Anthony Mundine and WBA vice president Gilberto Jesus Mendonza in Canberra having a chat after lunch in Fyshwick. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
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Boxer Anthony Mundine says former Canberra Raiders player Blake Ferguson is likely to appeal an indecent assault finding and is hopeful the 23-year-old can return to rugby league.
But Ferguson's legal team says it is way too early to be talking about an appeal, as it awaits his sentencing on February 3.
Blake Ferguson and Anthony Mundine. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Mundine was in Canberra on Friday to support his friend, World Boxing Association vice-president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, from Panama, who is competing in the Ironman 70.3 event in the national capital on Sunday.
Mundine had last spoken to his Ferguson, his cousin, on Thursday - a day after the wayward star was found guilty in a Sydney court of indecently assaulting a woman in a Cronulla nightspot while out celebrating his State of Origin selection.
Mundine said Ferguson was ''doing all right'' and suggested Wednesday's finding and the upcoming sentencing were not likely to be the end of the legal action around the case.
''It's round one,'' Mundine said.
''We believe the truth will prevail. We'll take it to the district court and appeal and look at the positives.''
When asked if he believed the sacked Raider would be able to return to rugby league, Mundine said: ''Yeah, hopefully. Everybody makes mistakes.''
However, Ferguson's lawyer, Adam Houda, said he was only waiting for the sentencing on February 3 and the matter was still before the courts, with no conviction recorded yet.
''We'll consider our options after the sentencing date,'' he said.
Mundine's manager Khoder Nasser was also among the entourage in Canberra and there were suggestions that Ferguson's support group was rallying to engage in a long-term rehabilitation of the young man to put him back on track, a process that could take six to 12 months.
The group was spotted in Fyshwick having lunch at the Celestino Cafe where Nasser was keen to point out that Mendoza was the highest-ranking official from the World Boxing Association to visit Australia.
Mendoza and Mundine say they have been friends for years, brought together through boxing.
He said Mundine was ''a great boxer''.
''He has that talent. He was born with it. It's a gift,'' Mendoza said.
Mundine's past titles include WBA Light Middleweight Champion and two-time WBA Super Middleweight Champion.
''To do that, you have to be dedicated and focused on what you do,'' Mendoza said.
The 2013 Canberra City Half lronman Triathlon, on Sunday, will comprise a 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.
Mendoza said boxers such as Mundine had inspired him to lose 20 kilos and take on such a challenge. His bike did go missing enroute from Panama so he quickly bought a new Specialized Shiv from Fyshwick business The Cyclery.
Mundine, meanwhile, has announced another fight in Brisbane on January 29.
''We're trying to find a suitable opponent now,'' he said. ''Someone who is suitable and will help provide an entertaining fight.