Choc? digs deep
SYDNEY (AAP): IT started in the third round.
It was a deep, animal roar that rose up from the throats of the crowd as the local man took it to the champion.
Anthony Mundine, written off by bookies who had him odds-on to lose by a knockout, reached deep within himself and found the courage to make a fight of it.
For 12 rounds he threw himself at Mikkel Kessler, unleashing with both fists and forcing the Danish champion into retreat.
The roar became almost deafening.
There's something about a close-fought boxing match that touches deep instincts, seldom tapped in modern life.
When Mundine stepped up his assault people began to believe he might actually do it.
"Go Choc" they roared.
They stood on their feet and shouted. Steve Waugh, Wendell Sailor, Wayne Carey, the entire NSW state of origin rugby league team. They all stood.
Mundine kept up the assault, with a couple of outstanding attacking rounds.
Kessler, though, is not the WBA super middleweight world champion for nothing.
Mundine attacked him with cold ferocity, but he couldn't hurt the Viking Warrior.
As the rounds clicked by the only way Mundine was going to win it was to catch him with something special.
Mundine gave it everything he had.
In the last round both men were exhausted, but they kept it up.
The crowd knew by then that their man had not done enough to win.
The points decision was unanimous.
And so was the appreciation of a great fight.