?

"Blake's his own man. I try to advise him as much as I can. But basically, Blake can't go nowhere without being noticed or being judged.

"He was probably having soft drinks at the Clovelly (in Sydney) and just enjoying himself out.

"The man's 23 years old. What do you want him to do - sit down at home and stay in a box?

"He can live life too. Just because he's had setbacks, doesn't mean he can't go out.

"He wasn't out causing a ruckus, he wasn't out fighting or doing stupid things.

"He was just out relaxing and having a good time. He can do what he wants to do, as long as it's within the rules."

How much do you feel like you've helped him develop as his mentor and manager?

"I've seen him develop plenty. He's come a long way and I'm proud of the kid. He's changed his whole mentality around.

"Hopefully the court case (sentencing for a sexual assault charge) goes well in February. Whatever happens, we'll address that at the time and then move on."

Are you hopeful the Broncos might offer him a deal?

"Yeah. He the type of talent that could see him become one of the best players, or centres, in the world.

"He's probably up there with Justin Hodges now as the best centre in the world.

"With that talent - any team would want that.

"He could be a tipper - someone that tips a team over the line and helps them win a premiership.

"You really can't buy that. So he'll be in demand, whatever happens."

You've said you're ready to shock the world in the ring. Do you really feel like the world's ready to stand up and take notice of you over the next 18 months?

"Definitely. The next 18 months is the most important time of my life, of my boxing career anyway. I've got a vision and focus - to get Mayweather by May next year, or December next year.

"If I have the right fights and win the championship this year, that can definitely become a reality.

"We're both charismatic characters. Being who I am and what I've done, I think a lot of the Americans will be intrigued about our country and our culture.

"Being indigenous, and following in the footsteps of my old man (Tony), Lionel Rose, Hector Thompson, guys like that, that'll make it more intriguing.

"I want to promote that to the American public.

"The government should get behind me, the media should get behind me.

"I've been picked on pretty much my whole career. I'm over that. I want people to support me, and I'll support them.

"You all know who I am and what I stand for. But at the end of the day I'm one of yours.

"Start supporting your stars - not just me, but all of them."

Revealed: Top 10 and best of rest at All Ages swim titles

Premium Content Revealed: Top 10 and best of rest at All Ages swim titles

We name top 10 performers from the All Age Swimming Championships

Alert: Shark spotted at popular beach two days in a row

Premium Content Alert: Shark spotted at popular beach two days in a row

An unknown species has been seen at the beach around the same time both mornings.

REVEALED: How much the gaming industry is profiting

Premium Content REVEALED: How much the gaming industry is profiting

Here’s a breakdown on how many machines are on the Northern Rivers and how much...