IBF world boxing middleweight champion Daniel Geale of Australia celebrates with two belts after his unification title bout against WBA world boxing champion Felix Sturm in Oberhausen, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012. Geale won the tight fight by points. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
BOXING: Anthony Mundine lit the fuse for next year’s long-awaited rematch with Daniel Geale by questioning the dual boxing world champion’s Indigenous heritage on Thursday, saying he doesn’t deserve to wear the Aboriginal flag on his shorts.
At a media conference to announce their fight, slated to take place in January, Mundine appeared dismissive of Geale’s Aboriginal background when asked about the Tasmanian’s heritage.
“I thought they wiped all the Aborigines from Tasmania out,” said Mundine.
“That’s all I know. I don’t know, I don’t see him representing black people, or coloured people.
“I don’t see him in the communities, I don’t see him doing the things I do to people, and fighting for the people. But he’s his own man.
“He’s got a white woman, he’s got white kids. I keep it real, all day every day.”
When asked by Fox Sports whether Geale deserved to sport the Aboriginal flag on his trunks, Mundine responded: “No.”
Geale admitted he took offence but said he wasn’t prepared to be drawn into a fight before they step into the ring.
“There’ll be more said later about that. I think he’s trying to get me to say some things,” Geale said after the media conference.
“I’m not going to get involved in that argument. I’m very proud of my heritage.
“I’ve proved it many times when I’ve worn the flag, had flags and different things around me.
“… My heritage is down in Tasmania. I’ve done a fair bit of research. I love my heritage, and I’m proud to show that.
“If anyone tries to tell me that I’ve got no right to do that, then something bad will happen. Trust me.”
Geale also responded to Mundine’s suggestions that he doesn’t do enough work within the Aboriginal community.
“I do support a lot of young kids and I help people as well. It is frustrating when you have people like (Mundine),” he said.
“I’ve had plenty in the past that have asked questions about certain things and why I’m doing certain things.
“I just feel that I’m trying to do my best and that’s all I can do.”