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Boxing: Boxing: Mundine Confident Echols Fight On

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posted on Jun, 5 2003 @ 03:51 PM
Associated Press - June 4, 2003

SYDNEY, Australia - Anthony Mundine says he's confident his WBA super middleweight title fight against Antwun Echols will go ahead despite Echols' recent arrest on weapons charges.

"He's a total professional, he's extremely experienced and I'm sure that's not going to bother him in any way," Mundine said Wednesday. "He's a fighter, he's from the street and he has a mental capacity that is either kill or be killed,"

Echols and Mundine were scheduled to meet for the vacant WBA title in Sydney on Aug. 6.

The 31-year-old Echols, however, was arrested early Sunday in Rock Island, Ill., after a traffic stop and charged with being a felon in possession of a handgun and driving while unlicensed. He faces court June 17.

Artie Pelullo, Echols' promoter, said the recent brush with the law might jeopardize the Mundine fight.

"It's been very difficult in the past to get him into Canada because of his record," Pelullo said. "I have no idea how the Australians might look at this. I don't know why he can't keep himself out of trouble."

However, Khoder Nasser, Mundine's manager, said he'd spoken to Lamont Jones, Echols' lawyer, and had been assured the charge would not prevent the American from traveling to Australia.

Echols' arrest came 11 days after he was shot in the armpit while walking to a friend's house in Davenport, Iowa. He was not seriously injured. Police said they didn't know if Echols was targeted or was a random victim.

His earlier troubles have included guilty pleas to assault charges in 1993 and 1996 and a guilty plea to disorderly conduct in 1998. He was found in contempt of court on a charge of harassing public officials in 1996.

Echols is 29-4-1 as a pro. Mundine, 28, has had 19 fights and his only loss was to German Sven Ottke in a previous title challenge in December 2001.

The WBA middleweight title became vacant because the sanctioning body elevated Ottke to the status of super champion when he unified the WBA and IBF titles.


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