ANTHONY MUNDINE fears his father Tony will not be able to help him train for what he describes as the biggest fight of his career after Qantas refused to allow the boxing great leave to attend a training camp.
Mundine will go into camp in Queensland before the world title bout on January 30 against fellow Australian Daniel Geale at Sydney Entertainment Centre but he said his father had been denied time off work to join him.
''This is the most important fight of my career; this is bigger than any other fight and that is why I need my dad in my corner,'' Mundine said. ''My dad has been my only trainer throughout my entire career and he is the backbone and foundation through who I have learnt my craft. I know he loves Qantas and he has been there for over a decade so I just hope we can work something out to get time off to prepare me for what is a career-defining fight.''
Advertising guru John Singleton who has had a long association with Qantas and Tony Mundine, said the 61-year-old had been a great ambassador for the airline.
''Tony worked for Qantas in between fights during his own boxing career,'' Singleton said. ''He has been a role model for so long and whenever we did something that reflected Australian values Tony would be there as one of our ambassadors and he alway fulfilled his role with absolute dignity.
''We got so much mileage out of Tony and I don't think you will find that he was ever knocked back for time off nor has he ever asked for a day he wasn't entitled to. I just hope it is an oversight from Qantas because this isn't just about two Australians fighting for a world title, which hasn't happened since who knows when, it is about Tony Mundine, one of the all-time greats.''
Fairfax Media approached Qantas for comment on Friday but the airline did not reply to the request.
Anthony Mundine hopes a personal plea to Qantas will enable Tony to continue working with him in his quest to win Geale's IBF middleweight belt. ''Qantas is a great company and I know that they get behind a lot of indigenous programs so maybe if I can speak with them they will realise how important this fight is for me and my family and my people,'' Mundine said.
At 37, Mundine believes a win over Geale will set him up for big fights against the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Manny Pacquiao.