On May 3rd, 2000, Anthony Mundine and the St George team - Dragons parted ways and 'Anthony also known as 'Choc' by his Rugby teammates announced his retirement from League. Two days later Anthony Mundine announces that he wants to be an international boxer.
He believes boxing in the international arena will help him gain a wider audience and promote the plight of the Aboriginal people.
Love him or lump him, Anthony Mundine has given us plenty to think about over the last few years. When pub talk came around about Choc Mundine there were always two opposing camps. There are a legion of supporters who admired the uncanny ability of a fantastic athlete who got the fans up out of their seats on countless occasions. From the moment he came into the big time, Choc made an impact and continued to be a huge crowd puller throughout his 7 year career.
On the other hand, there are those who though Mundine was just a loud mouth and somehow feel justified in being disgusted with Mundine's behaviour. In their opinion, a player who displays such self interest should have no place in a true team sport like Rugby League. Without a doubt, there those who wish they had half of talent of Choc and would grab the opportunity to play for the Dragons firmly with both hands.
But there many others who believed he is a bloke simply speaking his mind and cannot fathom why anyone would would turn on a player of Mundine's abilities and honest character. It's true, Anthony Mundine has never disgraced himself on or off the field and to many, he is a fantastic role model to kids from all backgrounds.
Anthony Mundine's departure from the Dragons was to say the least, controversial. In the end, there was too much activity in Anthony Mundine's wake for the media induced saga to continue any further. On May 3rd, 2000, Anthony Mundine and the Dragons parted ways and 'Choc' retired from Rugby League. Two days later he announced that he was pursuing a career in professional boxing.
TIME LINE OF EVENTS:
1993: Mundine debuts for StGeorge Dragons and immediately makes an impression.
1996: Named player's player for 1996. Plays in losing grand final St George v Manly. Announces that will be signing with Brisbane for 1997 in break away Super League Competition.
1997: Plays one year with Brisbane who win 1997 Super League grand final. With the announcement that he is leaving Brisbane, Mundine jokingly quips to the media 'show me the money' in reference to a number of clubs who are interesting in signing him. He also lets everyone know that he is 'The Man' and insists that he will only play at five eighth.
1998: Anthony Mundine returns to StGeorge after accepting a lucrative contract of $600,000 per year. He is named player's player for 1998. Also in 1998, he is involved in a racial discrimination inquiry with Canterbury forward Barry Ward. Mundine claims he has been racially vilified, Ward claims that he is not guilty.
1999: Rugby League's first merger following the Super League war: StGeorge - Illawarra. Mundine is part of this new beginning & plays the best football of his career. He is selected to play in the City Origin team. He lays claims to his abilities by declaring that he is the best five eighth in the world. Mundine is chosen to play reserve for NSW in all 3 State Of Origin games vs Qld., scoring a try. Mundine is given little time on the field and often found himself playing at the unlikely position of hooker. 1999 became Mundine's most controversial year to date as he attracted more media attention than ever before. The year finished in disappointment. The Dragons lost narrowly in the1999 grand final v Melbourne and then there was Mundine's subsequent exclusion from the Australian squad to take on New Zealand and Gt Br
Very, very good. We had great feedback from all who participated. Anthony was great and we would have no hesitation in using him again.