Mundine's Career In Eye Of The Storm

The Sunday Age

Sunday August 12, 2007

By Andrew Webster

ANTHONY Mundine has turned to Allah in preparation for the possibility that his boxing career is finished because of an eye infection.

The WBA super-middleweight world champion was told by specialists on Friday night that it could be up to six months before he knows if he will fight again.

A Muslim, Mundine has prayed diligently since Sunday, when he was told he may lose his left eye because of a fungal infection suffered after licking a displaced contact lens last weekend.

"I am prepared for the fact I might never fight again, it's that serious," said Mundine. "My career is the furthest thing from my mind. Of course, I want to fight again. I feel like I'm just getting on top of my game, I can match it with any fighter in the world.

"I just pray every day and ask God to give me a sign about what He wants. If it's to come back, and I have the sight and be in the ring, so be it. If it's not, so be it."

At the heart of Mundine's problem is a fungus that formed on his eye during the week. Doctors working on the world champion boxer will not know until this week what the bug is and how best to treat it.

It could be months before he knows how seriously his vision is going to be impaired and what that means to his sporting career.

Mundine revealed he has been boxing with inferior vision for more than five years. He had surgery on his eye 10 days ago and was wearing a precautionary contact lens while visiting Auckland, where he was watching former Warrior Monty Betham fight.

"We went to this restaurant and it was real smoky and it stared to irritate my eye," he said. "It must have pushed the contact lens and messed it up and it was really hurting me.

"I went to the bathroom and I was in hysterics. I saw this woman and she said, 'I've worn contacts before. The best way to clean it is with the mouth.' So I just licked it . . . But I don't blame her at all for what's happened."

Asked what he thought of talk that the injury was a publicity stunt, Mundine scoffed: "On Sunday, they thought I was going to lose my eye. You don't make that up."

© 2007 The Sunday Age

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